Second year MD students return to CTEC skills sessions

In late June 55 of The University of Western Australia’s second year MD students gained valuable hands-on experience in their first practical suturing workshops in CTEC’s large-scale Hill Surgical Workshop.

CTEC Course Co-ordinator Mrs Meagan Connor said that CTEC hosts a series of suturing workshops for second year MD students on behalf of UWA’s Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences.  The first 2020 workshop planned for April was postponed due to restrictions related to COVID-19 precautions.

“This is an important introductory level workshop describing principles and teaching basic practical skills. Every second year MD student is expected to attend and meet the learning objectives,” said Ms Connor.

The two three-hour workshops, held over consecutive days. were convened by CTEC Director and Professor in Surgical Education Professor Jeff Hamdorf. Faculty included CTEC Senior Lecturer Dr Ruth Blackham, Clinical Associate Professor Graham Cullingford, Dr Amanda Foster, Mr Jonathan Foo, Dr Danielle Malatzky and Dr Suanne MacConnell.

The workshop focused on open suturing skills, instrument familiarisation, interrupted suturing and knot tying.  Video demonstrations run throughout the workshop were followed by the practical skills sessions, with faculty moving between tables to offer guidance and advice to students.

Vocabulary used to describe sutures and some basic types of sutures were discussed, with an emphasis on choosing the correct sutures for closure of superficial lacerations or after excision of skin lesions. 

Students were also educated about CTEC’s COVID-19 PPE strategy, the use of personal protective equipment and safe practices for handling sharps.

Ms Connor said the students benefited from the hints and tips passed on by the highly experienced faculty who were generous in giving their time to introduce these important skills during the workshop.

CTEC will host another six second year MD suturing workshops for a further 164 students, planned for July and August, along with a series of suturing workshops for fourth year MD students.

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