A quantitative cross-sectional study assessing the surgical trainee perception of the operating room educational environment (2022)

Type of publication:Journal article

Author(s):Rupani N; Evans A; *Iqbal M

Citation:BMC Medical Education, 2022 Nov 08; Vol. 22 (1), pp. 764

Abstract:Background: Limited hours and service provision are diminishing training opportunities, whilst increasing standards of surgical proficiency is being sought. It is imperative to maximise the value of each educational event. An objective measure of higher surgical trainee perception of the operating room environment in England has not been performed before and this can steer future change in optimising educational events in theatre. The Operating Room Educational Environment Measure (OREEM) evaluates each component of the learning environment to enable optimisation of these educational events. However, the OREEM has not yet been assessed for reliability in higher surgical trainees in England. The aim of the current study was to explore areas of strength and weakness in the educational environment in the operating room as perceived by surgical trainees' in one English region. The secondary aim was to assess the reliability of the OREEM.Methods: Using a quantitative approach, data was collected over one month from surgical trainees in England using the OREEM.Results: Fifty-four surgical trainees completed the questionnaire. The OREEM had good internal consistency (α = 0.906, variables = 40). The mean OREEM score was 79.16%. Areas for improvement included better learning opportunities (average subscale score = 72.9%) and conducting pre- and post-operative teaching (average score = 70.4%). Trainees were most satisfied with the level of supervision and workload (average subscale score = 82.87%). The learning environment favoured senior trainees (p = 0.017). There was a strong correlation between OREEM and the global satisfaction score (p < 0.001).Conclusions: The OREEM was shown to be a reliable measure of the educational environment. It can be used to identify areas of improvement and as an audit tool. The current perception of the education environment is satisfactory, however, areas of improvement include reducing service provision, empowering trainees to plan lists, improving teamwork and using tools to optimise the educational value of each operation. There is a favourable attitude regarding the use of improvement tools, especially for dissatisfied trainees.

Link to full-text [NHS OpenAthens account required]