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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 6-11

Factors affecting the acquisition of basic surgical skills among surgery interns in teaching hospitals in Southeast, Nigeria

1 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, National Orthopaedic Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria
2 College of Medicine, University of Nigeria (UNN), Nsukka, Enugu, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Kelechi Uzodinma Imediegwu
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, National Orthopaedic Hospital, Enugu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jwas.jwas_207_22

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Background: Upon graduation from medical school, doctors in Nigeria undergo a compulsory internship program which includes rotation through four core specialties: Internal medicine, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Paediatrics and Surgery. Interns are expected to acquire basic surgical skills during their rotation in surgery. Objectives: To identify the factors that affect the acquisition of basic surgical skills by surgery interns (house officers) during their one-year internship program in teaching hospitals in Southeast Nigeria. Materials and Methods: A total of 73 surgery interns were sampled using a descriptive cross-sectional, epidemiological survey that employed self-administered Google forms. The semi-structured questionnaire was electronically distributed to interns currently in surgery rotations in their internship program in South-east, Nigeria. The data was analyzed using IBM’s Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 22 and presented in tables and charts. Consent was obtained from all respondents and measures were put in place to limit different forms of bias. Results: The most important factors that negatively affected the acquisition of surgical skills by interns were fatigue from overwork (55.4%), poor mentorship (47.3%) and inadequate skill training courses (44.6%). There were no statistically significant correlations amongst the factors that affected the acquisition of basic surgical skills by house officers. Conclusion: Some of the major limitations to acquisition of surgical skills by house officers that have undergone the surgery rotation were identified to be the workload, poor mentorship and inadequate structured skill training courses. Recommendation: Provision of better work conditions to limit work fatigue and improve learning. The training of house officers undergoing their surgery rotation should be supplemented by periodic assessment and mentorship programs by senior doctor to improve the acquisition of basic surgical skills by house officers.

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