Becoming the temporary surgeon: A grounded theory examination of anaesthetists performing emergency front of neck access in inter-disciplinary simulation-based training. Becoming the Temporary Surgeon

Sergio Silverio*, Hilary Wallace, William Gauntlett, Richard Berwick, Simon Mercer, Ben Morton, SIMON ROGERS, JOHN SANDARS, Peter Groom, JEREMY BROWN

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

The time-critical ‘can’t intubate, can’t oxygenate’ [CICO] emergency post-induction of anaesthesia is rare, but one which, should it occur, requires Anaesthetists to perform rapid emergency front of neck access [FONA] to the trachea, restoring oxygenation, and preventing death or brain hypoxia. The UK Difficult Airway Society [DAS] has directed all Anaesthetists to be trained with surgical cricothyroidotomy [SCT] as the primary emergency FONA method. We present a longitudinal analysis using a classical approach to Grounded Theory methodology of ten Specialist Trainee Anaesthetists’ data during a 6-month training programme delivered jointly by Anaesthetists and Surgeons. We identified with a critical realist ontology and an objectivist epistemology meaning data interpretation was driven by participants’ narratives and accepted as true accounts of their experience. Our theory comprises three themes: ‘Identity as an Anaesthetist’; ‘The Role of a Temporary Surgeon’; and ‘Training to Reconcile Identities’, whereby training facilitated the psychological transition from a ‘bloodless Doctor’ (Anaesthetist) to becoming a ‘temporary Surgeon’. The training programme enabled Specialist Trainees to move between the role of control and responsibility (Identity as an Anaesthetist), through self-described ‘failure’ and into a role of uncertainty about one’s own confidence and competence (The Role of a Temporary Surgeon), and then return to the Anaesthetist’s role once the airway had been established. Understanding the complexity of an intervention and providing a better insight into the training needs of Anaesthetic trainees, via a Grounded Theory approach, allows us to evaluate training programmes against the recognised technical and non-technical needs of those being trained.
Original languageEnglish
Article number0249070
JournalPLoS ONE
Early online date23 Mar 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Mar 2021

Keywords

  • Anesthetists
  • Training

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