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Teaching without a teacher: developing competence with a Bullard laryngoscope using only a structured self-learning course and practicing on a mannequin.

STUDY OBJECTIVE: To show that a complex motor skill can be taught without requiring active expert faculty participation.

DESIGN: Prospective descriptive study.

SETTING: Simulation laboratory of an academic anesthesiology department.

SUBJECTS: Novice users of the Bullard laryngoscope, predominantly residents.

INTERVENTIONS: Novice Bullard users were presented with a PowerPoint presentation using text and pictures describing the use of the Bullard. The learners were also provided with a Bullard laryngoscope and a mannequin on which to practice. Self-learning time was not restricted.

MEASUREMENTS: Learners decided for themselves when they were competent and ready for competency assessment. The assessment tool was a checklist of essential steps developed by faculty experienced in Bullard laryngoscopy. The primary end-point was successful intubation.

MAIN RESULTS: All learners were deemed competent. The mean self-learning time was 14.1 minutes (SD, 3.1 min; range, 9.2-21.0 min). All subjects indicated a high level of satisfaction with the learning technique.

CONCLUSIONS: Teaching a complex motor skill with no expert instruction is possible.

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