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Simulation-Based Training on Basic Obstetrics and Gynecology Ultrasound Skills During COVID Pandemic.

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 pandemic led to an alarming rise in sickness absenteeism among the radiologists. Anticipating a continued shortage of experienced radiologists in future COVID waves, it is essential to train the medical professionals in basic skills related to ultrasonography to enable them to perform basic Obstetrics and Gynecology (OG) scans safely in emergencies. Virtual reality simulation training is an alternative to conventional ultrasound training.

METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted during 8-day-long workshop to identify the trainees' basic, after training knowledge and skills in OG ultrasound and to document their perceptions of the training. Statistical analysis was done using descriptive statistics (percentages and mean standard deviations) and paired t test for comparisons.

RESULTS: A total of 80 health care professionals underwent ultrasound simulation training. It was found that the post-test score in the knowledge domain, instrument handling, basic gynecological skills, and first-trimester antenatal ultrasound skills in the practical domain was significantly higher than the pre-test score ( P -value < 0.0001). Out of 80 participants, 45 (56.25%) agreed that ultrasound simulation is an ideal method of teaching and training basic OG skills to the novice. Sixty-six out of 80 (82.5%) felt that the principles of handling a human mannequin are the same as those of real patients. Forty-eight participants out of 80 (60.0%) felt that ultrasound simulation can be used as an ideal tool for self-assessment of health care professionals.

CONCLUSION: The study showed that ultrasound-based simulation can provide a realistic setting for training and assessment of novices in learning basic skills.

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