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Student Anesthetist Learning Curve Perspectives on Sciatic Nerve Localization Proficiency - A Pilot Study

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Technical Report

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Uniformed Services University Of The Health Sciences Bethesda United States

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Regional anesthesia techniques are invaluable tools in the armamentarium of anesthesia practitioners. Utilization of visual and palpable anatomical landmarks in localizing deep-seated peripheral nerves has long been the mainstay of regional anesthesia. Accurate placement of local anesthetics is imperative to obtaining successful neural blockade. Disagreement exists concerning the utility of a peripheral nerve stimulator in nerve sheath location. Regardless of the technique used, anatomical landmarks and underlying structures need to be fully understood. Very little research exists addressing how best to instruct anesthesia students in regional nerve blockade. In this study, McAuliffe s 1993 model for advanced nursing practice education was used as a theoretical framework which describes the fact that multiple representations, or multiple attempts are required to obtain a level of proficiency. In this study, a student registered nurse anesthetist SRNA attempted to locate the sciatic nerve using anatomical landmarks on a rat model. The data revealed that 15 attempts were required before an appropriate level of proficiency was obtained.

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