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Advanced airway management teaching in otolaryngology residency programs in Canada: A survey of residents

| Reprints
April 28, 2015
by Valérie Côté, MD; Lukas H. Kus, MD, MSc; Xun Zhang, PhD; Keith Richardson, MD; Lily H.P. Nguyen, MD, MSc, FRCS(C)

Abstract

We conducted a study to assess residents' levels of comfort with advanced airway management in Canadian otolaryngology residency programs. In October 2008, an electronic questionnaire was sent to all otolaryngology residents in Canada. Responses were voluntary and anonymous. The response rate was 64.8% (94 of 145 residents). Residents were asked about the amount of teaching they received and the amount they would like to receive each year in four areas: emergency surgical airway, pediatric airway, airway trauma, and management of complications during laryngoscopy/bronchoscopy. They were also asked how comfortable they were with their current level of knowledge in these areas. Overall, residents were not comfortable with difficult airway situations, scoring a mean of 3.08 on a 5-point Likert scale. Residents were most comfortable with the emergency airway and least comfortable with the pediatric airway. Overall, residents indicated that they had not received adequate teaching on advanced airway management, and they consistently desired more. With respect to the type of instruction, most residents requested more teaching via simulations, mannequins, and cadaver or animal models. Linear regression models revealed a positive relationship between their overall comfort with airway management and the number of airway teaching hours they received. Their consensus was that formal airway training should occur during postgraduate year (PGY) 2, with refresher courses offered every 2 years. This is the first wide-scale assessment of the status of airway teaching in otolaryngology residency programs in Canada. Overall, our findings suggest that otolaryngology residents in these programs are not comfortable with advanced airway management early in their training and feel they would benefit from a significant increase in airway teaching time. Comfort levels improved with increasing levels of training such that PGY5 residents indicated they were indeed comfortable with advanced airway management.

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