Background: Medicine and surgery are turning towards simulation to improve on limited patient interaction during residency training. Many simulators today utilize virtual reality with augmented haptic feedback with little to no physical elements. In a collaborative effort, the University of Florida Department of Neurosurgery and the Center for Safety, Simulation & Advanced Learning Technologies created a novel “mixed” physical and virtual simulator to mimic the ventriculostomy procedure. The simulator contains all the physical components encountered for the procedure with superimposed 3-D virtual elements for the neuroanatomical structures.
Objective: To introduce the ventriculostomy simulator and its validation as a necessary training tool in neurosurgical residency.
Methods: We tested the simulator in over two hundred sixty residents. An algorithm combining time and accuracy was used to grade performance. Voluntary post performance surveys were used to evaluate the experience.
Results: Results demonstrate that more experienced residents have statistically significant better scores and completed the procedure in less time than inexperienced residents. Survey results revealed that most residents agreed that practice on the simulator would help with future ventriculostomies.
Conclusion: This mixed reality simulator provides a real life experience, and will be an instrumental tool in training the next generation of neurosurgeons. We have now implemented a standard where incoming residents must prove efficiency and skill on the simulator prior to their first interaction with a patient.
From: Mixed Reality Ventriculostomy Simulation: Experience in Neurosurgical Residency by Hooten et al.