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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 8-11

Back to basics – The importance of enterostomal therapy education for general surgery residents

Department of Surgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA

Correspondence Address:
John J Tackett
Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1941-8213.240253

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Background and Objectives: General surgery residents' perceived knowledge base and comfort with intestinal stomas and enterostomal therapy are profiled through a national survey. Subjects and Methods: General surgery residents were surveyed to explore the existence of formal didactics and training in ostomy creation and stomal care, to examine the residents' perceived knowledge base of clinical indications for enterostomal care approaches, and to elicit the residents' comfort with performing enterostomal surgeries and managing complications. Results: A total of 734 US residents were surveyed. 218 respondents completed the survey (30%): 40% Northeast, 22% Midwest, 22% South, 16% West, and 82% with direct university affiliation. Only 12% experienced formal enterostomal therapy training and only 15% attended related lectures. Most (86%) routinely worked with enterostomal therapists. Only 11% of chiefs felt “very confident” in their knowledge base of clinical indications for enterostomal care, and 61% felt “very comfortable” with surgical procedures of ostomy creation and closure. Merely 4% of all residents felt “very comfortable” dealing with common ostomy complications. Conclusions: In an era of surgical subspecialization and advanced nursing practice in enterostomal therapy, general surgery residents lack confidence in their knowledge base and comfort when approaching enterostomal therapy and stomal complications. US resident education should be reformed to enhance training in these fundamental principles essential to general surgery practice.

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