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Inicio Cirugía Española (English Edition) Non-technical Skills in Surgery: A Pending Subject
Journal Information
Vol. 97. Issue 7.
Pages 419-420 (August - September 2019)
Vol. 97. Issue 7.
Pages 419-420 (August - September 2019)
Letter to the Editor
DOI: 10.1016/j.cireng.2019.07.002
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Non-technical Skills in Surgery: A Pending Subject
Habilidades no técnicas en cirugía: una asignatura pendiente
Miguel Ruiz Marína,b,
Corresponding author

Corresponding author.Corresponding author.
, Clara Giménez Francésa, Antonio Albarracín Marín Blázqueza,b, M. Fe Candel Arenasa,b
a Servicio de Cirugía General y del Aparato Digestivo, Hospital General Universitario Reina Sofía, Murcia, Spain
b Universidad Católica San Antonio, Murcia, Spain
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To the Editor,

We have read with great interest the publication by Berner and Ewertz1 on the importance of non-technical skills (NTS) in today's surgical setting.

We have recently reported the results of a survey at our hospital about the perception of medical students, residents and specialists in General and Digestive Surgery about their knowledge of human factors and NTS.2 These results demonstrate that 60% of the respondents were unaware of the definition of ‘human factors’; however, 77% considered them the cause of adverse events (AE) in the workplace, either occasionally or frequently. ‘Errors in communication’ was defined by 37% as the most frequent contributing factor in witnessed AE, and 71% believed that NTS were as important as technical skills. Finally, 85% of those surveyed showed interest in receiving feedback on their NTS.

Although the study of human factors, NTS and the role they play in the operating room have been known for decades,3 their relevance has gained importance in recent years, a fact that is reflected in the growing number of publications.4–7

In this context, the Cirugía Segura (“Safe Surgery”) program,8 headed by the AEC and promoted by the Spanish Ministry of Health, Consumption and Social Welfare, has included NTS guidelines and their contribution to patient safety within its educational curriculum for surgical professionals. This content can also be consulted in their published manual.9

Like the authors,1 we believe that education in NTS, knowledge and surgical skills, as well as the understanding of human factors, enable surgeons to provide patients comprehensive care and contributes to the development of a safe surgical environment.

However, we understand that this type of teaching should be included in standard training, not only of specialists being trained in surgery, but also of medical students as part of their education, and it is already being offered at certain teaching hospitals.5,6 This will undoubtedly be useful for medical professionals in performing their duties in multi- and interdisciplinary environments, which is typical of different healthcare scenarios in our country.

J.E. Berner, E. Ewertz.
Importancia de las habilidades no técnicas en la práctica quirúrgica actual.
M. Ruiz Marin, C. Gimenez Frances, P.V. Fernandez Fernandez, E. Medina Manuel, A.J. Fernandez Lopez, F.M. Gonzalez Valverde, et al.
Habilidades no técnicas en cirugía: la asignatura pendiente.
Cir Esp, 96 (2018), pp. 8
G.C. Fletcher, P. McGeorge, R.H. Flin, R.J. Glavin, N.J. Maran.
The role of non-technical skills in anaesthesia: a review of current literature.
Br J Anaesth, 88 (2002), pp. 418-429
J.J. Jung, S. Yule, S. Boet, P. Szasz, P. Schulthess, T. Grantcharov.
Nontechnical skill assessment of the collective surgical team using the Non-Technical Skills for Surgeons (NOTSS) System.
M. Gordon, J. Farnan, C. Grafton-Clarke, R. Ahmed, D. Gurbutt, J. McLachlan, et al.
Non-technical skills assessments in undergraduate medical education: a focused BEME systematic review: BEME Guide no 54.
J.S. Cha, N.E. Anton, T. Mizota, J.M. Hennings, M.A. Rendina, K. Stanton-Maxey, et al.
Use of non-technical skills can predict medical student performance in acute care simulated scenarios.
Am J Surg, 217 (2019), pp. 323-328
J.W. Collins, P. Dell’Oglio, A.J. Hung, N.R. Brook.
The Importance of technical and non-technical skills in robotic surgery training.
Eur Urol Focus, 4 (2018), pp. 674-676
Programa Cirugía Segura [accessed 18.03.19]. Available from: http://www.cirugiasegura.es.
J. Aguilar Jimenez.
Habilidades no quirúrgicas para mejorar la seguridad en el quirófano.
Seguridad en el bloque quirúrgico, 1.a ed., pp. 28-41

Please cite this article as: Ruiz Marín M, Giménez Francés C, Albarracín Marín Blázquez A, Candel Arenas MF. Habilidades no técnicas en cirugía: una asignatura pendiente. Cir Esp. 2019;97:419–420.

Copyright © 2019. AEC
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