Vital Anaesthesia Simulation Training (VAST) Course comes to Honduras
The first Latin American Vital Anaesthesia Simulation Training (VAST) Course and VAST Facilitators Course took place in San Pedro Sula in late 2022. The courses marked a milestone for VAST as several senior clinicians from the region trained as facilitators and materials were delivered in Spanish.
What is VAST?
Offered 52 times since its first pilot in 2018, the VAST Course teaches essential practises to peri-operative teams. VAST combines online learning with hands-on simulations, allowing students to progress their skills whilst still maintaining patient safety. The course centres on anaesthesia and resuscitation for obstetrics, paediatrics and trauma as well as safe general surgery and pre-and post-operative care.
The VAST Facilitator Course (VAST FC) is a two-day introduction to simulation education. This course differs from standard simulation-based training as alongside reinforcing technical knowledge, it focuses on non-technical skills such as communication and teamwork. Graduates of the Facilitator Course are vital in delivering the standard VAST Course, including the conduct and debriefing of VAST simulation scenarios.
The Honduras-based VAST FC was the first of its type to take place in Latin America. Many high-ranking clinicians from the region trained as facilitators, including:
- Cindy Montoya (Honduras), President of the Sociedad Hondureña De Anestesiologia, Reanimacion Y Dolor (SHARD)
- Mauricio Vasco Ramirez (Colombia), the Chair of the WFSA Constitution Committee
- Fredy Ariza (Colombia) and Dr Roderigo Rubio (Mexico), both members of the WFSA Education Committee
- Sandra Leal (Salvador) from the WFSA Safety and Quality Committee
- Sandra Izquierdo (Guatemala), a member of the WFSA Scientific Committee
- Juan Carlos Duarte (Venezuela), past member of the WFSA Education Committee
- Geraldina Gross (Honduras), local team coordinator and Head of Anesthesia at the largest hospital in Honduras.
These clinicians are already simulation specialists and have experience teaching through medical simulation. Graduating the Facilitators Course means they now able to lead a standard VAST Course and teach not just technical, but also non-technical skills.
Students on the course benefitted from having internationally renowned instructors including VAST co-author Patricia Livingston and former WFSA President Angela Enright, in addition to simulation coordinator Sara Whynot. The skills that facilitators learn on the VAST FC are taught to be transferrable, fostering ongoing course delivery.
We’re enthusiastic about the impact of this teaching modality for resource-limited centres in Latin America. VAST raises the quality of our professional practice and, consequently, patient safety and healthcare outcomes.Carolina Haylock Loor, WFSA Director of Programmes
The VAST Course in Honduras took place in Spanish. Bilingual participants attending the VAST FC translated all educational materials for the VAST Course students before training began.
This allowed the 14 multidisciplinary participants – who may not be fluent in English – to receive the full education without having material lost in translation.
To make the most of the newly-trained facilitators and the success of the translations, Haylock Loor is already looking to develop more VAST Courses in Latin America.
The next VAST Course will take place in Tanzania 28 February – 2 March as part of the WFSA’s partnership with Laerdal Foundation.