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Surg Innov. 2005 Jun;12(2):145-9.

Night call does not impair learning of laparoscopic skills.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Medical College of Virginia at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond VA 23298, USA.


Investigators have looked at the effect of night call on surgical residents but not at learning of laparoscopic skills. The Minimally Invasive Surgical Trainer-Virtual Reality (MIST-VR) tests 6 tasks similar to a laparoscopic cholecystectomy. We hypothesized that night call would impair laparoscopic performance and that skills would not improve but rather deteriorate after night call. Seventeen volunteers were tested before and after night call. Data collected included economy of movement, time, and number of errors for each hand/foot. A paired Student t test was used for statistical analysis. On the first 2 tasks, there was an improvement in all parameters post-call, with significance reached in 5 of 18 parameters (P<or=.05). In the "running of the bowel,'' 8 of 9 parameters were significantly improved (P<or=.05). In the final task, 9 of 11 parameters showed a deterioration post-call, but only economy of movement of the foot was significant (P<or=.05). Most parameters (16) showed improvement rather than deterioration post-call, which is consistent with learning of laparoscopic skills despite lack of sleep from night call.

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