The online part of the E-BLUS laparascopic training course offered by the European School of Urology (ESU) has been made available for self-testing purposes after logging into MyEAU. The website allows visitors to familiarise themselves with laparoscopic theory, equipment and techniques, and then test themselves with multiple-choice questions.
E-BLUS stands for European Training in Basic Laparoscopic Urological Skills. It was piloted in September during the 9th European Urology Residents Education Programme in Prague (EUREP). The EUREP meeting also provided the setting for the actual Hands-On Training exam, which follows on from the online course. Interest in the course was overwhelming. Fifteen slots were initially offered, but this was expanded to 45 when more than 100 residents signed up to take part in the exam.
The web-based portion of the course, which now no longer requires prior registration to access, contains all of the training materials that the residents used to prepare for the exam. The online course material allows residents to familiarise themselves with the basics of urological laparoscopy. This covers the history of laparoscopy, instruments, physiology, anaesthesiological aspects, safety and training.
The learner prepares for the exam on the E-BLUS website with a theoretical course and instructional videos. Videos of the hands-on exercises can help prepare for future practical exams. Most importantly, users can sit the theoretical exam, testing themselves on the website’s materials. Together with the hands-on exam, it makes up the Novice I level of the E-BLUS.
Dr. Ben Van Cleynenbreugel, coordinator of the E-BLUS programme: “The exam assesses the graduating residents’ basic skills. The certificate should indicate that the recipient can assist with laparoscopic procedures without requiring further exercises.”
The exam, and the programme that precedes it represents a joint effort of the ESU, the EAU Section of Uro-Technology (ESUT) and the Catharina Hospital Eindhoven (NL). E-BLUS is partly based on a similar exam made mandatory in the Netherlands to make sure residents achieve a certain level of competence with laparoscopic equipment.
The ESU is offering this training to harmonise the European standard of laparoscopic surgery and facilitate national urological societies in offering standardised training to residents. This fits into one of the organisation’s main goals of establishing and introducing new standards for training and practice to ultimately improve patient care.
The criteria of the exam have been validated through research amongst 50 subjects (novice, intermediate and expert) and the pass/fail rates have been evaluated based on the performances of 33 urology residents to set an optimally objective standard of the required skills for assisting in the OR.