The Vital Anaesthesia Simulation Training (VAST) Course – Immersive simulation designed for low-resource settings. Update in Anaesthesia.
There is a global shortage of trained anaesthesia providers, with great disparities between high-and low-resource countries. In low-resource settings, the majority of anaesthesia providers work in relative isolation, under extreme pressure and with few opportunities for continuous professional development. The Vital Anaesthesia Simulation Training (VAST) course was developed for anaesthesia providers in this context and is a collaborative project between partners in Rwanda and Canada. The VAST course aims to maximise learning in a way that is simple, practical and vivid. The main modality used is immersive simulation, with clinical environments replicated through low-cost materials and a focus on a case mix that reflects practice at the district hospital level. The accompanying VAST facilitator course promotes sustainability, mentors future facilitators and is supported by intuitive materials and an opportunity to practise components of course delivery. The VAST course was piloted in early 2018 in Kigali, Rwanda. The pilot course demonstrated feasible course delivery and a participant desire for widespread dissemination in Rwanda. After minor course revisions, the next step is a formal evaluation of the VAST course’s ability to strengthen anaesthetists’ non-technical skills. The VAST course holds potential as an exciting vehicle for widespread application of simulation-based education in low-resource settings.