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A new model for teaching corneal foreign body removal

, : A new model for teaching corneal foreign body removal. Academic Emergency Medicine 2(9): 831-834

To determine whether a skills laboratory for corneal foreign body and rust ring removal improves self-assessed skill and confidence. A prospective trial was conducted as part of the didactic curriculum of a university-based residency program in emergency medicine (EM). A convenience sample of 26 EM residents and five fourth-year medical students participated. The skills laboratory used model corneas made by coating 3.2-cm glass spheres with a 1-2-mm film of paraffin. Foreign bodies were simulated by embedding small pieces of metal into the paraffin. Rust rings were simulated by dipping a hot, straightened paper clip into a rust-colored crayon and then into the paraffin. The model eyes fit into a life-sized model of a human head. Participants removed the foreign bodies and rus rings under supervision, using the slit lamp. Each participant anonymously completed a questionnaire before and after participating in the skills laboratory. The questionnaire recorded educational level, previous experience, and self-assessed comfort and skill levels (0 = lowest, 10 = highest). Most (66%) of the participants had not previously removed a corneal foreign body; 86% had not previously removed a rust ring. On a ten-point scale, the median comfort level for removing a foreign body rose from 2 to 7, and the self-assessed skill level rose from 1 to 7 (p = 0.0001). Similar improvements in self-assessed comfort and skill levels were seen for rust ring removal. Participation in this skills laboratory significantly improved the self-reported comfort and self-assessed skill levels in removing corneal foreign bodies and rust rings. This technique provides useful practice of a fine-motor procedural skill requiring eye-hand coordination prior to supervised application of these skills in clinical practice.


PMID: 7584771

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