The COVID-19 pandemic has had profound implications for continuing medical education. Travel restrictions, lockdowns and social distancing in an effort to curb spread have meant that medical conferences have been postponed or cancelled. When the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists made the decision to commit to a fully virtual 2021 Annual Scientific Meeting, the organising committee investigated the viability of presenting a virtual ‘Can’t intubate, can’t oxygenate’ workshop. A workshop was designed comprising a lecture, case scenario discussion and demonstration of emergency front-of-neck access techniques broadcast from a central hub before participants separated into Zoom® (Zoom Video Communications, San Jose, CA, USA) breakout rooms for hands-on practice, guided by facilitators working virtually from their own home studios. Kits containing equipment including a 3D printed larynx, cannula, scalpel and bougie were sent to workshop participants in the weeks before the meeting. Participants were asked to complete pre- and post-workshop surveys. Of 42 participants, 32 responded, with the majority rating the workshop ‘better than expected’. All except two respondents felt the workshop met learning objectives. Themes of positive feedback included being impressed with the airway model, the small group size, content and delivery. Feedback focused on previously unperceived advantages of virtual technical skills workshops, including convenience, equitable access and the reusable airway model. Disadvantages noted by respondents included lack of social interaction, inability to trial more expensive airway equipment, and some limitations of the ability of facilitators to review participants’ technique. Despite limitations, in our experience, virtual workshops can be planned with innovative solutions to deliver technical skills education successfully.
- online learning