Teaching and learning about skills in minor surgery

Debra Nestel, Roger Kneebone, Jane Kidd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


• The aim of this study was to assess the feasibility of a scenario-based approach to learning minor surgery skills. • After learning component technical skills for ellipse excision and wound closure, nurses were provided with an opportunity to integrate these skills with communication skills and contextual factors in a quasi-clinical environment. • Feasibility was assessed using observation of procedures and a group interview with participants, simulated patients and tutors. • The scenario-based approach to teaching and learning about technical and communication skills proved feasible and was valued by participants in this course on minor surgery. • Although all participants expressed anxiety about integrating skills in the quasi-clinical setting, they valued the opportunity to undergo a formative assessment prior to working in supervised settings with real patients. • Learners valued highly the opportunity to reflect on their performance and to receive feedback on technical and communication skills. • Future courses should include focused teaching on communication skills prior to the scenario-based exercise. • Limitations of the study centre on the small numbers of participants and the novelty of the course. Repeating the evaluations on a subsequent course will provide insight into the ways in which nurses acquire and integrate new skills.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-296
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Nursing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2003


  • Communication skills
  • Feedback
  • Scenario-based teaching and learning
  • Simulated patients
  • Surgical skills
  • Technical skills

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