FUSE certification enhances performance on a virtual computer based simulator for dispersive electrode placement

Michael Dombek, Carlos A. Lopez, Zhongqing Han, Alyssa Lungarini, Nicole Santos, Steven Schwaitzberg, Caroline Cao, Daniel B. Jones, Suvranu De, Jaisa Olasky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) has developed the fundamental use of surgical energy (FUSE) didactic curriculum in order to further understanding of the safe use of surgical energy. The virtual electrosurgical skill trainer (VEST) is being developed as a complementary simulation-based curriculum, with several modules already existing. Subsequently, a new VEST module has been developed about dispersive electrode placement. The purpose of this study is to assess knowledge about dispersive electrode placement in surgeons and surgical trainees in addition to describing a new VEST module. Methods: Forty-six subjects (n = 46) were recruited for participation at the 2016 SAGES conference Learning Center. Subjects were asked to complete demographic surveys, a five-question pre-test, and a five-question post-test after completing the VEST dispersive electrode module. Subjects were then asked to rate different aspects of the module using a five-point Likert scale questionnaire. Results: Mean pre-simulator and post-simulator assessment scores were 1.5 and 3.4, respectively, with Wilcoxon signed rank analysis showing a significant difference in the means (p < 0.05). Subjects were grouped by the presence (n = 12) or absence (n = 31) of prior FUSE experience and by training level. Mann–Whitney U testing showed no significant difference in pre-simulator assessment scores between attending surgeons and trainees (p > 0.05). In those with and without FUSE exposure, a significant difference (p < 0.05) was seen in pre-simulator assessment scores, and no significant difference in Likert scale assessment scores was seen. Conclusions: This study demonstrated a new VEST educational module. Consistently high Likert assessment scores showed that users felt that the VEST module helped their understanding of dispersive electrode placement. Additionally, the study reflected a potential knowledge deficit in the safe use of dispersive electrodes in the surgical community, also demonstrating that even some exposure to the FUSE curriculum developed by SAGES provides increased awareness about dispersive electrode use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3640-3645
Number of pages6
JournalSurgical endoscopy
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Simulation
  • Skills training
  • Surgical education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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