The Clinical Simulation and Skills Unit, in collaboration with the Gastroenterology Units of the Departments of Internal Medicine and Surgery, presented the first Basic Endoscopy Simulation Course, on the 11th & 12th and repeated on the 13th and 14th of March 2019 in Bloemfontein, South Africa.  This two-day interactive simulator-based course was aimed at the novice/beginner endoscopist requiring basic proficiency with practice before commencing formal endoscopy training.  The theoretical basis of performing a safe endoscopy and effective peri-endoscopy management was covered.  The course included a morning of interactive lectures followed by a day and a half of practical experience using the EndoSim simulator. Each trainee undertook a number of gastroscopies and colonoscopies (minimum of 3 per trainee) under the supervision of expert trainers.
With the EndoSim simulator, basic skills techniques can be practiced until the trainee masters the skills. The levels of difficulty can be customized with challenges, scenarios, and complications to make each experience unique. Each exercise is digitally recorded with detailed metrics and statistics, providing immediate and long-term skills development feedback.
This was the first simulator-based endoscopic course of this kind presented in South Africa. Surgical Science, a Swedish company, and leader in the development of virtual reality simulators provided two Endosim simulators for the workshop.  Anders Melander a virtual reality simulation expert, came from Sweden to assist with the course.  Boston Scientific, a company providing equipment for endoscopy, sponsored part of the course.
Feedback from facilitators and participants was overwhelmingly positive. Prof Jan van Zyl said: “In the 2-hour session for gastroscopic biopsies alone, the number of biopsies performed by the group was equivalent to training on 30 patients”. Courses like this will improve patient safety, reduce procedure time and extend the lifespan of similar instruments in the hospital setting.

Compiled by Mathys Labuschagne, Head: CSSU

Dr Wayne Simmonds explaining a procedure to participants at the Gastro-Enterologist Department of Internal Medicine UFS.


Anders Melander, Surgical Science Sweden, explaining a technique to one of the participants.


During an endoscopy training session on EndoSim


Training participants in communication skills


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