Procedural Competency: learning and keeping new skills

This is a great podcast from Todd Fraser at Essential Critical Care (and Osler Technology fame). Todd interviews Associate Professor Marcus Watson who is the executive director of the Clinical Skills Development Centre in Brisbane about procedural competency.

Listen to the podcast here

Marcus describes how in healthcare we’re still pushing the boundaries of what we can treat, and what new treatments are going to be in 5-10 years, and very little of our attention goes towards how well we perform various tasks. 

He also discusses comparisons with other industries such as aviation, where there are vested interests that place a much higher priority on analysis and measurement of competency, and the reasons behind this.  An important issue in healthcare is the diverse range of skills, systems and organisations we operate in, so trying to define all competencies (for example from a legislative viewpoint) is very difficult, and there is also no single regulatory authority in healthcare (as compared to aviation). But over-regulation also has drawbacks and limits.

The definitions of competency, proficiency and mastery, and how we measure and judge these are covered, as are the various factors that affect our learning of new procedures.

This is a fascinating interview for anyone interested in procedural skill learning and competency in healthcare, and is highly recommended listening.

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