Barriers to accessing ATLS provider course for junior doctors at a major university hospital in South Africa

  • Jocinta Odendaal University of KwaZulu-Natal
  • Victor Yeewai Kong University of KwaZulu-Natal
  • TY Liu University of KwaZulu-Natal
  • YY Liu University of KwaZulu-Natal
  • Benn Sartorius University of KwaZulu-Natal
  • George V Oosthuizen University of KwaZulu-Natal
  • Damian L Clarke University of KwaZulu-Natal
Keywords: ATLS, Education, Training

Abstract

Background: Advanced trauma life support (ATLS) is the international standard of care and forms the basis of trauma training in South Africa. Previous local studies demonstrated a low completion rate among junior doctors (JD). This study was designed to determine the reasons and identify possible barriers of JDs to accessing the ATLS course at a major university hospital.

Methods: This was a prospective study utilising a structured survey that included all JDs who were undertaking their internship training.

Results: A total of 105 JDs completed the survey. Sixty-two percent were female (65/105) and the mean age was 25 years. Forty-eight percent (50/105) of all JDs were post graduate year 1 (PGY 1) and the remaining 52% were post graduate year 2 (PGY 2) JDs. Sixty-two percent (65/105) of all respondents had completed their mandatory rotation in surgery. The reasons for non-attendance of ATLS were: unable to secure a place on course (52%), unable to afford course fee (18%), permission for attendance not granted (14%), unable to obtain study leave (10%) and lack of interest (5%). Subgroup analysis comparing the reasons for PGY1s vs PGY2s demonstrated that not being able to secure a place on course was more common among PGY2s [19% vs 33%, p < 0.001] while financial reasons were more common among PGY1s [18% vs 0%, p < 0.001].

Conclusions: The primary barriers for JDs to attending ATLS training is difficulty in accessing the course due to oversubscription, financial reasons, followed by difficulty in obtaining professional development leave due to staff shortage. There is an urgent need to improve access to the ATLS training course for JDs in our environment.

Author Biographies

Jocinta Odendaal, University of KwaZulu-Natal

BSc
Pietermaritzburg Metropolitan Trauma Service
Department of Surgery
University of KwaZulu-Natal

Victor Yeewai Kong, University of KwaZulu-Natal

MBChB, MSc, PhD, MRCS
Senior Registrar: Trauma Surgery
Pietermaritzburg Metropolitan Trauma Service
Department of Surgery
University of KwaZulu-Natal

TY Liu, University of KwaZulu-Natal

MBChB
Surgical Intern
Pietermaritzburg Metropolitan Trauma Service
Department of Surgery
University of KwaZulu-Natal

YY Liu, University of KwaZulu-Natal

MBChB
Surgical Intern
Pietermaritzburg Metropolitan Trauma Service
Department of Surgery
University of KwaZulu-Natal

Benn Sartorius, University of KwaZulu-Natal

PhD
Statistician
Pietermaritzburg Metropolitan Trauma Service
Department of Surgery
University of KwaZulu-Natal

George V Oosthuizen, University of KwaZulu-Natal

FCS(SA)
Consultant Trauma Surgeon
Pietermaritzburg Metropolitan Trauma Service
Department of Surgery
University of KwaZulu-Natal

Damian L Clarke, University of KwaZulu-Natal

PhD, FCS(SA)
Consultant Trauma Surgeon
Pietermaritzburg Metropolitan Trauma Service
Department of Surgery
University of KwaZulu-Natal

Published
2017-11-16
How to Cite
Odendaal, J., Kong, V., Liu, T., Liu, Y., Sartorius, B., Oosthuizen, G., & Clarke, D. (2017). Barriers to accessing ATLS provider course for junior doctors at a major university hospital in South Africa. South African Journal of Surgery, 55(4), 10-12. Retrieved from http://sajs.redbricklibrary.com/index.php/sajs/article/view/2079
Section
Trauma