Learning by training
One of the most satisfying parts about teaching is that it forces me to reflect on how I practice. In fact learning by teaching is a well recognised way to ensure someone has broken down a task into its component parts, and optimised each step.
For the injectables course, we have candidates practice their syringe-holding technique in the lab setting with artificial skin before letting them loose on the models (usually nurses and our favourite patients!). One thing I noticed was how counter-intuitive it is to hold a syringe with a standard grip. I recently published work with trainee Lilli Cooper on the way syringes are designed to be used and why it is difficult to be precise when using current technologies…
A standard syringe relies on using a power grip (or hook grip), which by its very nature locks the fingers and wrists (the most finely tuned joints) and relies on the less precise elbow and shoulder joints.
In the drawing above (by Margot Cooper of Limbs and Things), you can see that the needle is a long way from the fingertips which means that a small change in position, makes a large difference in accuracy.
In contrast, holding a syringe in the way an artist holds a pencil means there is more precision, and better ergonomics.
We are currently developing a novel syringe to take this into account- the training course will provide a great test bed to see it in action.
The next course is on 16th April 2016 and we have a fantastic faculty. Places are limited to ensure maximum exposure to techniques and hands on practice.