An Insight Into The Remote ZADP Fellowship
What Is The ZADP Remote Teaching Fellowship?
Tell Us About The Commitments That This Fellowship Involves
Why Did You Sign Up To The Remote Teaching Fellowship? Why Work Remotely When You Could Work In Zambia As An In-Country Fellow?
Have You Been The Recipient Of Remote Anaesthesia Teaching?
I started receiving remote teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic, prior to this I only received in person teaching. My concept of online teaching was zero. My first experience of online teaching was as part of my preparation for the FRCA exams that I did in 2021, I ended up doing almost all of my preparation online. I had so many resources available to me. Online teaching has transformed the way that we can learn anaesthesia, at times and locations that are more convenient for the learner.
Additionally, I still have many ties with my consultants and colleagues in India so online platforms have allowed me to attend conferences in India remotely. It’s amazing to have access to teaching from experts from so far away. It was during one of these many conferences that I was introduced to the concept of learning regional anaesthesia online. I came to appreciate that I could also learn practical skills in this way.
What Are The Challenges Of Teaching Online And How Did You Overcome These?
One of the difficulties of online teaching is not knowing whether your audience is with you, particularly if the recipient switches off their camera, you may not even know whether they are there. You don’t get as much feedback as a face-to-face session where individuals are able to nod their heads and ask questions more easily. When you crack a joke, you may not hear the audience laugh if their microphones are off; you question whether the joke is funny, whether there are technical problems or if there is a time lag in the internet! There are many ambiguous things when you teach online. To overcome this, I make the sessions interactive so that I can get feedback throughout the session. I sometimes put up a QR code for the audience to scan. I then ask them to answer a question linked to that QR code. The question doesn’t need to be hard, the purpose is to engage individuals, get their minds working.
Another challenge is getting individuals to speak up in sessions. When teaching globally you may find that different cultures do not readily want to speak up or may be used to a teaching style that isn’t interactive. I myself am an introvert and previously found it difficult to speak up in teaching sessions. When I moved to the UK, I found that this comes more naturally to British people, they often speak more at teaching sessions. Over time in the UK, I found my voice; I now try to encourage others to find their voice. The remote nature of teaching is also a barrier to getting individuals to speak up. A method I use to encourage people to talk is to ask open questions, ones without a right or wrong answer. So instead of asking the chemical formula for ketamine I will ask a question like, ‘Can you tell me about the last time you used ketamine in your clinical practice?’
Did You Do Any Preparation To Be A Remote Teaching Fellow?
I did an Anaesthetists as Educators course which gave me more insight into how to teach seminars online and allowed me to practice this skill. I learnt how to plan and formulate a session, how to optimise the delivery and how to use different online teaching platforms. I did not know how to do interactive sessions so the course taught me how to use tools like polls and break out rooms. I was taught other practicalities about how to optimise the teaching environment like the position of the camera and the lighting.
What Impact Has Being A Remote Teaching Fellow Had On Your Role As An Anaesthetist?
Being in the UK and volunteering to help trainees in Zambia may appear like a one-way dynamic but this is very much not the case. Actually, I have taken far more from this experience than I have given. I have learned so much from the trainees’ experiences of managing clinical situations with fewer resources and how to navigate these challenges.
I’m a big advocate of having good clinical intuition and skills in anaesthesia. I think with technological advancement and availability in the UK there is risk of losing some of these skills. Recently, I attended a suspected cardiac arrest call on a ward and the junior doctor at the patient’s bedside was setting up an ultrasound machine instead of doing a basic initial assessment of the patient, like looking for signs of life. My work with the Zambian team focuses on the basics, the essential components of good clinical care when there may be diagnostic or treatment limitations.
What Is The Process Of Applying To The Fellowship?
What Advice Do You Have For Those Joining A GADP Remote Teaching Fellowship?
Most of the teaching sessions occur outside of day time working hours, either before work or after work. Sessions should consider that trainees are likely to be tired. I therefore changed my teaching style to be simpler in its approach, involving lots of images and graphics and avoiding crowded, wordy slides. I also changed my presentations to have a maximum of 10 or 15 slides for a 30-minute presentation.
To ensure that the teaching is appropriate to the Zambian setting I encourage the trainees to discuss what their anaesthesia plans would be in the context of the resources available to them. There’s no point solely teaching about unavailable techniques. I encourage these discussions as these sessions are also an opportunity to learn things that aren’t written in text books. These teaching sessions are for sharing experience. For example, it’s possible to read many resources about eclampsia, but it is also useful to hear about the clinical challenges of managing complex and difficult clinical situations such as the management of an eclamptic seizure on the operating table. Textbooks give you facts but discussions allow you to be reflective learners. Sharing our reflections on cases that we have managed allow a more practical and rounded approach to learning and keeps learners interested.