Purpose: We designed a three-phase bedside assistant training course for those involved with robot-assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP). We also examined whether an experienced RARP team (>1000 cases) would perceive benefit from this three-phase bedside assistant training course. Materials and Methods: The 13 RARP bedside assistants were identified at our institution (three surgical technicians, two surgical assistants, four resident trainees, and four physician assistants). The course consisted of three phases that were taught at three separate morning sessions. Phase 1 focused on robot functionality. Phase 2 consisted of a step-by-step video session that focused on the assistant's role in each RARP step. Phase 3 involved three hands-on laparoscopic drills that were to be completed in a predetermined period. Pre-and postcourse questionnaires assessed learner knowledge pertaining to RARP. Results: All 13 learners completed the three-phase training course. Nine of 13 learners thought this course would be beneficial, although, 9 of 13 already thought that they were good RARP assistants before the course. Ten of 13 learners were able to complete the hands-on drills in the predetermined periods. On completion of the course, every learner thought the course was beneficial and that it should be repeated annually. Twelve of 13 thought that the course made them a better assistant and that their intra-abdominal spatial orientation was greatly improved. Seven of the learners thought the hands-on drills were the most beneficial portion of the course, while the other six found the step-by-step lecture the most beneficial. Conclusions: A three-phase hands-on RARP bedside assistant training course is beneficial to and desired by an experienced RARP team at least annually.
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