Equipment skills workshop

1. Introduction

Equipment skills workshops are primarily focused on technical aspects of endoscopic procedures. They also cover aspects of patient care relevant to the respective technique, health and safety issues for patients and staff (e.g. for diathermia, handling of sharp instruments, personnel protection measures) and hygiene aspects (e.g. disposal, reprocessing).

2. Aims and learning outcomes

Their overall aims are to familiarize staff with the safe use of equipment and to provide basic practice on the equipment.

At the end of equipment skills workshops the participants should be able to:

  • Demonstrate understanding of use of equipment (construction, safe use, practice during procedure)
  • Demonstrate understanding of theory (theory-practice-transfer)
  • Demonstrate understanding of advantages, risks, limitations and possible complications of equipment
  • Demonstrate understanding of possible alternatives, knowledge of trouble shooting and treatment of complications
  • Choose the appropriate equipment
  • Be aware of their competencies and limitations.

3. Target group

An equipment skills workshop is an optimal tool for training new staff or training the use of new equipment in endoscopy. It can easily be organized as short training sessions in daily routine, as it requires a low level of preparation.

If new staff members are to be trained, equipment skills workshops should be part of a structured teaching plan for new staff. New staff members require intensive training with a tutor:student ratio = 1:1.

Advanced staff who are trained on new equipment or who are receiving updates, do not need the same intensive attention. Therefore, a tutor:student ratio of 1:5–10 may be sufficient.

4. Different types of equipment skills workshops

Equipment skills workshops can be offered as:

  • In-house workshops in the clinical setting (e.g. in endoscopy unit)
  • Commercial workshops, organized by industry
  • Workshops during conferences and local meetings (organized by medical and nurses society with or without support of industry)
  • Part of formal courses and specialist education.

Each type has different advantages and limitations, which are listed in Table 3.

Table 3: Advantages and limitations of equipment skills workshops

Type of workshop



In-house workshop

  • New staff
  • Updates
  • Refreshers
  • Students
  • Visitors
  • New equipment
  • New procedures
  • Appropriate to local area
  • Address individual needs
  • In-house mentorship
  • Supervision
  • Easy access
  • All equipment on-site
  • Health and safety issues easy to follow
  • Staff familiar with environment
  • Combination with DOPs (direct observation of practice)


  • Limited variety of equipment
  • Staff levels
  • Time constraints
  • Interruption of daily routine
  • Difficult to plan in daily routine
  • Number of tutors is often limited

Commercial workshops organized at regional meetings or conferences

  • Away from hospital
  • Pre-arranged
  • Fixed time and duration
  • Greater insight (broader view)
  • Peer support (interchange of experience, discussion)


  • More organization
  • Fees, accommodation, travel
  • Costs for rooms, technique, catering,
  • Time away from unit
  • Staffing level


Workshops as part of formal courses and specialist education

  • Integrated
  • Official recognition
  • Formal assessment
  • Limitations depend on location and organization of formal courses


5. Structure

Equipment skills workshops can have the following structure:

  • Introduction into procedure
  • Related patient care (pre-, intra-, post-procedure care)
  • Equipment (constructions, functioning and use of equipment) 
  • Safety measures
  • Risk and complications including their prevention and treatment / actions to be taken
  • Aftercare, safe disposal of equipment.


  • Preparation of equipment
  • Handling during procedure including safety aspects
  • Trouble shooting including management of complications
  • Aftercare, safe disposal of equipment.

If workshops are performed at hospitals, it is useful to have observed the equipment in use during real procedures.

The workshop planning for equipment skills workshops is described in Appendix 5.