Patients commonly present to the Emergency Department with a corneal foreign body (FB). There is currently a lack of adequate training for junior doctors in the management of this condition. Our self-made surrogate eye model aims to address this void in our junior doctors’ knowledge.
Participants were guided through a hands-on session with a slit-lamp using our eye model, which is made of a hemispherical agar embedded with pencil lead fragments simulating as FBs. Using a 7-point Likert scale, all participants completed a questionnaire both before and after training, for: (1) knowledge in corneal FB removal, (2) confidence in corneal FB removal, and (3) effectiveness of the model.
Out of 73 participants, 82.2% (60/73) had no prior experience in corneal FBs removal. After the training session, their knowledge improved from a median score of 2 (interquartile range [IQR] 1 to 3) to 5 (IQR 5 to 6), with improvement in confidence levels from 2 (IQR 1 to 2) to 5 (IQR 4 to 6). The effectiveness of our eye model scored a median of 6 (IQR 5 to 7).
Our surrogate eye model is low-cost, quick and easy to reproduce. After use, our learners expressed greater confidence in managing the removal of corneal FBs and use of slit lamp. With a recent focus in patient safety and quality, teaching this procedure via simulation is a safe way of bridging the gap between traditional didactic teaching and the clinical environment.