3 Ways Team Training Can Improve Your Robotics Program

In a recent blog about components of a successful robotic surgery simulation program, team Training was listed as one of the important factors.

‘The study, Teaching Surgical Skills – Changes in the Wind, published in the New England Journal of Medicine by Dr. Richard Reznick, et al., stated, “Virtual reality has the potential to enhance surgical-team training as well as technical skills training. In aviation, teamwork training with simulation has been instrumental in reducing errors. The importance of teamwork in preventing medical error is well recognized, and simulator-based team training has been advocated as a possible preventive approach. Early research results have been promising.”‘

The ability to incorporate team training within a simulation training curricula ensures that the trainees will have well-rounded skills such as communication and movement coordination in addition to being proficient in operating the tool they are training for. So how, specifically, can you improve your robotics program with team training?Mimic4801-XTT-PP-C

Mimic’s Xperience Team Trainer (XTT) is a haptic-enabled laparoscopic trainer that connects to the dV-Trainer, allowing both the first assistant the console surgeon to work together. Currently, the XTT ships with 24 different exercises, of which, 11 are laparoscopic only. These lap-only training exercises allow the first assistant to develop simple skills in areas such as object manipulation, suturing & knot tying, needle control, or in the use of energy and dissection.

The other 11 exercises included are meant to develop skills such as transfers and handoffs, retraction, or clip application and also include a team-training playground environment for those who want to have some fun and practice in a free-form space.

Amongst the available exercises for Mimic’s robotic surgery simulation, Pick and Place is definitely a favorite on the dV-Trainer, the da Vinci© Skills Simulator, and now on the XTT as well. Making this same exercise available on the XTT allows for skills to be tested in a laparoscopic environment as well as in a team mode. Doing the same exercise on both the robotic console and with laparoscopic tools helps to illustrate the differences between the two.

In addition, utilizing simulation training outside of the OR, the XTT allows for:

  1. Better OR Team Communication
    When used together with Mimic’s dV-Trainer, the XTT helps to develop basic skills as it facilitates rehearsal of interaction between the console-side surgeon and the first assist. Learning to work together in both physical movement and verbal communication, in a safe virtual reality environment, helps surgical teams to develop confidence in their ability to work well together. Trainers who have used team training as part of their curriculum have noted that the debrief is often as important as the training exercise itself.
  1. Refinement of Laparoscopic Skills for the First Assistant

In addition to training together with the console-side surgeon, the first assistant can also practice psychomotor skills specific to laparoscopy using the XTT for lap-only exercises. While this is not intended as a standalone laparoscopic trainer, it will help the first assist develop confidence in their ability to work in this environment. It can also be used as a simple way to test an individual’s innate ability.

  1. Learning Port Placement and Training in Multiple Port Positions

Unfortunately, in the real world the first assistant is not always standing comfortably in relation to the patient. Given the position of the patient side cart and the robotic arms, the first assistant is not always in the most ideal position. The XTT can be adjusted to various different port positions that allow the first assistant to practice setting up the laparoscopic instruments to match realistic environments. These Port Placement exercises break down the complicated set up requirements of robotic surgery.


Click here to learn more about the XTT. Email info@MimicSimulation.com or call (800) 918-1670 to speak to someone at Mimic to learn more about how to maximize your investment in robotic surgery through simulation training.