Newsletter January 2021: Belgian Anesthesia Trainees

The BAT (Belgian Anesthesia Trainees) is an independent organisation set up a few years ago to represent the interests of Belgian anaesthesia trainees in different institutions on different levels. Its primary aim is to unify and improve training on a national level. In this regard, we strive to give each trainee access to simulation training, loco-regional anaesthesia training and certified ALS courses. In order to ensure a well-rounded anaesthesia training, the BAT states that the following must be part of an anaesthesia program:

Preoperative skills

    • Knowledge of the preoperative management and preoperative consultation of a patient undergoing surgery.
    • A rotation in the emergency department, with pre-hospital interventions. In Flanders, this will be a mandatory part of the basic training. We strongly suggest equality in training between Flanders and Wallonia.

Perioperative skills

    • Basic knowledge of anaesthesia for all types of surgery and intervention (except cardiac surgery) for adult as well as paediatric patients. Some training in cardiac anaesthesia should be obtained. Specific technical skills are summarised further in the text.
    • Simulation and resuscitation training should be a major part of every resident’s training

Postoperative skills

    • Management of patients in the recovery room.
    • Knowledge of management of acute postoperative pain and experience with acute postoperative pain services.
    • A rotation in the (postoperative or mixed postoperative and medical) intensive care unit.
    • A rotation in the pain clinic. In Flanders, this will be a mandatory part of the basic training. We strongly suggest equality in training between Flanders and Wallonia.

Specific Technical skills

    • Single lung ventilation and thoracic surgery airway management: At least 25 cases of single lung ventilation, regardless of the lung isolation technique.

Echography in all its useful forms for the anaesthetist (vascular access – loco-regional anaesthesia – basic echocardiography)

    • Loco-regional anaesthesia: At least 25 of each of the 4 ‘basic’ nerve blocks (Popliteal, Femoral, Axillary and Interscalene) should be obtained after 5 years of training.
    • ALS training: This should be basic training for every resident. A yearly refreshment of resuscitation skills (possibly through simulation training) is strongly recommended.

Over last year, we have also tried to exchange scientific knowledge that might interest the Belgian trainee by having a virtual journal club every Monday in what we call ‘BAT PubMed Monday’. In this optic, we have succeeded in simplifying Belgian anaesthesia society memberships. By working together, we were able for the first time, to offer a 5-year membership for all the 5 Belgian anaesthesia societies at a reduced rate. This immense work now allows the Belgian trainee to easily become a member of the following societies:

  • The Society for Anesthesia and Resuscitation of Belgium (SARB)
  • L’Association Professionnelle Belge des Médecins Spécialistes en Anesthésie Réanimation / Belgische Beroepsvereniging van Artsen-Specialisten in Anesthesie en Reanimatie (BSAR/APSAR)
  • The Belgian Association for Regional Anesthesia (BARA)
  • The Belgian Association for Paediatric Anaesthesiology (BAPA)

And last but not least

  • The Belgian Anesthesia Trainees (BAT)

This is extremely important for junior trainees as it gives access to societies with different interests, therefore allowing a broad training.

For the BAT,

Shaun De Meirsman
Sarah Saxena









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