Ergonomic Education and Training for Surgical Assistant Trainees

Anna R. Linden, M. Susan Hallbeck, Melissa Morrow, Becca Gas, Helga Olson, Bethany R. Lowndes

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


There is a growing awareness of the physical demands of performing surgery and the need for ergonomic education and training, extending beyond the primary surgeon to other members of the surgical team who are also at risk for musculoskeletal injury. In this study, nine Surgical First Assistants received knowledge-based ergonomic education before their body postures were evaluated using inertial measurement units in an anatomy training lab setting and again in the operating room (OR). Five of those trainees comprised the intervention group, receiving a personalized report detailing their level of ergonomic risk, while the other four did not receive this individual feedback. The intervention group significantly improved their neck and left arm posture during the anatomy lab training with carryover into the OR, indicating some retention of ergonomic concepts, while the control group did not. The integration of wearable technology and individualized feedback into traditional educational settings helped trainees learn about their own behaviors and practice strategies for reducing risks in the OR with greater retention compared to knowledge-based education alone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)688-692
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes
Event63rd International Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, HFES 2019 - Seattle, United States
Duration: Oct 28 2019Nov 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics


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