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01-12-2019 | Research | Uitgave 1/2019 Open Access

Journal of Foot and Ankle Research 1/2019

The podiatric surgery theatre environment in the UK; is it conducive to learning? A quantitative study using the surgical theatre educational environment measure (STEEM)

Journal of Foot and Ankle Research > Uitgave 1/2019
Thomas Austen, Simon Otter



In 2015 the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) reported that annotation of the register for podiatric surgery would improve the way in which risks are currently managed. The academic institutions provide the teaching environment for the ‘learnt’ Diploma in principles of podiatric surgery however the podiatric surgery departments facilitate the production of the next generation of podiatric surgeons. This research aimed to identify the major elements that contribute to the educational environment, and find and utilise a valid assessment tool which could identify discrete areas to be targeted for improvement as well as being used for monitoring of the environment.


A quantitative study using the Surgical Theatre Educational Environment Measure (STEEM) via an online tool was utilised for podiatrists working within podiatric surgery, podiatric surgical trainees and podiatric surgeons working towards the Certificate of Completion of Podiatric Surgery Training (CCPST) with a view to assessing the educational environment within the podiatric surgical theatre in the UK.


16/33 responses with a response rate of 48.4% the overall STEEM mean score was 122/160. Four subscales included teaching and training, learning opportunities, atmosphere, and workload/supervision/support were measured. The overall mean score of 76.73% suggests the learning environment may be considered satisfactory; however, areas for potential improvement are identifiable. Results reveal strengths such as a non-discriminatory surgical theatre atmosphere on racial grounds.


Perception was of a very satisfactory ‘Atmosphere’ within the theatre environment and a very satisfactory ‘opportunity to assist’ within the podiatric surgery theatre environment. The STEEM has potential to be applied further as a quality assessment tool whose results could be used to demonstrate part of the HCPC standards.

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