Enhancing Splinting Confidence through Inter-Residency Education: An Educational Workshop


  • Alexander Wendling, M.D.
  • Matthew Vopat, M.D.
  • Om Patel, M.D.
  • Nathan Wool, M.D.
  • Nancy Davis, Ph.D.
  • Bradley Dart, M.D.




splints, internship and residency, education, orthopaedic surgery, family practice


Introduction. The initial treatment for many orthopaedic injuries is splinting. Unfortunately, formal musculoskeletal training is limited in primary care leading to deficiencies in competency and confidence. Suboptimal splints can result in complications such as skin breakdown, worsening of deformity, and increased pain. Our orthopaedic surgery clinic often cares for patients who initially present to an emergency department or primary care clinic for their orthopaedic injury. Previous studies have shown that a high number of splints are applied improperly in the primary care setting, which could result in in avoidable skin complications and fracture instability.

Methods. Orthopaedic surgery residents held a splinting workshop for family medicine residents. The workshop involved didactic and skills portions. Pre- and post-surveys were administered using a 10-point scale to assess confidence in applying three common splints. The data were analyzed using student’s t-test and qualitative feedback.

Results. Confidence in applying and molding each splint type improved significantly (p < 0.05). Knowledge in splint construction improved significantly as well (p < 0.05). Subjective feedback was positive.

Conclusion. These results showed inter-residency education can increase residents’ confidence in skill-based medical care significantly. The results are encouraging and should facilitate further collaboration between multispecialty residency programs to improve patient care. Further investigation is needed to determine how well skills gained in workshop are retained.






Original Research