Novice Guide

Published: 06/06/2023

Getting started

It can be very daunting starting a new job in a new specialty and working environment. This timeline will hopefully give you an idea of what to expect, and what to aim for – and help make the process as smooth as possible. It’s important to remember that your experience may differ and this is a rough guide. 

Before you start

Day one

  • Get in early and find the anaesthetic department! 
  • Your departmental induction programme should include: 
    • a tour around theatres 
    • where to get changed 
    • how to get a locker & some theatre shoes 
    • important door codes & phone numbers 
    • information about your rota 
    • how to find your theatre lists.
  • You should also meet, or find out about the following people: 
    • your college tutor 
    • your educational supervisor 
    • the rota organiser 
    • the departmental admin team.

Week one

By the end of week one you should: 

  • know your way around the operating theatres 

  • have pre-assessed some patients 

  • be able to prepare commonly used drugs 

  • have taken steps to arrange your first meeting with your educational supervisor 

  • have started utilising a logbook to record your cases 

  • have started thinking about the LLP and the evidence you need to complete the Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs) & initial assessment of competence (IAC)

  • have explored  module-1 on the e-LA platform.

Three to six months

By this stage in your training you should: 

  • have completed your IAC on the LLP 

  • start to feel more proficient in anaesthetising ASA I-II patients for common elective and urgent/emergency procedures 

  • start on call duties if novices contribute to this in your department

  • be more familiar with the LLP.

Six months

By now you should: 

  • have completed your IAC 

  • be on the on-call rota 

  • have completed an appropriate number of SLEs & gathered other evidence towards a variety of stage 1 learning outcomes 

  • review the stage 1 requirements in the curriculum and LLP. 

The years beyond… 

Further targets include:  

  • Initial Assessment of Competence in Obstetric Anaesthesia (IACOA), comprised of EPAs 3 and 4 

  • Primary FRCA exam 

  • completion of all stage 1 training HALOs and the Stage 1 training certificate 

  • applying for a ST4 post.