I was four years into my training as an eye surgeon in the early 1980s. At that time it took most people, myself included, about 25 minutes to do an operation to replace a misty lens in an eye (a cataract) with a new little plastic one (a lens implant).
At that time a new video camera had been added to the operating microscope, letting us video our operations and watch them. So I videoed my next cataract operation and took the recording home to watch. What I saw was remarkable. For about two thirds of the time nothing seemed to be happening. During the 'down time' I had been exchanging implements, or I had been planning the next step.
That evening I carefully watched and then mentally planned out each and every step of my next cataract operation. My operating list was the next day. I went over these steps with my assistant and together we planned out the sequence of instrument exchange in advance. I set up the video camera, and started operating. Watching this next video after work once more, it was remarkable to see that the operation had taken just over 10 minutes, and there was little if any down time. From then on, my surgery became more efficient. However it had only been by watching my own performance, that I gained insight into the quality of my work, and was able to improve on this.
Is there a lesson one can learn from this story, that will help those with CVI?
I believe there is.
Using videos to record events, whether it is an event one has just seen, or it is a video of one's own performance gives the chance to look back to see what one can't see in real time, and to learn from this.
Those with CVI cannot know what they have not seen, so the chance to look again can be invaluable, as it gives the opportunity and the time to see what others have seen.
Recording events like this can be used in many other ways, as explained on this page on the CVI Scotland website that gives some useful ideas and tips along these lines.
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