Halsted’s Model of Learning

Nursing theories

open access articles on nursing theories and models

Halsted’s Model of Learning

William Stewart Halsted (1852-1922)1

  • Halsted made many contributions to surgery practice and training.2,3
  • Halsted introduced the traditional method of teaching surgery as "See one - do one - teach one" concept.4
  • He is the co-founder of Johns Hopkins Hospital.
  • Halsted's principles (Tenets of Halsted) are the basic principles of surgical technique regarding tissue handling.5
  1. Gentle handling of tissue
  2. Meticulous haemostasis
  3. Preservation of blood supply
  4. Strict aseptic technique
  5. Minimum tension on tissues
  6. Accurate tissue apposition
  7. Obliteration of deadspace

Key concepts

  • Learning principles such as “Experience, Observation, Thinking and Action” as well as deliberate practice can be used to train tsudents.4
  • Mentoring is an important aspect in teaching surgical technique.4
  • Competency-based training system in surgery using standardized patients, virtual reality applications, and high-fidelity mannequin simulators has changed the traditional Halsted’s surgery training.6 


  1. William Stewart Halsted. In: Wikipedia [Internet]. 2024 [cited 2024 May 13]. Available from: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=William_Stewart_Halsted&oldid=1218953900
  2. Rankin JS. William Stewart Halsted. Ann Surg. 2006 Mar;243(3):418–25.
  3. Cameron JL. William Stewart Haisted Our Surgical Heritage. Ann Surg. 1997;225(5).
  4. Kotsis SV, Chung KC. Application of See One, Do One, Teach One Concept in Surgical Training. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2013 May;131(5):1194–201.
  5. Halsted’s principles. In: Wikipedia [Internet]. 2023 [cited 2024 May 13]. Available from: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Halsted%27s_principles&oldid=1140337321
  6. Barnes RW, Lang NP, Whiteside MF. Halstedian technique revisited. Innovations in teaching surgical skills. Ann Surg. 1989 Jul;210(1):118–21.
This page was last updated on: 13/05/2024