The “All of Us” study – non-clinical staff members’ experience of performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation in acute care settings

Mr Brad Chesham1

1Sunshine Coast Hopsital And Health Service, Birtinya, Australia


Some Australian hospitals use non-clinical staff to assist with chest compressions and ancillary duties during cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Whilst few studies have focused on psychological implications for non-clinical staff, research into other groups indicates that a lack of attention to psychological support may adversely impact individual wellbeing, team functioning and clinical performance.

The aim of this study was to explore how non-clinical workers were psychologically affected during cardiopulmonary resuscitation and factors that might mitigate adverse psychological effects.


This study utilised a multi-method design to investigate the experiences of non-clinical staff involved in CPR. Data was collected using semi-structured interviews and a validated Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) rating scale.


The study found that all 12 participants had experienced critical incident stress symptoms following their involvement in resuscitation attempts, though only one had ongoing evidence of PTS Disorder.

Participants felt that they needed more psychological preparation Post-incident debriefs had been helpful but inconsistently provided and facilitated. Peer support was seen as the most significant factor in mitigating the psychological impact of critical incidents.


This study shows that the development and formalisation of peer support networks for non-clinical health staff warrants serious consideration.

The study also indicates that non-clinical members of resuscitation teams may benefit from more psychological preparation and support with self-care.


Globally experienced critical care nurse with military and humanitarian exposure. Has a distinct interest in technology in education recently building a start-up business focused on implementing Virtual and Augmented Reality which will be supported by a PhD.