Human Factor Training for high fidelity teams within the Emergency Department

Miss Tanya Boghikian1
1Western Health, Footscray, Australia

Non-clinical human factor skills are currently assumed to be naturally acquired with experience through professional maturation. Training is focused on the clinical components of patient care, however no formal training currently exists for emergency department staff to equip clinicians with the non-clinical skills that allow for cohesive teamwork in a high stress environment. Adverse individual interactions within the team have been proven to profoundly affect patient outcomes. Evidence suggests that poor professional exchanges – conflict, power struggles, poor communication and deficient leadership – lead to harmful outcomes. Couple these components with a high stress and time poor emergency department the risk increases considerably. Human factor skills training, encompasses teaching core communication, leadership and followship role clarity, repetitive simulation with collaborative team training, as well as familiarity with practice environment and orientation to equipment.

My vision is to create a formal human factors training program for nursing staff in the emergency department. Having conducted needs assessment surveys amongst staff, key non-clinical skills that were not formally taught were identified. We have already commenced components of this training program in the form of in-situ simulation with key human factor objectives accompanying clinical objectives, communication training such as graded assertiveness, role clarity within the resuscitation team, activities to embed orientation to equipment and environment and individual practice reflection through regular shift debriefing.

Tanya has been a registered nurse for 8 years. Having had broad-based training across the acute specialties she has settled on a career in emergency nursing. Fascinated by the diverse patient population within emergency departments and the high fidelity environment in which the teams treat this patient cohort, she became interested in the human factor elements behind the clinical skill and how we can improve as a team ultimately to improve patient care. In her spare time, having completed a-month long hiking trip across Spain last year, Tanya enjoys training for further long distance hiking ventures to come.