• Simulation-based training and assessment of non-technical skills in the Norwegian Helicopter Emergency Medical Services: a cross-sectional survey

    by Alan Batt. Last modified: 27/10/14

    hems

     

    Abrahamsen H, Sollid S, Öhlund L, Røislien J, Bondevik G (2014) Simulation-based training and assessment of non-technical skills in the Norwegian Helicopter Emergency Medical Services: a cross-sectional survey. Emerg Med J online 2014;0:1–7 – free full text here

    openaccess

    Abstract

    Background

    Human error and deficient non-technical skills (NTSs) among providers of ALS in helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) is a threat to patient and operational safety. Skills can be improved through simulation-based training and assessment.

    Objective

    To document the current level of simulation-based training and assessment of seven generic NTSs in crew members in the Norwegian HEMS.

    Methods

    A cross-sectional survey, either electronic or paper-based, of all 207 physicians, HEMS crew members (HCMs) and pilots working in the civilian Norwegian HEMS (11 bases), between 8 May and 25 July 2012.

    Results

    The response rate was 82% (n=193). A large proportion of each of the professional groups lacked simulation-based training and assessment of their NTSs. Compared with pilots and HCMs, physicians undergo statistically significantly less frequent simulation-based training and assessment of their NTSs. Fifty out of 82 (61%) physicians were on call for more than 72 consecutive hours on a regular basis. Of these, 79% did not have any training in coping with fatigue. In contrast, 72 out of 73 (99%) pilots and HCMs were on call for more than 3 days in a row. Of these, 54% did not have any training in coping with fatigue.

    Conclusions

    Our study indicates a lack of simulation-based training and assessment. Pilots and HCMs train and are assessed more frequently than physicians. All professional groups are on call for extended hours, but receive limited training in how to cope with fatigue.

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    Alan Batt

    Alan Batt

    Paramedic, educator, researcher
    Alan is a critical care paramedic, paramedic educator and prehospital researcher, currently working around the world as an educator and researcher. He has previously worked and studied across Europe, North America and the Middle East. He holds a Graduate Certificate in Intensive Care Paramedic Studies, and an MSc in Critical Care. His main interests are in care of the elderly, end-of-life care, patient safety, professionalism (including role and identity), and paramedic education.

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