Training multiprofessional trauma teams in Norwegian hospitals using simple and low cost local simulations

Torben Wisborg, Guttorm Brattebø, Johannes Brattebø, Ase Brinchmann-Hansen
Education for Health 2006, 19 (1): 85-95

CONTEXT & OBJECTIVE: Norwegian hospitals' trauma teams are seldom exposed to severely injured patients. We developed and implemented a one-day multi-professional training course for hospital trauma teams in order to improve communication, cooperation and leadership.

METHODS: Training courses were held in 28 Norwegian hospitals with learning objectives: improved team work, common understanding of treatment priorities and principles, communication skills, and threats to efficient communication. Two trauma teams in each hospital had two consecutive simulations in their hospital's own emergency room, as part of the course. Simulation was based on real cases, with a low-fidelity mannequin as patient. Participants completed questionnaires before and after the training course.

RESULTS: A total of 2,860 trauma team members participated in the courses, of which 1,237 took part in the simulation. Independent of hospital size, the participants reported leadership and communication to be major obstacles during their last real trauma team participation. Immediately after the training, all participants reported highly fulfilled educational expectations and a high perception of learning, and taking part in the practical simulation improved the evaluation. Nurses scored their outcome significantly higher than physicians. Participants from minor hospitals reported as great a benefit from the training as personnel from major hospitals.

CONCLUSIONS: Local team training is a feasible approach and team simulation offers an excellent opportunity to practise demanding and infrequent challenges. The simulation format makes it possible to integrate training on interpersonal skills as well as communication and leadership under stress. Continued requests for such training in Norway support this conclusion.

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