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Paramedics' non-technical skills: a literature review


Healthcare organisations have started to examine the impact that the human worker has on patient safety. Adopting the Crew Resource Management (CRM) approach, used in aviation, the CRM or non-technical skills of anaesthetists, surgeons, scrub practitioners and emergency physicians have recently been identified to assist in their training and assessment. Paramedics are exposed to dynamic and dangerous situations where patients have to be managed, often with life-threatening injuries or illness. As in other safety-critical domains, the technical skills of paramedics are complemented by effective non-technical skills. The aim of this paper was to review the literature on the non-technical (social and cognitive) skills used by paramedics. This review was undertaken as part of a task analysis to identify the non-technical skills used by paramedics. Of the seven papers reviewed, the results have shown very little research on this topic and so reveal a gap in the understanding of paramedic non-technical skills.

  • Crew resource management
  • patient safety
  • paramedic non-technical skills
  • error avoidance
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