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.
- critical care transport
- accident prevention
- prehospital care, helicopter retrieval
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Abstract in Norwegian
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