Traditionally, undergraduate emergency medical care (EMC) training programs have, over the years, typically focussed on developing individuals with proficiency in clinical skills who can perform complex procedures in the act of administering safe and effective emergency care in the pre-hospital setting. A shortcoming of this training relates to the attention given to the soft skills needed to work efficiently in a team-based environment. Crisis resource management (CRM) is a structured, evidence-based approach to training that is designed to enhance teamwork performance in critical circumstances where the absence of coordinated teamwork could lead to undesired outcomes.
A narrative review of GOOGLE SCHOLAR, MEDLINE, PUBMED, CINAHL as well as paramedic-specific journals was conducted. Articles were included if they examined the importance of CRM in pre-hospital emergency care; training undergraduate pre-hospital emergency care students on the principles and practices of CRM; and non-technical skills in pre-hospital emergency care.
Researchers found limited articles related to CRM and the pre-hospital emergency care setting. Our findings reveal that CRM focusses on addressing non-technical skills necessary for effective teamwork and that those identified to be relevant for effective teamwork in pre-hospital emergency care setting include situation awareness, decision-making, verbal communication, teamwork as well as leadership and followership skills.
Effective team management is a core element of expert practice in emergency medicine. When practised in conjunction with medical and technical expertise, CRM can reduce the incidence of clinical error and contribute to effective teamwork and the smooth running of a pre-hospital emergency care plan.
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