Interprofessional non-technical skills for surgeons in disaster response: a qualitative study of the Australian perspective

Anneliese Willems, Bruce Philip Waxman, Andrew Bacon, Julian Anderson Smith, Jennifer Peller, Simon Collingwood Kitto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Interprofessional non-technical skills for surgeons in disaster response have not yet been developed. The aims of this study were to identify the non-technical skills required of surgeons in disaster response and training for disaster response and to explore the barriers and facilitators to interprofessional practice in surgical teams responding to disasters. Twenty health professionals, with prior experience in natural disaster response or education, participated in semi-structured in-depth interviews. A qualitative matrix analysis design was used to thematically analyze the data. Non-technical skills for surgeons in disaster response identified in this study included skills for austere environments, cognitive strategies and interprofessional skills. Skills for austere environments were physical self-care including survival skills, psychological self-care, flexibility, adaptability, innovation and improvisation. Cognitive strategies identified in this study were big picture thinking, situational awareness, critical thinking, problem solving and creativity. Interprofessional attributes include communication, team-player, sense of humor, cultural competency and conflict resolution skills. Interprofessionalism in disaster teams also emerged as a key factor in this study and incorporated elements of effective teamwork, clear leadership, role adjustment and conflict resolution. The majority of participants held the belief that surgeons needed training in non-technical skills in order to achieve best practice in disaster response. Surgeons considerring becoming involved in disaster management should be trained in these skills, and these skills should be incorporated into disaster preparation courses with an interprofessional focus.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177 - 183
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Interprofessional Care
Volume27
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Cite this