Identifying Nontechnical Skill Deficits in Trainees Through Interdisciplinary Trauma Simulation

Sarah Sullivan*, Krystle Campbell, Joshua C. Ross, Ryan Thompson, Alyson Underwood, Anne LeGare, Ingie Osman, Suresh K. Agarwal, Hee Soo Jung

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Objective: The goal of this study was to investigate nontechnical skills in a simulated trauma setting both before and after a debriefing session in order to better understand areas to target for the development of educational interventions. Design: Wilcoxon signed rank tests were used to compare scores on the 5 domains of the T-NOTECHS pre- and postdebriefings. A qualitative analysis using the PEARLS debriefing framework was performed to provide a rich description of the strategies used by the debriefing facilitators. Setting: The Joint Trauma Simulation Program is an interdisciplinary project designed to improve the quality of trauma care through simulation exercises emphasizing nontechnical skills development. Participants: Thirteen teams of 5 trauma trainees participated in trauma resuscitation simulations: a surgical chief resident, a surgical junior resident, an emergency medicine resident, and 2 emergency medicine nurses. Results: Teams significantly improved on communication and interaction skills in the simulation scenarios from pre- to postdebriefing. The debrief facilitators spent most of their time engaged in Directive Performance Feedback (56.13%). Conclusions: Interprofessional team simulation in trauma resuscitation scenarios followed by debriefing differently affected individual nontechnical skills domains. Additional facilitation strategies, such as focused facilitation and encouraging learner self-assessment, may target other nontechnical skills in different ways.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)978-983
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Surgical Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Interpersonal and Communication Skills
  • Patient Care
  • Professionalism
  • Systems-Based Practice
  • debriefing
  • resident education
  • simulation training
  • trauma


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