Situational Awareness: Forecasting Successful Military Medical Teams

Danette F. Cruthirds, Karlen S. Bader-Larsen, Meghan Hamwey, Lara Varpio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Introduction: Military healthcare providers working in military interprofessional healthcare teams (MIHTs) require situational awareness (SA) to ensure safe and efficacious patient care. This study aimed to explore SA in MIHTs to understand how SA can be reinforced and maintained in MIHTs. The research team set out to answer two questions: "What aspects of individual and team SA are particularly important for MIHTs?"and "How can we enable military healthcare providers to be effective MIHTs members with robust SA?". Methods: This study used Grounded Theory methodology collecting perspectives from 30 study participants from various backgrounds, including 11 different healthcare professions from the U.S. Army, Air Force, and Navy. Each study participant had experiences participating in, leading one, or leading many MIHTs. Data were collected in three cycles and analyzed within each cycle until saturation was reached. Results: Five themes were robustly represented in the data set regarding SA: (1) contextually informed adaptability, (2) readiness, (3) trust, (4) communication, and (5) mission focus. Conclusions: The urgency often faced by MIHTs brings SA and the principles that underpin SA into sharper focus. The SA themes identified in this research may provide insight into training effectiveness, team strengths and weaknesses, and team performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-41
Number of pages7
JournalMilitary Medicine
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2021
Externally publishedYes


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