How can we enhance situational awareness?
- Pre-task briefing
- Sterile cockpit concept: Avoid unnecessary distractions
- Active information gathering through scanning
- Cross checking: Ask other team members
- Re-check information after interruption or distraction
- Use open rather than leading questions
- Encourage junior staff to speak up if concerned
- Realize that even experts can make errors…and put a heart valve in upside down
- Have a safe word, such as “watermelon,” which means stop. And then use it. And stop
Self-check and CUSS
I’M SAFE is the mnemonic for a self-check list at the beginning of the day and when starting new or major procedures. Are you having any negative effects from the following?
- Medication (e.g., codeine for a toothache, antihistamines for a cold, coping with a runny nose behind a surgical mask)
- Stress (personal relationships and time pressures)
- Abuse (substance and alcohol, and its after-effects)
- Emotion (rudeness, anger, aggression, and personal grief) and Eating (impact of hypoglycemia)