Leadership is the essential non-technical skill in the trauma team - results of a qualitative study
1 Department of Acute Care, The BEST Foundation- Better & Systematic Trauma Care, Hammerfest Hospital, Hammerfest, Norway
2 Department of Ambulance Service, Division of Prehospital medicine, Oslo University Hospital, Norway
Scandinavian Journal of Trauma, Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine 2009, 17:48 doi:10.1186/1757-7241-17-48Published: 26 September 2009
Trauma is the leading cause of death for young people in Norway. Studies indicate that several of these deaths are avoidable if the patient receives correct initial treatment. The trauma team is responsible for initial hospital treatment of traumatized patients, and team members have previously reported that non-technical skills as communication, leadership and cooperation are the major challenges. Better team function could improve patient outcome. The aim of this study was to obtain a deeper understanding of which non-technical skills are important to members of the trauma team during initial examination and treatment of trauma patients.
Twelve semi-structured interviews were conducted at four different hospitals of various sizes and with different trauma load. At each hospital a nurse, an anaesthesiologist and a team leader (surgeon) were interviewed. The conversations were transcribed and analyzed using systematic text condensation according to the principles of Giorgi's phenomenological analysis as modified by Malterud.
Results and conclusion
Leadership was perceived as an essential component in trauma management. The ideal leader should be an experienced surgeon, have extensive knowledge of trauma care, communicate clearly and radiate confidence. Team leaders were reported to have little trauma experience, and the team leaders interviewed requested more guidance and supervision. The need for better training of trauma teams and especially team leaders requires further investigation and action.