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Surgical Innovation
November 10, 2021

Experiential Training for Situation Awareness in the Operating Room

Author Affiliations
  • 1RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences, Dublin, Ireland
JAMA Surg. 2022;157(1):66-67. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2021.4886

The fast-paced perioperative environment calls not only for expert clinical knowledge and technical skill but also the ability of surgical team members to gather and share information in real time. This ensures that an accurate understanding of all patient and environmental factors is developed and maintained throughout the operative procedure. This understanding is termed situation awareness, and it is crucially important for surgeons because it supports timely communication and accurate decision-making. There is mounting evidence demonstrating the impact of situation awareness on surgeons’ technical performance and also on team process and performance outcomes. For example, Mishra and colleagues1 showed a strong correlation between surgeons’ situational awareness and their technical outcomes in laparoscopic cholecystectomies. Similarly, review studies have shown that training to improve nontechnical skills such as situation awareness has the potential to improve team work and safety in the operating room.2

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