TeamSTEPPS helps turn a team of experts into an expert team

By (Courtesy article) | 3d Medical Command (Deployment Support) | Jan. 14, 2020


“Communication is key” is a cliché that can be overused in sports, business and military circles. But, when it comes to emergency medicine, successful communication is integral to quality care and treatment.      

One of the ways the 946th and 936th Forward Surgical Teams advance communication in preparation for upcoming deployments is completing TeamSTEPPS training at the Mayo Multidisciplinary Simulation Center in Rochester, Minn.

Speaking to Soldiers at the training, 3d Medical Command (Deployment Support), Deputy Commanding General, Brig. Gen. Nelson Rosen said, “TeamSTEPPS gives you tools to conduct critical communication. This is a framework for how to operate and communicate as a team; this training breaks down silos than can occur.”

The key principles of TeamSTEPPS are, communication, leadership, situation, monitoring and mutual support and combines the efforts and support of Mayo Clinic, AMEDD, MRTC and RTS-MED to provide realistic training and immediate feedback utilizing state of the art equipment.

The Mayo MSC engages Soldiers using computer controlled patient and video recording of events allowing for immediate feedback and areas of improvement.

Col. Joe Johnson, Medical Director for TeamSTEPPS exercise, said, “Teamwork and skills utilize tools, highlight strengths and identify both negative and positive conflicts. This training give Soldiers tools to conduct critical communication and a framework to better operate as a team.”

Maj. Bethany Parker, Commander for the 946th FRST said, “The team building here has been invaluable, we don’t get to work in a clinical setting for a full weekend like we do here.”

Parker added, “The team focused dynamic gives me an opportunity to observe my Soldiers in both large and small teams. When I deployed previously to Afghanistan I was an individual Soldier and didn’t get the opportunity to work with my team prior to deploying.”

After observing a mass causality simulation involving smoke, noise and chaos, Lt. Col. James Williams, a Health Services officer with the 3d MC(DS) supporting the training said, “The value of Mayo would be hard to replicate elsewhere, this facility helps to turn a team of experts into an expert team.”

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