Resuscitating the critically ill patient can often be quite stressful.
Stress has been shown to decrease the quality and effectiveness of decisions, decrease the amount of information a person can process, and lead to short-term memory deficits.
Recently, there has been emphasis on the use of performance-enhancing psychological skills (PEPS) to allow providers to think clearly, maintain situational awareness, recall important information, and perform skills efficiently.
A recent article highlights 4 key elements of an EM model for PEPS that can be used to improve performance in resuscitations.
Breathe - consider tactical breathing
Talk - positive instructional or motivational self-talk
See - visualize the steps of a procedure before actually performing it
Focus - use a trigger word as a prompt to shift attention to a prioritized task
Lauria M, et al. Psychological skills to improve emergency care providers' performance under stress. Ann Emerg Med. 2017; epub ahead of print.