AaE: Anaesthetists' Non-Technical Skills (ANTS)

As early as the 1970's, the aviation industry realised that the majority of incidents and accidents which occurred were due to problems of human failure rather than technical error. Their solution was to introduce Crew Resource Management (CRM) training to address the underlying issues such as team working, communication and decision making.

In 2003 a taxonomy was developed to describe the non-technical or cognitive/behavioural aspects deemed most crucial in safe and effective Anaesthetic practice, called the ANTS (Anaesthetists’ Non-Technical Skills) Framework.  This framework was designed to help Anaesthetists recognise and assess non-technical behaviours and actions, in themselves and others.

This one-day course is designed for trainees, SAS doctors and Consultants, who wish to enhance their understanding of the human factors and non-technical skills as applied to Anaesthesia. It is also aimed at Anaesthetists in a clinical or educational supervisor role, who wish to become more familiar with using the ANTS framework for observation and feedback on non-technical skills in others.

Topics to be covered:

  • The theoretical concepts underlying each of the four categories in the ANTS framework (Situation Awareness, Decision Making, Task Management, Team Working) will be discussed in short presentations.
  • Videos of simulated clinical scenarios will be observed to facilitate scrutiny of behaviours related to each of the non-technical skills categories.
  • Facilitated discussion relating to observed performances in the videos will help participants to link behaviours to categories in the framework, and to use the ANTS tool for rating behaviours.
  • A final session will discuss aspects of using ANTS in clinical practice, with tips and suggestions for building up confidence and experience of using ANTS in the workplace.
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