Accredited Certificate in Simulation-Based Training in Human Factors in Patient Safety


It is not an uncommon observation that healthcare professionals can have preconceived notions regarding what human factors involves. Some physicians will have been involved with ‘debriefing’ in the context of a managing a challenging clinical case such as a cardiac arrest, or a major trauma scenario.

People often think of non-technical skills, such as communication, leadership, teamwork, situational awareness. But the principles of human factors are equally applicable to technical skills, including our equipment, our staff, our work environment, and the system of our healthcare delivery.

This three-day certificate provides an introduction to human factors in healthcare. Each day has a separate overall theme, and begins with an overall introductory lecture, followed by a series of practical and interactive workshops developing on the key theme.

On completion, successful participants will be awarded an RCSI-accredited CPD-SS Certificate in Pre-hospital Emergency Medicine.

Learning outcomes

Day 1: Communication Skills – Wednesday, 6 March 2024

This is a classroom-based day, which involves a series of interactive workshops. It covers a basic introduction to the multifaceted world of human factors, and how it applies to healthcare. During the day, a recording of a complex clinical scenario involving significant safety challenges will be discussed. Through an interactive workshop we will explore how applying the principles of human factors may help to identify underlying causative and contributory factors in such challenging clinical circumstances. The non-technical skill of communication in healthcare will be explored, while barriers to communication and different models and tools that may aid in optimising communication will also be discussed. Some main learning objectives include:

  • Discussing and appraising the principles of human factors in patient safety in healthcare.
  • Demonstrating effective communication skills for use with patients and their families.
  • Describing how to address expectations and strong emotions in patients and their families.

Day 2: Multi-Disciplinary Team Training –Tuesday, 26 March 2024

This day is a simulation-based educational day and focuses on the principles of emergency crisis resource management. Candidates will be given the opportunity to participate in teams and be immersed in managing a number of complex clinical scenarios. Each scenario will be followed by a debrief during which we will explore the principles of crisis resource management. Some main learning objectives include:

  • Discussing and appraising the principles of crisis resource management, and how the principles can be applied in the hospital setting at times of acute crisis.
  • Recognising environmental and ergonomic challenges in crisis management.
  • Demonstrating effective leadership and teamwork skills.
  • Discussing and demonstrating situational awareness, including attention allocation and effective distribution of workload.

Day 3: Train the Trainer – Monday, 22 April 2024

This day involves a series of interactive workshops incorporating simulation-based education, and focuses on the principles of adult educational theory, with a particular emphasis for feedback on performance. It is not infrequent for doctors working in EDs, operating theatres or in ICU to experience challenging scenarios involving sudden patient deterioration. There are often occasions when we leave such scenarios feeling that some aspects may not have went as well as desired. While patient outcomes are at the heart of what we do, a well-run resuscitation attempt is not defined by patient survival alone. Candidates will be given the opportunity to participate in teams and to observe and then be involved in debriefing the team. This day will also explore different models that exist for debriefing strategies, and the potential benefits of debriefing. Some main learning objectives include:

  • Demonstrate skills for giving effective feedback on performance.
  • Familiarity with de-briefing techniques.
  • Critical evaluation of existing frameworks for giving feedback in the clinical and simulation environment.

Suitable for: SHOs and registrars in emergency medicine, general and acute medicine, critical care, and all surgical specialities