A Delphi study identifying operating room nurses’ non-technical skills
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionSirevåg, I., Tjoflåt, I., Hansen, B.S. (2021) A Delphi study identifying operating room nurses’ non-technical skills. Journal of Advanced Nursing. 10.1111/jan.15064
Aim To identify the non-technical skills of operating room nurses. This is the first empirical study that includes scrub and circulating operating room nurses. Design A three-round modified online Delphi technique was used for this study. Methods Eligible participants (n = 106) with a minimum of 2 years of operating room nursing experience were selected for the expert panel by self-recruitment from a population (N = 1640) of operating room nurses. Data were collected through online surveys, based on crew recourse management theory, between April and September 2020. Descriptive statistics analysis was used for the quantitative data, and deductive thematic analysis for the qualitative data. Consensus was determined using stability between the survey rounds. Results A consensus was obtained to maintain the non-technical skills categories of situation awareness, leadership, decision-making, communication and teamwork. The qualitative data revealed several novel non-technical skills, including independent decision-making and leadership skills. Conclusion The non-technical skills of operating room nurses are more extensive than previously identified. This study has contributed to a verbalization of the tacit knowledge and skills of the operating room nurses. In addition, a list of non-technical skills that should be included in the education of operating room nurses to ensure patient safety in the operating room has been prepared. Impact This study addresses the lack of research on the non-technical skills of operating room nurses. When exploring the non-technical skills of scrub and circulating nurses, a diversity of novel non-technical skills was uncovered. This research will provide input for the development of a new training, supervision and assessment tool for accelerated development of the non-technical skills of operating room nurses. This contribution to the verbalization of the formerly tacit non-technical skills may facilitate clinical and formal teaching of such skills and may subsequently impact surgery-related patient safety.