Practice Improvement| Volume 44, ISSUE 1, P19-25, January 2018

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Impact of a TeamSTEPPS Trauma Nurse Academy at a Level 1 Trauma Center



      Nurses are crucial members of the team caring for the acutely injured trauma patient. Until recently, nurses and physicians gained an understanding of leadership and supportive roles separately. With the advent of a multidisciplinary team approach to trauma care, formal team training and simulation has transpired.


      Since 2007, our Level I trauma system has integrated TeamSTEPPS (Team Strategies & Tools to Enhance Performance & Patient Safety; Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD) into our clinical care, joint training of nurses and physicians, using simulations with participation of all health care providers. With the increased expectations of a well-orchestrated team and larger number of emergency nurses, our program created the Trauma Nurse Academy. This academy provides a core of experienced nurses with an advanced level of training while decreasing the variability of personnel in the trauma bay. Components of the academy include multidisciplinary didactic education, the Essentials of TeamSTEPPS, and interactive trauma bay learning, to include both equipment and drug use. Once completed, academy graduates participate in the orientation and training of General Surgery and Emergency Medicine residents’ trauma bay experience and injury prevention activities.


      Internal and published data have demonstrated growing evidence linking trauma teamwork training to knowledge and self-confidence in clinical judgment to team performance, patient outcomes, and quality of care.

      Implications for practice

      Although trauma resuscitations are stressful, high risk, dynamic, and a prime environment for error, new methods of teamwork training and collaboration among trauma team members have become essential.
      Contribution to Emergency Nursing Practice
      • Growing evidence links trauma teamwork training to superior team performance, patient outcomes, and quality of care.
      • Education and training for emergency nurses, as essential members of the trauma team, should ensure clinical and teamwork competence.
      • Well-designed education incorporating TeamSTEPPS® and multidisciplinary simulation-based training may improve emergency nurse knowledge, confidence, and team member performance in high-risk resuscitation settings.

      Key words

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      V. Kristen Peters is Emergency Department Unit Educator, Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, Roanoke, VA.


      Ellen M. Harvey is Clinical Nurse Specialist, Trauma Services, Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, Roanoke, VA.


      Andi Wright is Director, Trauma Services, Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, Roanoke, VA.


      Jennifer Bath is Clinical Nurse Specialist, Trauma Services, Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, Roanoke, VA.


      Dan Freeman is Quality & Performance Improvement Coordinator, Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, Roanoke, VA.


      Bryan Collier is Associate Professor of Surgery, Section Chief and Medical Director of Trauma, Section Chief of Surgical Critical Care, Director of Surgical Nutrition, Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, Roanoke, VA.