After three challenging talks, we are going to feel emotional. Emotions create a cognitive load and impact on learning. We will need to debrief. Jon, Renee and Clare will guide us through our reactions phase, an essential component of debriefing, whether after real or simulated complex emotional events. This is where we deal with emotions to improve learning. We need to go there, whether we are facilitating the discussion or another member of the team.
Talking about emotions is tough. We might feel exposed and reveal our vulnerabilities. We may be reluctant to relive sadness, fear, guilt or anger. We may not be able to articulate our feelings or even understand them.
As facilitators we must tread carefully, not overstep our role, leave the team members feeling valued and in control. At the same time, we need to manage our own fear of drawing out the emotions of others.
Jon, Renee and Clare will give you some simple tools to help you facilitate and participate in the reactions phase of a post-event debrief. We need to recognise emotional red flags, and explore those emotions, so that we can begin to understand how they affect our thoughts and behaviours. Naming the emotion helps us to move from raw feelings into the cognitive domain. As a facilitator, we can help further by normalising emotions, offering empathy, coaching and support.
Clare is an emergency physician and prehospital and retrieval medicine specialist working in Sydney, NSW. She is the director of training at Sydney HEMS and still returns to the Sydney Clinical Skills and Simulation centre to keep involved in the sim world. Her involvement in SMACC started with handing Simon Carley a large snake in Sydney and has continued through simulation and SMACCForce where we’ve pushed the boundaries of simulation in conferences. Outside of work she spends her time with her dog, Archie or practising and studying yoga.