Safer Australian Surgical Teamwork

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Course Overview

Research shows that a breakdown in non-technical skills (NTS) frequently contributes to adverse outcomes. The training offered in the SAST workshops seeks to address these breakdowns, and thereby improve safety in the operating theatre and patient outcomes.

The project brings together surgeons, anaesthetists and scrub practitioners in a collaborative, cross-disciplined one day workshop, improving situational awareness, decision making, leadership, task management, communication skills and teamwork. The workshop will utilise three behavioural marker frameworks – Non-Technical Skills for Surgeons (NOTSS), Anaesthetists’ Non-Technical Skills (ANTS) and Scrub Practitioners’ List of Intra-operative Non-Technical Skills (SPLINTS) developed by The University of Aberdeen, Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and the National Health Service.

RACS delivered three one-day workshops in 2014, and is delivering a further five in 2015.  As in 2014, the 2015 workshops will be delivered by a mixed craft group faculty in regional hospitals, using NOTSS, ANTS and SPLINTS behavioural marker frameworks. The group will concentrate on team work and team dynamics by exploring the behaviours outlined in the frameworks, looking at similarities and differences for each non-technical category.

While the 2014 workshops utilised video content from the NOTSS course, in 2015, new content with a more multidisciplinary focus was produced by RACS, in conjunction with the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA), the Australian College of Nursing (ACN), and the Australian College of Operating Room Nurses (ACORN).

SAST Video Content (auto-download)

Scenario 1 – Communication (Post-Thyroid Bleed)

Scenario 2 – Situational Awareness (Adenoidectomy)

Scenario 3 – Leadership and Teamwork (Sigmoid Colectomy)



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Course Materials