Exploring the factors that influence trauma team activation in emergency department staff
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Exploring the factors that influence trauma team activation in emergency department staff

Bethany Hannah Cooper Deputy sister, York

Why you should read this article:
  • To be aware of factors influencing a decision to activate the trauma team

  • To identify the importance of trauma-specific training and the support of senior staff in enhancing the confidence of less experienced colleagues

  • To recognise that trauma team activation may be inconsistent in trauma units

Regional trauma networks enable the rapid and safe management and transfer of patients with traumatic injury between designated trauma units and one of 27 major trauma centres throughout the UK. Multispecialty trauma teams are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and are activated immediately upon receipt of a patient presenting with major trauma. With most serious trauma patients going direct to major trauma centres rather than a less specialised hospital-based trauma unit, it can be challenging for hospital-based trauma unit staff to gain experience and skill in this area, leading to potential inconsistencies in the process of activating the trauma team. The aim of this service evaluation was to identify factors influencing the decision to activate the trauma team in emergency department (ED) staff working within a 700-bed trauma unit. A questionnaire was sent to 107 staff and 70 completed it, a response rate of 65%. Results indicated that shortfalls in trauma-specific training, lack of clinical experience, undefined roles and responsibilities, department culture, ambulance handover, knowledge of clinical guidelines and previous experience of trauma team activation all affected the decision to activate the trauma team. Trauma-specific training and the support of senior staff could enhance confidence and appropriate trauma team activation rates.

Emergency Nurse. doi: 10.7748/en.2022.e2133

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

Correspondence

bethanyhannahcooper@outlook.com

Conflict of interest

None declared

Cooper BH (2022) Exploring the factors that influence trauma team activation in emergency department staff. Emergency Nurse. doi: 10.7748/en.2022.e2133

Published online: 03 May 2022

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