Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Australasian Emergency Care




School of Nursing and Midwifery


Edith Cowan University - Open Access Support Scheme

This work was supported by a Hollywood Private Hospital Research Foundation grant, Western Australia (RF119)


Saunders, R., Wood, E., Coleman, A., Gullick, K., Graham, R., & Seaman, K. (2020). Emergencies within hospital wards: An observational study of the non-technical skills of medical emergency teams. Australasian Emergency Care. Advance online publication.



Medical emergency teams are essential in responding to acute deterioration of patients in hospitals, requiring both clinical and non-technical skills. This study aims to assess the non-technical skills of medical emergency teams during hospital ward emergencies and explore team members perceptions and experiences of the use non-technical skills during medical emergencies.


A multi-methods study was conducted in two phases. During phase one observation and assessment of non-technical skills used in medical emergencies using the Team Emergency Assessment Measure (TEAM™) was conducted; and in the phase two in-depth interviews were undertaken with medical emergency team members.


Based on 20 observations, mean TEAM™ ratings for non-technical skill domains were: ‘leadership’ 5.0 out of 8 (±2.0); ‘teamwork’ 21.6 out of 28 (±3.6); and ‘task management’ 6.5 out of 8 (±1.4). The mean ‘global’ score was 7.5 out of 10 (±1.5). The qualitative findings identified three areas, ‘individual’, ‘team’ and ‘other’ contributing factors, which impacted upon the non-technical skills of medical emergency teams.


Non-technical skills of hospital medical emergency teams differ, and the impact of the skill mix on resuscitation outcomes was recognised by team members. These findings emphasize the importance non-technical skills in resuscitation training and well-developed processes for medical emergency teams.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.