Human Factors, Patient Safety and Wellbeing

“It’s about humility because we are all so capable of screwing up. Safety in a complex world cannot be delivered by just one person, it has to be delivered by a team.”


Emergency Medicine is so much more than the assessment and management of patients that present to our department on a daily basis. So much of what we do relies on team work, professional respect, shared decision making and individual wellness. The following blogs, vlogs  and podcasts discuss some of these areas. 

Relating learning to stories is a powerful concept; on a personal basis I know I always remember things more readily when there is a story or mental image related to them. Throughout your time in the ED, there will undoubtedly be a few patients that really stick with you, and the learning that results from your involvement in their individual stories will remain with you throughout your career.


1. Look at the videos, and read the blogs below.

2. Try to discuss one of the areas discussed with your supervisor, or  another colleague. 

3. Jot down individual patient experiences you have that you feel might lead to some lifelong learning over the next few weeks and try to complete a SLE related to this. 

In Just A Routine Operation Martin talks about his experience of losing his wife during an apparently routine procedure and his hopes for making a change to practice in healthcare.

This film was produced by thinkpublic for the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement


This is an excellent blog from the Bangor ED Team, highlighting not only an important clinical presentation, but also the excellent practice of how openness and honesty leads to learning.


This is a blog supporting a recent podcast from the St. Emlyn's Team on 'Well Being' for clinicians. Although this is not the sexy resus end ofcritical care or emergency medicine, it’s really just as important. You can only be a great clinician if you look after yourself.

We musn’t be fooled into thinking that just because we have different skillsets or seniority that we aren’t singing from the same hymn sheet. No matter what it says on your hospital name badge, we all have the same job description: help make people better.

We work, at times, in a stressful and 'full-on' environment. In the ED we have many encounters, with our immediate colleagues, our patients and their relatives, inpatient teams and other allied health care professions, as well as outside agencies. This blog discussed the impact of rudeness on team performance and is an interesting read. There are also links to other blogs and podcasts related to this area if you wish to explore further.