Key attributes of an effective team

Any team should be greater than the sum of its parts. While it is important that individual members are highly skilled and technically competent there are a number of key attributes that every team member should display:

  • clear understanding of individual roles
  • awareness of shared goals
  • ability to display resilience under stress
  • ability to cooperate on a personal and professional level
  • flexibility to handle whatever comes their way

In the context of trauma the team is a group of individuals, often from different professional backgrounds with varying levels of expertise, who come together with a common purpose: the successful resuscitation of a trauma victim. The traditional ED team consists of doctors and nurses, however these practitioners work mainly independently due to conventional demarcations.2 Dependant on location and available resources pre-hospital personal may be required to assist with the initial management of trauma patients until additional personnel arrive. It is vital that all members of the team, whatever their cultural and professional background, are able to operate within an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect.