Teamwork in Critical Care

Pearls for Teamwork

1. Everyone is trying their best.
2. Make sure you are in the right mental mindset when you are in a team.
3. Use the Zero Point Survey.

Contagious Cohesiveness during COVIDian Times

The world is in the middle of a global pandemic. Information about COVID-19 and how we manage patients infected with SARS CoV-2 seems to change hourly. 

One thing that will never change is the importance of team function while caring for these patients. In fact, teams are of crucial importance to any patient resuscitation at any time.

In order to continue the fight against COVID-19 we need to learn how to use one contagion to fight another.

A contagion is defined as “communication of disease from person to person.”1 In this case, SARS CoV-2 is the contagion we are all facing.

However, let’s look toward a different type of contagion as a means to combat this virus.  Social contagion theory is defined as “a tendency for a person, or people, to copy the behavior of others within their vicinity.”2 If we’re not careful, we can spread harmful ideas amongst team members.  For example, not listening to information provided from your team or “yelling” at team members would be detrimental to the way any team functions.  

However, we can utilize social contagion theory to our advantage to create a hive mentality amongst our team.  A mentality where we share knowledge and ideas so that we think and act as a community. This allows us to develop our own social contagion model where we as health care workers move forward together, as a cohesive and highly functioning team, fighting the current COVID-19 pandemic for the betterment of our patients.  

We can utilize 3 key items to create our highly functioning team.  These are:



Psychological Safety 


There’s really no better way to organize our team for a high-stakes resuscitation than with the Zero Point Survey (ZPS).3 The ZPS begins prior to the primary survey of the patient and can often be started before the patient arrives in your department.  

The ZPS utilizes the “STEP UP” (Self, Team, Environment, Patient, Updates, Priorities) approach to better organize ourselves, our team and our environment, thereby setting our team up to provide the best possible care to our patient.  Let’s explore this approach as it relates to intubating the COVID-19 patient. (Please keep in mind this general approach can be extrapolated to any resuscitative situation).

Lesson Topics

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