Communication and Leadership

Safety demands active communication by the Trained Observer and the healthcare worker you are directing. It is up to you to lead the process, not be a casual observer. First, you must establish role clarity. The safety of the healthcare worker should be your top priority. Help them by establishing clear roles. Let them know you are here to help and guide them through the process.

Anticipate any challenges you might face by practicing and identifying steps that may have require extra diligence or verbal explanations for the healthcare worker. It is your job to put them at ease and keep them at a slow and methodical pace. By asserting your leadership, you can keep them calm and in the proper frame of mind as they are donning and doffing equipment, and preparing to attend to the patient.

Before beginning either the donning or doffing process, it may help to establish proper communication protocols. Work with the providers to establish ‘red flag’ words so that any situations can be handled by all parties involved. Use closed-loop communication for clarity. For example, whenever you need to give a command, have the healthcare worker repeat the command back, so there are no misunderstandings.