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Leading teams during simulated pediatric emergencies: a pilot study

Authors Coolen E, Draaisma J, den Hamer S, Loeffen J

Received 24 June 2014

Accepted for publication 27 August 2014

Published 6 January 2015 Volume 2015:6 Pages 19—26

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/AMEP.S69925

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Anwarul Azim Majumder


Ester H Coolen,1 Jos M Draaisma,2 Sabien den Hamer,3 Jan L Loeffen2

1Department of Pediatric Surgery, Amalia Children’s Hospital, Radboud University Medical Center, 2Department of Pediatrics, Amalia Children’s Hospital, Radboud University Medical Center, 3Department of Communication Science, Radboud University, Nijmegen, the Netherlands


Purpose: Leadership has been identified as a key variable for the functioning of teams and as one of the main reasons for success or failure of team-based work systems. Pediatricians often function as team leaders in the resuscitation of a critically ill child. However, pediatric residents often report having little opportunity to perform in the role of team leader during residency. In order to gain more insight into leadership skills and behaviors, we classified leadership styles of pediatric residents during simulated emergencies.
Methods: We conducted a prospective quantitative study to investigate leadership styles used by pediatric residents during simulated emergencies with clinical deterioration of a child at a pediatric ward. Using videotaped scenarios of 48 simulated critical events among 12 residents, we were able to classify verbal and nonverbal communication into different leadership styles according to the situational leadership theory.
Results: The coaching style (mean 54.5%, SD 7.8) is the most frequently applied by residents, followed by the directing style (mean 35.6%, SD 4.1). This pattern conforms to the task- and role-related requirements in our scenarios and it also conforms to the concept of situational leadership. We did not find any significant differences in leadership style according to the postgraduate year or scenario content.
Conclusion: The model used in this pilot study helps us to gain a better understanding of the development of effective leadership behavior and supports the applicability of situational leadership theory in training leadership skills during residency.

Keywords: leadership, residency, medical education, simulation, emergencies

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