Building a theoretically grounded model to support the design of effective non-technical skills training in healthcare:The SECTORS model


Morris Gordon

Patient safety is an increasingly prominent issue in healthcare. Despite much work investigating human factors system based approaches to reduce avoidable errors, there has been minimal work investigating education in this area. Education to enhance non-technical skills and support behaviour that reduces human factor sources of error is in its infancy. Published works describing interventions are heterogeneous in content and teaching methods, as well as limited in their underpinning or pedagogy. There is no well-recognised model or framework to guide educators in designing such interventions, which further compounds the problem. In this manuscript, the SECTORS model is proposed, a theoretically-grounded framework to aid understanding of how learning in non-technical skills occurs within healthcare. SECTORS combines three key elements: - The generic Knowledge and skills in core areas that contribute to and support learning in nontechnical skills (Systems and technology use, Error awareness, Communication, Teamworking), a situated cognition approach to formal and experiential learning that develops these skills (Observation and simulation) and developments in analytical skills that can integrate these and support decision making (Risk assessment and Situational awareness). Further work is now needed to investigate the appropriateness of this model and its utility and effectiveness in supporting design of such education.