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Introduction to Caring Human Factors

Introduction to Caring Human Factors
Hello, my name is Graham Nimmo, I’m speaking to you from Edinburgh. It’s the 4th of April, 2020. And we’re in the midst of the world pandemic of coronavirus. I’d like to very briefly introduce you to a short section on caring human factors in our self-care and staff well-being area. Dorothy Armstrong and I have known each other for a long time. We worked together in the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh back in the 1980s and have worked on various educational projects together. But over the last couple of years, we realised that we have an interest in this extremely important area, a shared interest. And we came at it from slightly different angles.
I came at it from the clinical decision-making and what affects your clinical decision making, kind of side. And we found common ground around the things that you’re discovering as you go through the various exercises and videos and things that are here. Human factors is what I describe as a perilous phrase because it uses two terms that we use in common parlance, human and factors. And a lot of people have different ideas as to what it means. I’ll explain that in more detail in the short e-lecture, which you can watch after this. But really, there are two other types of human factors, which are well-recognised and well-researched and well written about.
Out there, there’s human factors science, which is very much related to ergonomics. There is clinical human factors, which was developed from the anaesthetist non-technical skills area. And what I’d like to talk about in this section is caring human factors, which is an additional element. All three of them are important. And we’ll discuss how they come together and really complement each other. But we’ve– in this teaching, we have concentrated very much on caring human factors because it’s probably the least well-popularised of all of them. So I hope you really enjoy the lectures in this. And I’ll look forward to hearing some feedback from you. Thanks very much.


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‘Human factors’ is a term widely used in high performance industries, sport, aviation, psychology and, more recently, in healthcare. Depending on your context, your experience and your learning, the meaning of this term may be different from that of other folk. Graham Nimmo gives a short introduction to the concept of caring human factors.
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COVID-19 Critical Care: Understanding and Application

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