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How debriefing post cardiopulmonary arrest and resuscitation can be used to improve training

02 June 2021
7 mins read
Volume 12 · Issue 5
Figure 1. Hale team debriefing after a crash simulation as a part of training to help improve cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).


Debriefing is a form of discussion used in human medicine following significant events, such as cardiopulmonary arrest (CPA) and resuscitation. There are no studies in veterinary medicine specifically exploring the benefits of debriefing post CPA, showing known knowledge gaps. However, there are studies in training for resuscitation and staff resilience that mention debriefing as tools, and there are studies in human medicine that look at different types of debriefing and benefits. This literature review discusses ways in which debriefing may be implemented into a veterinary environment as well as the impact it could have on staff training, wellbeing and patient outcome.

Debriefing is a process of communication that takes place between a team following a clinical case; often the case would involve a major event such as cardiopulmonary arrest (CPA) (Gilmartin et al, 2020). This discussion between the team will be about specific case details and events that occurred, including discussion around the role and actions of each of those involved (Gilmartin et al, 2020).

There is little research in veterinary medicine into how debriefing may affect training and how it can impact staff, and those studies that do exist only briefly look at debriefing but are focused on other areas. However, when discussing the history of veterinary nursing, Ballantyne (2017) described many aspects of veterinary nursing as ‘echoing’ human research.

This review will look at debriefing, which different types of debriefing may be best ued in a veterinary hospital environment, how it may impact staff training, the development of individual skills, as well as mental wellbeing in veterinary medicine.

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