In this talk, we focused on mental practice as a technique to help improve our performance under pressure. For the full notes and references on mental practice, see this blog post. For a much longer discussion about stress and performance under pressure, see this post.
We want to use mental practice to ensure that we have all the resources we need, in order to deal with the demands placed on us.
We discussed three cases to demonstrate the role of mental practice:
In order to make mental practice work for you, you want a simple script that guides you through your approach to the patient. Most importantly, the script needs to be specific to you, taking into account your skills and your practice environment. Then, to practice, you should actually picture yourself in the resuscitation room and visualize not just the steps, but specifically how you are going to get each step done. Where in the room is the required equipment? How does the equipment work? How are you going to organize your team? Who is doing what, in what order?
I think this kind of dedicated practice, combined with the simplified action script for you to fall back on when under pressure, will ensure that you have the resources you need to meet the crazy demands of emergency medicine.