SPLINTS - Scrub Practitioners' List of Intra-operative Non-Technical Skills

The SPLINTS project aims to identify the cognitive and social i.e. non-technical skills necessary for safe and effective performance of scrub practitioners (nurses, technicians).

Task analyses included a review of the nursing, medical and psychology literature (see links) and observations of theatre nurses on task during live procedures. Scrub nurses (n=25) and consultant surgeons (n=9) from four Scottish hospitals were also interviewed. Following analyses of the data, panels of expert nurses provided skill category labels for the emerging skills. The three core categories of non-technical skills of the operating theatre scrub practitioner are:

  1. Situation Awareness
  2. Communication & Teamwork
  3. Task Management

SPLINTS handbook v1.0: NOW AVAILABLE

Contact: Rhona Flin r.flin@abdn.ac.uk
for a free copy.

The resulting SPLINTS taxonomy could be used to design training programmes of the identified non-technical skills during education/development of scrub practitioners. As scrub practitioners are a crucial member of the surgical team, overall team performance and ultimately patient safety may benefit from the identification and study of scrub practitioners' non-technical skills.

SPLINTS replaced nurses NOTECHS.

Upload Japanese translation of SPLINTS

Japanese paper on SPLINTS

Further reading on non-technical skills

Flin, R., O'Connor, P. & Crichton (2008). Safety at the Sharp End: A Guide to Non-Technical Skills. Aldershot: Ashgate. (Download PDF)

Publications

Mitchell, L., Flin, R., Yule, S., Mitchell, J., Coutts, K. & Youngson, G. (2013). Development of a behavioural marker system for scrub practitioners' non-technical skills. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, 19, 317-323. http://www.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1365-2753

Mitchell, L., Flin, R., Yule, S., Mitchell, J., Coutts, K. & Youngson, G. (2012). Evaluation of the Scrub Practitioners' List of Intraoperative Non-Technical Skills (SPLINTS) system. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 49, 201-211. http://www.journals.elsevier.com/international-journal-of-nursing-studies

Mitchell, L., Flin, R., Yule, S., Mitchell, J., Coutts, K. & Youngson, G. (2011). Thinking ahead of the surgeon - An interview study to identify scrub practitioners' non-technical skills, International Journal of Nursing Studies, 48, 818-828. http://www.journals.elsevier.com/international-journal-of-nursing-studies

Mitchell, L. & Mitchell, J. (2011). 'Pass the buzzy thing, please.' Recognising and understanding information: an essential non-technical skill element for the efficient scrub practitioner. Journal of Perioperative Practice, 21, 203-205. http://www.afpp.org.uk/books-journals/journal_archive

Mitchell, L. (2011). Developing a tool for training the non-technical skills of the scrub practitioner: the SPLINTS system. Uppdukat, 23, 9-12.

Flin, R. & Mitchell, L. (Eds.) (2009). Safer Surgery: Analysing Behaviour in the Operating Theatre. Farnham: Ashgate. (Download PDF)

Mitchell, L. & Flin, R. (2009). Scrub Practitioners' List of Intra-operative Non-Technical Skills - SPLINTS. In R. Flin & L. Mitchell. Safer Surgery: Analysing Behaviour in the Operating Theatre (pp. 67-81). Farnham: Ashgate. (Download PDF)

Mitchell, L. (2009). The right skills. Surgeons' News (Download PDF)

Mitchell, L. & Flin, R. (2008). Non-technical skills of the operating theatre nurse: Literature review. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 63, 15-24. (Download PDF)

Mitchell, L. (2008). The non-technical skills of theatre nurses. Journal of Perioperative Practice, 18, 378-379. (Download PDF)

Email: r.flin@abdn.ac.uk

PROJECT SPONSOR

NHS Education for Scotland (NES)

STEERING GROUP

Prof Rhona Flin
Prof George Youngson CBE
Dr Steven Yule
Dr Lucy Mitchell
Ms Kathy Coutts
Ms Janet Mitchell

ADVISORS

Mr Simon Paterson-Brown
Dr Nikki Maran
Prof David Rowley

CONTACT

Rhona Flin    r.flin@abdn.ac.uk


NOTSS - Non-Technical Skills for Surgeons
ANTS - Anaesthetists' Non-Technical Skills