Debriefing Workshop

Having just benefited from a fantastic and thoroughly enjoyable debriefing workshop delivered by Dr Jay Meckwan, I thought I would share a few take home points.

1. Simulation is here to stay. It is a proven method of delivering training and improving team performance.

2. Both taking part in and facilitating in-situ simulation is a fun way to practice rare event case management and I would highly recommend getting involved.

3. Debriefing well is key to the success of in-situ simulation. It’s not as easy as Dr Mekwan makes it look. As he says “if you think its easy to debrief, then your not doing it right!”

4. Debriefing is not about being ‘non-judgemental’ its about using ‘good judgement’.

5. Observations made during the debrief should be dealt with as soon as they are raised.

6. Use the ‘advocacy/inquiry’ method to bring your observations to the group


  • Advocacy: “I noticed _______”…
  • Inquiry: “I was wondering what you thought about that?”
  • Example:  “I noticed _____, I’m concerned that _____, and am wondering _____.  It seems that it may be helpful to talk about this in more detail.”
  • Increases participation – people are more willing to share their thoughts if you share yours first

7. Use ‘normalisation’ or ‘generalisation’ to avoid personal criticism. e.g “closed loop communication can really help improve team performance and harmony but it’s not always easy for experienced teams to implement”  would be better than “you didn’t communicate very well with the rest of the team”

8. See the Quick Ref. Guide for Debriefing on the Simulation Page  for more pointers…

9. Attend one of Dr Mekwan’s workshops on debriefing – They are extremely informative and great fun!

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