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Table 2 Strategies used to manage interruptions, as reported by the 26 participants

From: An experimental study on the impact of clinical interruptions on simulated trainee performances of central venous catheterization

Strategy No. (%) reported using strategy Example
Internal strategies
 Talk aloud 1 (4) “Talking out loud: where am I, what is next?”
 Reorienting (not specified) 7 (27)  
  Mental Checklist 4 (15) “Think about the order of the procedure in my mind. Continue to go through it and go back to the list.”
  Recap last steps 4 (15) “Retrace the last few steps, the last three things, this is where I need to go.”
  Mental bookmarking 2 (8) “Bank your thoughts – try not to lose my spot in what I was doing.”
  Physical layout of equipment 1 (4) “Lay things out so I know where I am.”
 Focus (not specified) 6 (23)  
  Prioritizing tasks 19 (73) “The most pressing issue is the one I will address.”
  Concentrating on one thing at a time 9 (35) “Focus on one thing at a time. Not good at multi-tasking.”
  Delegating tasks 8 (31) “Delegate to the clerk.”
  Stop and think 6 (23) “Stop and decide if you should continue. Stop everything in a safe position and decide.”
  Ignoring interruption 2 (8) “Tried to ignore it initially – questioned if I should continue with the procedure.”
  Stay calm 2 (8) “Try to remain calm.”
  Maintaining accuracy of primary task 1 (4) “Doing what needed to be done – do it right.”
  Mental chunks 1 (4) “Manage in moments, split up your work into manageable chunks.”
 Multitask 2 (8) “It was distracting – I didn’t have full attention on either task. Trying to do both…had 80% attention on the procedure.”
External Strategies
 Hurry primary task 3 (12) “Made me do it faster.”
 Handing over pager 3 (12) “Carry the pager for [those doing procedures]”
 Communication (not specified) 2 (8)