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Table 5 Debriefing myths

From: “A debriefer must be neutral” and other debriefing myths: a systemic inquiry-based qualitative study of taken-for-granted beliefs about clinical post-event debriefing

No Debriefing myths Content Examples
1 Debriefing only when disaster strikes Belief that particularly negative events or major errors call for debriefings. No reported routines for debriefing successful performance episodes. “In case of overload, when something went wrong […]”
“Mostly after stressful situations […]”
2 Debriefing is a luxury which may not improve team performance. Belief that debriefings require extra effort that overshadows their benefits: conducting debriefings takes time, and their benefits might not be obvious immediately. “[…] the temporal aspect, when and how long will it take place and will everybody be there […]”
“[…] due to shift work, it is problematic to bring all participants together.”
“[…] we do not have time to discuss different points in detail […].”
3 The senior clinician should determine debriefing content. Experienced and powerful staff members determine what is talked about in debriefings. “[…] it is structured by hierarchy, I think it is rather the attending physician […]”
“Basically, I would say that experienced staff have more influence, because they feel more confident in their roles.”
“[…] we attending physicians have most influence on what is talked about because nurses and residents automatically listen to us […]”
4 Debriefers must be neutral. Debriefers are supposed to be neutral and nonjudgmental. “[…] it requires a person that is neutral and does not polarize […]”
“What he or she must not do is take sides or judge […]”
“He/she must be neutral […]”