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Understanding and developing clinicians ' leadership skills in critical care medicine

Tom_readerA paper by Dr Tom Reader (pictured) of LSE's Psychology@LSE department has been accepted for publication by the medical journal Critical Care Medicine.

The paper, Team Leadership in the Intensive Care Unit , reports on research investigating the leadership skills of intensive care unit (ICU) consultants. The research applies psychological leadership theory to understand how senior clinicians manage multidi sciplinary teams in the highly complex domain of intensive care medicine. ICU patients often suffer from multiple organ failure, and Dr Reader's previous research has shown that the effective leadership of clinical and nursing teams is key to providing optimal patient outcomes.

The current interview-based research found ICU specialists to report rapidly switching behavioural strategies (e.g. leadership and decision-making style) when leading teams during different phases of ICU patient care (e.g. routine tracheotomy insertions vs. emergency scenarios such as cardiac arrest). Furthermore, specialists emphasised the steps to, and importance of, vision setting and developing a team culture where junior doctors and nurses can adapt their behaviours and coordinate effectively according to situational demands.

For more information, email Dr Reader at t.w.reader@lse.ac.uk .