Team Roles During ACLS (Code Blue)

Team Roles and Dynamics




Team Leader – organizes the group, monitors individual performance of team members, models excellent team behavior, trains and coaches, facilitates understanding and focuses on comprehensive patient care.


Team Member – must be proficient to perform skills within their scope of practice. They are clear about their role assignment, prepared to fulfill the role responsibilities, well practiced in resuscitation skills, knowledgeable about the algorithms and committed to success.


Team Dynamics and Communication

Closed loop communication – When communicating with team members, the leader should use closed loop communication. The leader should give an order or assignment then confirm that the message was heard. Team members confirm that the order or assignment was heard and inform the leader when the task is complete.


Clear messages – All messages should be delivered in a calm and direct manner without yelling or shouting. Team leaders should speak clearly. Team members should question an order if they are unsure what was said.


Clear roles and responsibilities – Every member of the team should know his/her role and responsibilities. To avoid inefficiencies, the team leader should clearly delegate tasks. A team member should not accept assignments above their level or competence or expertise.


Knowing one’s limitations – Every member of the team should know his/her imitations and capabilities and the team leader should be aware of them. A new skill should not be attempted during the arrest.


Knowledge sharing – A critical component of effective team performance is information sharing. The team leader can ask for other suggestions when the resuscitation efforts seem to be ineffective.


Constructive intervention – During a code, a team leader or member may need to intervene if an action is about to occur at an inappropriate time. The person recording the event may suggest that epinephrine be given as the next drug because it has been 5 minutes since the last dose. All suggestions for a different intervention or action should be done tactfully.


Reevaluation and summarizing – An essential role of the team leader is monitoring and reevaluation of the status of the patient, interventions that have been done and assessment findings.


Mutual Respect – The best teams are composed of members who share a mutual respect for each other and work together in a collegial, supportive manner. All team members should leave their egos at the door.

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