From the Take Home Message to the SMART Conclusions
To reflect on how simulation can represent the first step for a concrete and achievable personal change: identifying SMART goals
What is a SMART Goal? Is there a difference with a simple ‘take home message’?
The strategic communication approach suggests that the goal that each debriefing participant takes home must be S.M.A.R.T.
Well, it often happens to me that some participants in my debriefing come up with goals that are a bit too general. For example, phrases such as “I understand that it is necessary to communicate” or “communication is extremely important”.
Sometimes it is too little and, above all, such a conclusion is unlikely to lead to a change
So what is a smart goal? A brilliant and intelligent objective?
No, S.M.A.R T. i.e. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. It is another communication technique.
Tell me more.
Specific, i.e. concrete and clear
Measurable: defined in terms of observable results
Achievable: really doable and dependent on you and not on others
Realistic, subject to constraints and resources
Timely, i.e. achievable in a given period of time
Interesting, could you give me an example to better understand?
Usually after a traditional debriefing to the question «what do you take home?» the answer could be “closed circuit communication is important”. If on the one hand it is important that students share what they have learned, it is equally essential to induce them to reflect on how the learning, simulation and debriefing experience can represent the first step towards a personal change which can in turn lead to a positive change in clinical activity in the hospital.
And how do I do it in practice?
When they answer, try to get them to identify a SMART goal. For example, add a question like this: «With reference to the closed circuit communication, which you just mentioned, within the next week, at the first emergency that happens to you, what will you actually do? » His response could be «I will make my requests to the nurse by calling him by name, looking him in the eyes and asking him for feedback on the actions taken»
I understood, instead of settling for a generic goal that will probably never be put into practice, I have to obtain a personal and specific one, which, once achieved, will favor a change in my clinical practice and that of the whole team. Fantastic!
G Capogna, PL Ingrassia, E Capogna, M Bernardini, E Valteroni, G Pietrabissa,G Nardone.
Strategic Debriefing for Advanced Simulation. 2022 Springer International Publishing AG, Milano.