Human Factors @ ACORN 2016

Professor Jane Reid!

I had the great good fortune to listen to Jane's Keynote Presentation on Human Factors at ACORN 2016.


She is an AMAZING lady!

Every word she spoke was eloquent and powerful.

She shepherded home with style each point she made:

Human Factors......

We have a duty, a responsibility to be as well versed in human factors as we are in anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, pathology and psychology.



In comparison to Jane, I'm a ratbag.

It is a fair cop that I am disruptive. I'll accept that.

My disruption is centred firmly on rethinking and developing new mental models around solving enduring obstacles to quality and safety in the operating room.

Most have a basis in Human Factors.

My best ratbaggery, however, is reserved for demonstrating a persistent gap in our fundamental understanding:

That we assume we are professional simply because we work in an environment that seems as though it is intrinsically professional.

We forget it is our BEHAVIOUR that makes us professional, not our environment.

So allowing ourselves to be distracted whilst attending to patient care is not professional.

Bullying and harassment is not professional.

Ignoring scientific evidence that describes the psychomotor boundaries of fatigue is not professional.

Failing to provide effective, sustainable and do-able systems of work that empower the easy performance of repeatable high safety, high quality, high reliability work is not professional.

Missing opportunities to build a great (high performance) team is not professional.

Perpetuating a culture of blame is not professional.

And yet these things persist whilst my efforts to drive toward increased professionalism fail.

If my status as a mere nurse clinician and my efforts as a left-of-field cognitive labourer make me a ratbag?

So be it.

But if we disprove our ability to uptake a simple paradigm shift for the better in our determination to passively resist extrinsic motivations for affirmational change, I would ask......

Who's the ratbag now?


It's still me.

Picture by Pete:

'Sniffing the Holes in the Cheese'

It Stands to Reason.

James T. Reason!

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