From the Take Home Message to the SMART Conclusions

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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’?

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”.

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?

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.
ISBN: 9783031061035


Pier Luigi Ingrassia

Pier Luigi Ingrassia

Centro di Simulazione (CeSi), Centro Professionale Sociosanitario Lugano View all Posts
Giorgio Capogna

Giorgio Capogna

Centro di Simulazione EESOA View all Posts

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