Learning to Take the Heat at #smaccUS

We managed to get an elite team together to run the ‘Learning to Take the Heat’ workshop at SMACC Chicago.


Our team consisted of:


as well as myself, with the able assistance of Ali Gould (@intransition2).

The focus of the workshop was to develop an understanding of how stress affects the performance of health professionals when caring for the critically ill, and more importantly, how we can teach others to handle stress.

Recommended resources for this workshop include:



  • Harvey A, Bandiera G, Nathens AB, LeBlanc VR. Impact of stress on resident performance in simulated trauma scenarios. J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2012;72:(2)497-503. [pubmed]
  • Herzog TP, Deuster PA. Performance psychology as a key component of human performance optimization. J Spec Oper Med. 2014;14:(4)99-105. [pubmed]
  • LeBlanc VR. The effects of acute stress on performance: implications for health professions education. Acad Med. 2009;84:(10 Suppl)S25-33. [pubmed]
  • Petrosoniak A, Hicks CM. Beyond crisis resource management: new frontiers in human factors training for acute care medicine. Curr Opin Anaesthesiol. 2013;26:(6)699-706. [pubmed]
  • Saunders T, Driskell JE, Johnston JH, Salas E. The effect of stress inoculation training on anxiety and performance. J Occup Health Psychol. 1996;1:(2)170-86. [pubmed]



Also, look out for the SMACC talks by Chris Hicks (“Making Teams Work”) and Jason Brooks (“Performance Psychology for Resuscitationists”) when they are released on the SMACC podcast.

Here is some of what went down at the workshop via Twitter:

… and remember, calm is contagious!

Chris is an Intensivist and ECMO specialist at the Alfred ICU in Melbourne. He is also a Clinical Adjunct Associate Professor at Monash University. He is a co-founder of the Australia and New Zealand Clinician Educator Network (ANZCEN) and is the Lead for the ANZCEN Clinician Educator Incubator programme. He is on the Board of Directors for the Intensive Care Foundation and is a First Part Examiner for the College of Intensive Care Medicine. He is an internationally recognised Clinician Educator with a passion for helping clinicians learn and for improving the clinical performance of individuals and collectives.

After finishing his medical degree at the University of Auckland, he continued post-graduate training in New Zealand as well as Australia’s Northern Territory, Perth and Melbourne. He has completed fellowship training in both intensive care medicine and emergency medicine, as well as post-graduate training in biochemistry, clinical toxicology, clinical epidemiology, and health professional education.

He is actively involved in in using translational simulation to improve patient care and the design of processes and systems at Alfred Health. He coordinates the Alfred ICU’s education and simulation programmes and runs the unit’s education website, INTENSIVE.  He created the ‘Critically Ill Airway’ course and teaches on numerous courses around the world. He is one of the founders of the FOAM movement (Free Open-Access Medical education) and is co-creator of litfl.com, the RAGE podcast, the Resuscitology course, and the SMACC conference.

His one great achievement is being the father of three amazing children.

On Twitter, he is @precordialthump.

| INTENSIVE | RAGE | Resuscitology | SMACC

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