• nursing education;
  • nursing students;
  • resuscitation;
  • simulation-based environment;
  • team coordination;
  • video recordings

husebø s.e., rystedt h. & friberg f. (2011) Educating for teamwork – nursing students’ coordination in simulated cardiac arrest situations. Journal of Advanced Nursing 67(9), 2239–2255.


Aim.  The overarching aim was to explore and describe the communicative modes students employ to coordinate the team in a simulation-based environment designed for resuscitation team training.

Background.  Verbal communication is often considered essential for effective coordination in resuscitation teams and enhancing patient safety. Although simulation is a promising method for improving coordination skills, previous studies have overlooked the necessity of addressing the multifaceted interplay between verbal and non-verbal forms of communication.

Method.  Eighty-one nursing students participated in the study. The data were collected in February and March, 2008. Video recordings from 28 simulated cardiac arrest situations in a nursing programme were analysed. Firstly, all communicative actions were coded and quantified according to content analysis. Secondly, interaction analysis was performed to capture the significance of verbal and non-verbal communication, respectively, in the moment-to-moment coordination of the team.

Findings.  Three phases of coordination in the resuscitation team were identified: Stating unconsciousness, Preparing for resuscitation, Initiating resuscitation. Coordination of joint assessments and actions in these phases involved a broad range of verbal and non-verbal communication modes that were necessary for achieving mutual understandings of how to continue to the next step in the algorithm. This was accomplished through a complex interplay of taking position, pointing and through verbal statements and directives.

Conclusion.  Simulation-based environments offer a promising solution in nursing education for training the coordination necessary in resuscitation teams as they give the opportunity to practice the complex interplay of verbal and non-verbal communication modes that would otherwise not be possible.