A Soldier’s 5 is good for Clinicians, too

I spent some 6 years as an Army reservist in the Australian Army. Several aspects of my time (and training) have helped me in my career in both Anaesthetic and Intensive Care nursing. I’ll address some of these in future posts.

 

Perhaps the most relevant of these is the concept of the “Soldier’s 5”. It is a choice of 5 seconds, 5 minutes or 5 points that a soldier needs to know NOW.

An example might be using a new weapon:

  1. the pointy end (towards the bad guy)
  2. the safety (how not to hurt yourself)
  3. the trigger (how to actually fire the thing)
  4. The aiming reticle (how to aim it)
  5. Where the ammunition goes and how to re-attach magazines (how to keep the thing going)

Of course in the real world, a soldier would ideally have lessons on new equipment before heading into battle.

 

Much like healthcare.

 

The benefit of the “Soldier’s 5” is that the method can be used from simple points with new practitioners through to more complex tasks with experienced practitioners.

 

A clinical example might be:

 

  1. Synchronous Intermittent Mandatory Ventilation (SIMV) is a form of positive pressure ventilation
  2. SIMV requires the patient breathe through an ETT
  3. It can be volume or pressure controlled (set volume OR pressure)
  4. SIMV allows a set number of breaths/minute but will “Synchronise” with spontaneous breaths
  5. SIMV generally allows PEEP and Pressure Support adjustment

 

It works with auditory and kinetic learners, and the short points can be recorded by visual learners.

 

The “Soldiers 5” is generally highly repeatable: once used, the learner can rapidly become the teacher.

 

Of course, there is no scope for in depth understanding or for learner questioning, so a thorough follow up session relating theory to practice with an educator is recommended.

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