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The long quiet trip back to base.

We’ve all been there. The trip home after a challenging ground transport, medical flight, dispatch shift or structure fire.

Some things went well, some not so well.

You know your responsibility is to make things better. You know nothing magically fixes itself and certain issues about the case you just completed need addressed.

But here’s the thing:

You also know if you hurt feelings or crush enthusiasm, your job will be harder the next time.

So how do you do it?

How do you find balance between correcting individual mistakes and maintaining team continuity? It’s a difficult tightrope to walk, and if you fall off, regaining trust is extremely difficult.

Team is everything.

To succeed, we recommend keeping three points top of mind.

First, realize everyone wants to do a good job.

Flight Safety Network people are focused and driven. Nobody intentionally tries to make your job harder. Sometimes it may seem this way; however, in all but the rarest instances, it is simply a team member not understanding your expectations.

Second, be consistent and fair.

Professionals can handle less than positive feedback. They may not like it, but they can handle it and make changes. What professionals do not handle well is favoritism or a perception one team member is somehow more important than others.

Third, always do a debriefing.

Nobody gets better without the benefit of feedback. So what exactly is a debriefing and how do you do it? A debriefing, sometimes abbreviated to debrief, is nothing more than a timely discussion of the case you just completed with a focus on improving future outcomes.

Give every team member a chance to tell their story after every case, call or flight.

If you deliver feedback with these three items in mind, your chances of success skyrockets. Look for future articles about the specifics of conducting a debriefing.

Clear skies and tailwinds,


Troy Shaffer
Troy Shaffer

About the Author: Troy is an Air Medical Career Expert passionate about a team approach to improving air medical safety from the ground up. Troy is a former Army medic, Army pilot, Coast Guard pilot and EMS pilot. Troy has taught hundreds of wannabe flight medics, flight nurses and EMS pilots the exact steps needed to launch air medical careers.

    1 Response to "Constructive Feedback: How to do it"

    • lanny

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