Awareness management

Awareness management

Awareness is all about perception of contextual information, basically. In aviation, it is normally understood as the situation awareness a pilot should have regarding his position and his immediate environment, including other aircraft, weather, airspace, etc.

Awareness can be differentiated from 'expertise' insofar awareness is information one needs to be aware of rather than information one needs to know long-term. The length of period one needs to be aware of information varies, of course, but typically this information is that which is rather circumstantial, and needs to be forgotten as soon as it stops being relevant.

For example, timetables, such as the service hours of a hospital, is information one needs to be aware of, but such information has little impact on one's expertise as a doctor or a nurse. Knowing the bus timetable calls for awareness, knowing how to drive the bus calls for expertise.

Awareness is typically managed by way of communication: briefings, debriefings, warnings, memos, and similar tools (or lack thereof) normally work towards managing one's levels of awareness about particular issues.

In the examples shown below, the tv presenters are managing awareness, providing information about the potential risk of confusion between drugs with similar names. There are other ways of managing such confusion (eg, drug companies can change the names) but the only managing tool the presenters have is communication, to warn about such risk.

When particular awareness is no longer relevant (eg, drug companies actually have changed the names of the drugs), such communication will cease or will be deemed irrelevant.

One important aspect of awareness is that it is one of the integral elements of 'competence' or 'professionalism', together with expertise. A competent, professional healthcare provider is one who knows both what to do and when to do it: in summary, he 'knows what he is doing'.

Preventing medication mishaps

(Video embedded from YouTube on 7 October 2011) (Video embedded from YouTube on 7 October 2011)
(Video embedded from YouTube on 7 October 2011) (Video embedded from YouTube on 7 October 2011)
(Video embedded from YouTube on 7 October 2011)

Want to know more?

Functional management system


Jose D PEREZGONZALEZ (2011). Massey University, New Zealand (JDPerezgonzalezJDPerezgonzalez).

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