SAS Doctors' and Dentists' Programme - Human Factors in Patient Safety



This course will provide an introduction to human factors for healthcare professionals. The focus of the course will be upon the nontechnical skills require to work in the clinical environment. Non-technical skills are the cognitive, social and personal resource skills that complement technical skills, and contribute to safe and efficient performance. The non-technical skills that are typically required in clinical settings are situational awareness, decision making, leadership, teamwork, communication, and managing stress and fatigue. This course will cover these skills using illustrative examples and cases studies.

Learning Outcomes

An understanding of human factors theory

Being able to recognise the impact of human factors in your work

The knowledge to address human factors issues to improve patient care


GMC Capabilities

Domain 2 - Dealing with Complexity and Uncertainty / Domain 6 - Patient Safety


This course is only open to SAS Doctors and Dentists working HSC Trusts and Agencies and consultants working alongside SAS docs. 





Delivered via Zoom by Dr Paul O'Connor, Senior Lecturer in Primary Care NUI Galway,

Co-Director Masters/Diploma in Simulation and Patient Safety and Research

Director Irish Centre for Applied Patient Safety and Simulation



Dr Paul O’Connor is a human factors psychologist. His research, and teaching, are concerned with improving human performance and safety in high risk work environments. He has worked across a range of high risk industries (e.g. nuclear power generation), and the military (e.g. aviation, special forces). In recent years his research and teaching has focused on the human factors that contribute to patient safety and quality of care. He has authored >150 publications on safety including the seminal text ‘Safety at the sharp end: training nontechnical skills.’



9.30am - 3.00pm Thurs 25 November 2021

9.30am - 3.00pm Friday 25 Feb 2022


This course is supported by the Department of Health

There are currently no dates scheduled for this course, if you would like to submit an expression of interest please contact us.