Team Pause

A “Team Pause” is an effective technique used by team leaders to share information about the patient as well as solicit input from the team. During this pause, everyone is focused on presented information and makes an agreement on the treatment plan.

A team pause should take place directly after the primary assessment and again after any major changes in patient condition or significant finding. It may also be called for by a team member who is uncomfortable with their role, the direction of patient care or needs clarifying information from other team members. It can be used a means to reset and recollect, especially on a very chaotic scene.

  1. The team leader calls for a “Team Pause” and gets the attention of all available team members.
  2. Recap all patient information including name, age, chief complaint, scene findings, and vital signs.
  3. State direction of treatments (i.e. protocol, differential diagnosis, or simply “I don’t know yet what is happening with this patient”).
  4. State your plan & delegate by delegating tasks to team members, prioritized to fill pertinent gaps in patient assessment and/or to initiate treatments.

Try the following template:

“Team pause (wait for attention). This is      pts name, age, preferred pronoun     . They are complaining of     chief complaint   , which started    time/activity    . Their vital signs are   BP, HR, RR, SpO2, CBG, etc.    . We found      other assessment details and scene clues     . Does anyone have any additional details to add?”

Choose one…

      • “I believe they may be suffering from      your differential diagnosis      .”
      • “I am not sure yet what is going on. Does anyone have a recommendation?”

“Here’s what we need to do     obtain additional assessments/perform actions    . I would like team member to do    task     .” (Continue delegation using closed-loop communication until all stated actions are completed).

A group of 4 EMS providers, knelt down around patient that is seated in chair. One of the providers appears to be asking question with uplifted hand and slight should shrug while looking at another responder.
Image by Holly Edwins, licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.
Team Pause Skill Verification Table

Team Pause












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Oregon EMS Psychomotor Skills Lab Manual Copyright © 2023 by Chris Hamper, BS, NRP; Carmen Curtz, Paramedic, BS; Holly A. Edwins, Paramedic, B.S.; and Jamie Kennel, PhD, MAS, NRP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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