NYAO, Ep: 053 – Choices in Stressful Scenarios

NYAO, Ep: 053 - Choices in Stressful Scenarios

This is episode 2, of a 3 part mini-series on Critical Incidents.

Mark McCarthy, senior trauma nurse instructor, rejoins us for the follow up to #52- Critical Incident Debriefing.

“We see the world not as it is, but as we are…”

  • Steven R. Covey

During Critical Incidents, decisions are genuinely life or death, so the quality of those decisions, and the ability to find the safe path through is of prime importance. Mark’s medical ER experience again resonates with Mike, Raf and Melon, with their backgrounds in combat, special forces and aviation. The depth of these parallels are some of the most surprising elements of this episode.

The Irishman leads the conversation over the following areas:

  • Professor Steve Peters mental model- Human/ Chimpanzee/ Computer
  • How to compartmentalise and deal with your internal state
  • The Startle Effect- how to recognise and recover in time
  • MAPA- Management of Aggression & Potential Aggression
  • How to defuse emotions personally or inside a team member
  • The importance of training realistically to learn to recognise and control the physiological reactions associated with stress
  • How to deal with each new situation freshly- uncanny similarities emerge between ER patients in trauma, and Mike clearing a 30 room building in Close Quarter Combat; but the conversation also covers getting home from that situation safely and re-engaging with family.


Thank you for your ongoing support into our second year. Please leave a review, share with your network, or leave a topic you’d like us to explore.


Rafael “Tio” Espinosa

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Paul “Melon” McFadden

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