Safe Container

Podcast 004: Building a safe container for learning

In Podcast by Jenny Rudolph10 Comments

In this podcast, Jenny and Adam outline the pre-briefing and debriefing moves educators can use to build a psychologically safe environment or “safe container” for learning.1 Jenny notes that psychological safety is absolutely essential in simulation because healthcare providers are putting their identity as a clinician up for critique. Paradoxically, telling learners that the environment is safe for learning can backfire. Key elements such as “walking your talk,” humor, and calming our brains to allow us to listen are discussed along with their associated challenges.

For step-by-step suggestions for building a psychologically safe learning environment during pre-briefing and debriefing, more content on this topic, consider reviewing the DASH Rater Handbook Elements 1 and 2. To self-assess your own pre-briefing and debriefing efforts check out the Dash Instructor-Version Instrument.


Rudolph J, Raemer D, Simon R. Establishing a safe container for learning in simulation: the role of the presimulation briefing. Simul Healthc. 2014;9(6):339-349. [PubMed]
Jenny Rudolph

Jenny Rudolph

Jenny Rudolph, PhD is the Executive Director of the Center for Medical Simulation and an Assistant Professor of Anaesthesia at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital. She publishes and lectures on debriefing, feedback, and diagnostic problem solving. She loves creating fun but edgy experiences to learn all three of these skills.
Jenny Rudolph

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