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This chapter explains the importance of non-technical skills in obstetric practice. It describes the non-technical skills useful when conducting operative vaginal birth (OVB). Non-technical skills have been studied in surgical, anaesthetic and acute medicine domains using methodology from the aviation industry. OVB merits non-technical skills unique to this very intimate and emotive time for the mother and her birth partner. A three-tier behavioural system is used to classify non-technical skills. The first level has five major categories of these skills. When conducting an OVB, the main categories to be considered are: situational awareness, decision making, team work and communication, professional relationships with the woman, and maintaining professional behaviour. The social and interpersonal skills not only contribute to patient safety but also can lead to a lasting impression on the mother. Therefore, the value of these should not be underestimated and need to be carefully built into teaching and formative assessments.
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