cardiopulmonary arrest, code team, clinical nurse specialist, perceptions, resuscitation teams, teamwork



  1. Mahramus, Tara MSN, RN, CNS, CCNS, CCRN
  2. Frewin, Sarah MSN, CNS, CCNS, PCCN, CHFN
  3. Penoyer, Daleen Aragon PhD, RN, CCRP, FCCM
  4. Sole, Mary Lou PhD, RN, CCNS, FAAN, FCCM


Background: Cardiopulmonary arrest (CPA) teams, known as code teams, provide coordinated and evidenced-based interventions by various disciplines during a CPA. Teamwork behaviors are essential during CPA resuscitation and may have an impact on patient outcomes.


Objectives: The purpose of this study was to explore the perceptions of teamwork during CPA events among code team members and to determine if differences in perception existed between disciplines within the code team.


Methods: A prospective, descriptive, comparative design using the Code Teamwork Perception Tool online survey was used to assess the perception of teamwork during CPA events by medical residents, critical care nurses, and respiratory therapists.


Results: Sixty-six code team members completed the Code Teamwork Perception Tool. Mean teamwork scores were 2.63 on a 5-point scale (0-4). No significant differences were found in mean scores among disciplines. Significant differences among scores were found on 7 items related to code leadership, roles and responsibilities between disciplines, and in those who had participated on a code team for less than 2 years and certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support for less than 4 years.


Conclusions: Teamwork perception among members of the code team was average. Teamwork training for resuscitation with all disciplines on the code team may promote more effective teamwork during actual CPA events. Clinical nurse specialists can aid in resuscitation efforts by actively participating on committees, identifying opportunities for improvement, being content experts, leading the development of team training programs, and conducting research in areas lacking evidence.