Debriefing is a powerful tool used in team training and quality improvement to promote learning and improve patient safety. Reflective learning among team members during a debriefing can be jeopardized when facilitators encounter either difficult learners or complicated debriefing situations. A difficult debrief can undermine a facilitator’s credibility, discourage future learner participation, and reduce the facilitator’s confidence in the debriefing process. In this article, the authors provide guidance for instructors and facilitators who face either difficult learners or challenging situations when debriefing teams during simulation-based training or after acute patient events.

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