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The Stress Lab



STress & the failed Airway

Failure to perform FONA when required is often related to human factors. We have the knowledge, but in a moment of need our mind betrays us. This is because we neglected to confront the impact that acute stress has on performance. Fortunately there are ways to inoculate ourselves against that kind of stress response. We show you how here as part of the cultivation of a fearless fona mindset.


Stress can degrade your performance in specific ways. Here we highlight three stress related killers often seen in failed airway scenarios so you can recognize them in yourself or your team members, and be better prepared to deal with them when the situation arises.


techniques to enhance your fona performance

Here we give you four techniques you can practice to enhance your performance under pressure, and cultivate your Fearless FONA Mindset. Each technique provides you with all the resources for both self-guided practice as well as in person learning in our performance lab.

box breathing

  1. Listen to the intro audio 🎧
  2. Use the GIF to practice 🫁
  3. Use it before any procedure
visualization skills

  1. Listen to the intro audio 🎧
  2. Watch FONA procedure video
  3. Use guided audio to visualize
  4. Then try it without the audio
positive self talk

  1. Listen to the intro audio 🎧
  2. Write down 3 positive self-talk phrases
  3. Practice using them

  1. Listen to the intro audio 🎧
  2. Write down a trigger phrase
  3. Practice using it


visit the performance lab

All of these techniques can be practiced with team partners and coaches in our performance lab during in person Fearless FONA events. Check out the space and the series of performance enhancing exercises built into the program to take your skills to the next level. 💪


Stress reducers

Remember it’s not all on you. Learning to manage stress is important, but reducing it is also important. Techniques for team communication and support, cognitive offloading, and reducing complexity are all part of cultivating a FEARLESS FONA MINDSET and getting started on the next part of the journey is as easy as scrolling down.


the bottom line

  • Stress can negatively impact your performance and delay or impair your ability to perform FONA.
  • Breathing techniques, visualization, self-talk, and trigger words can improve your performance.
Next Steps

Congratulations! You are well on your way towards cultivating a Fearless FONA Mindset. To take the next step, go ahead and start exploring any of the four elements of Fearless FONA by visiting any of these posters below, or go to the online space below.

With us in person at a PAC Live!! Event?


Reference – Psychological Skills to Improve Emergency Care
Providers’ Performance Under Stress
Michael J. Lauria, BA, NRP, FP-C*; Isabelle A. Gallo; Lt Col Stephen Rush, MD;
Jason Brooks, PhD, MSc; Rory Spiegel, MD; Scott D. Weingart, MD

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