(b) Cause of interference. This is caused by the mental expectations
and state of alertness of the receiver. A student who is not alert may expect the
instructor to assign homework and hear this message even though the instructor has
actually said that the work will be done the next day during class time. A written
message may tell the receiver about an enemy advance from the north, but because the
receiver had been expecting an advance from the south, he might read what he had
(2) Countering interference. There are ways to counter this interference.
One is feedback. Have the receiver repeat the message to be sure it is understood as
sent. Another method is emphasis. Underline crucial words on a written message and
use a different voice on verbal ones. A third method is to use gestures during face-to-
face messages. A sketch or diagram is sometimes helpful. It is the responsibility of the
leader to make sure his message is understood and understood correctly. Good
message receiving skills can be trained. It is as important for the leader to listen for
good feedback as it is to send clear messages.
b. Coordinating. More confusion is generated by lacks in coordination than by
any other problem. Each person should be aware of the movements of others whose
actions will affect him. There must be a plan which covers all possibilities, and
everyone involved needs to know his own part and the parts played by all others. No
one should depend on a specific leader for constant direction. If that leader is unable to
function (for whatever reason), the individual soldier must still know what to do.
(1) During learning situation. The supervisor is most important during a
learning situation. A learning situation might include skill practice, on-the-job training, or
a learning situation in the field. Supervision of the learner is vital, especially in a
potentially dangerous skill-learning procedure. Many of the medical tasks fit this
(2) Delegate supervision. Sometimes it is reasonable to delegate
supervision to a peer who has learned the procedure very well. However, this does not
relieve the medical NCO from his supervision responsibility.
(3) Oversupervision. Once the job is learned and the soldiers are capable
at their skill, do not oversupervise. This stifles initiative and lowers morale. Trust
enough to spot check when you are sure constant supervision is no longer required.
d. Evaluating. This function generally is done as a result of supervision.
(1) Purpose of evaluation. To evaluate is to judge the results of an action or
product on the basis of known criteria. If the procedure is to be done under sterile
conditions, is sterility being maintained? Is the patient's history complete? Are all
entries on the patient care record in black (or blue-black) ink and initialed? If the criteria
are not being met, it is time for a reteach and then further evaluation.