March 25, 2010

Rural Trauma Course Instructed for 1st Time at Scotland County Hospital

The Rural Trauma Team Development Course (RTTDC) was presented at the Scotland County Hospital in Memphis recently. This newly developed curriculum for rural hospitals was authored by members of the Rural Trauma Committee of the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma. The 3rd edition of the course was piloted in Memphis.

One of the curriculums authors, Dr. James Kessel from the University of Missouri School of Medicine, Medical Director, Trauma Division of Acute Care Surgery, was one of the instructors during the course presentation at the hospital in Memphis. The course content focused on creation of, and integration of, a trauma care team for a small rural hospital. According to Dr. Kessel, this course material had only been presented one other time in the United States and the Scotland County Hospital staff was the first to receive the training in the state of Missouri


Julia McNabb, DO, assists Celeste Miller-Parish, DO, intubate an adult simulated patient.

Dr. Kessel was very impressed with the skills of the Scotland County Hospital staff. He said, This staff is much more knowledgeable than the average rural hospital. We are sort of reinforcing what your staff already knows. This staff knows their capabilities; knows how to maximize their resources, safely stabilize a patient and ship them out. They are good at what they do, really good. A student in the course, Chrissie Burkhiser, Emergency Room RN, said, The clinical part of the training, with the computer simulated trauma patient, allowed me to practice skills I had only seen in nursing school and had never performed. I was glad to have extensive instruction on the treatment of burns and I learned a lot of new information to treat that kind of trauma.

The course instruction is unique in its recognition of the limitations of resources and personnel in a rural hospital, compared to a larger, metropolitan trauma center. The curriculum and skills practiced by the Scotland County Hospital staff during the RTTDC training equipped the hospital staff to improve the quality of trauma care in the community by practicing skills to improve time and response to the care of the trauma patient and a team approach that addresses the common problems in the initial assessment and stabilization of the injured patient.

As a student in the course, Dr. Elliot Hix, Emergency Room Physician, said, Rural trauma care is unique and challenging for several reasons. Because of our remote location, we have to be prepared to stabilize and properly manage the severely injured patient until a transfer occurs. This training reinforced our ability to make optimal use of our resources within the hospital.

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