Sundre physicians, nurses and EMS staff took CARE recently, learning how to work together more effectively as a team. On 21-22 March 2015, the Rural Coordination Centre of British Columbia (RCCbc ) visited Sundre, Alberta to conduct the Comprehensive Approach to Rural Emergencies (CARE) Course.
Sponsored by the Alberta Rural Physician Action Plan (RPAP), the CARE Course is a two-day inter-professional education programs that comes into communities and works with physicians the nurses and paramedics, reviewing all the basic of emergency care.
According to course instructor, Dr. Rebecca Lindley, participants receive instruction in select emergency procedures, including airway management, trauma care, cardiac care, emergency obstetrics, pediatrics and neo-natal care, through a series of scenarios and skills stations conducted throughout the weekend.
“The point is that they work together in their professional groups in the skills stations, and then they mix-up and work with docs, nurses and paramedics going together and doing the scenarios,” says Lindley. “That works well because it reflects what the teams are when a patient comes into one of the rural facilities.”
Physicians and nurses from Sundre, and EMS personnel from Olds, Sundre and Caroline, participated in the two-day event, which took place at the Sundre Hospital and Care Centre. Participant and organizer, Dr. Rob Warren of Sundre, says there are a number of benefits to having a course such as this in offered in your own community, including the opportunity to practise dealing with emergencies along with the people you work alongside in your facilities.
“The challenge of being in rural medicine whether you are a doctor, a nurse or a paramedic, is you have to be prepared and comfortable with anything that might run through the door, even thought you might not see it for two to three years. If you as a doctor know that your team knows what you’re doing, and they know that you know what you’re doing, it makes you provide collectively much better care.”
Coming together in a “not-at-work situation” is a key ingredient to the course’s success, according to Diana Kleinloog, charge nurse at the Sundre Hospital.
“It’s good to laugh and share and learn together, because you can take that same behavior into the [emergency] room, you can only do better for your patients.”
Sundre paramedic, Carrie Heffernan, says the skills stations and scenarios helped to demonstrate how the rural healthcare team can work together to for the benefit of the patient.
“In rural, you don’t have all those extra hands, there’s not 10 or 15 doctors that you can pull from, so I think it’s great that they know we’re there, they know our skills, and able to pull from our experience.”
According to Dr. Warren, there are a number of benefits for other rural communities who may be considering bringing the CARE Course to their community:
“You’re learning in your own facility, with your own equipment and own room; the course is taught by other rural health professionals who know the challenges that you’re up against when you’re providing care in a small rural hospital; and you’re learning together with the team that you’re actually going to be working with tomorrow, and next week and next month.”
“We recognize it’s more expensive to do it that way, and we probably couldn’t have been able to provide this kind of course without the support of RPAP.”
For more info on the CARE Course, visit www.theCAREcourse.ca.
RPAP | Health Workforce for Alberta is the Alberta Rural Physician Action Plan, a provincially-focused comprehensive, integrated, and sustained program for the education, recruitment, and retention of physicians for rural medical practice.