For immediate release

May 9, 2013

RVH hosts two-day program to update skills in Advanced Trauma Life Support

Physicians from Renfrew Victoria Hospital and area were put to the test in an on-site training program in early treatment of trauma and injury on May 4 and 5. The Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) program, established by the American College of Surgeons, teaches a standardized approach to early treatment of trauma patients. Upon completion of the program, physicians receive a four-year ATLS certification, which is required for Emergency Department practice.

A total of 25 physicians participated in the two-day program, while four registered nurses and five paramedics audited. Ten of RVH’s full-time physicians and five casual physicians who work regularly in the RVH Emergency Department participated, while the other 10 physicians came from hospitals in Pembroke, Almonte, Deep River, Arnprior and Ottawa.

Donna Allerton, the ATLS program coordinator at McMaster University, delivered the course with the assistance of six physician instructors. The program deals with rapid and accurate assessment of a patient’s condition, resuscitation and stabilization, determining the facility’s capacity to handle the patient’s needs, arranging appropriate inter-hospital transfer, and ensuring optimum care through evaluation, resuscitation and transfer processes. The course format included lectures, Surgical Skills Stations, Practical Skills Stations and six patient case scenarios with student volunteers simulating trauma and injury patients. ATLS instructors observed the participants’ assessment of these simulated patients to ensure they provided the best care practices.

“Our instructors were very impressed with the physicians,” Allerton said after the course was completed. “Everyone passed and they were a great group.”

Dr. Steve Radke, RVH Chief of Staff, said medical staff is very satisfied with the course. “It is exciting to see RVH take a leadership role in continuing professional development as well as the commitment our physicians and nurses make to enhance their skills. The course was informative, practical and will no doubt translate into improved patient care.”

Laura Culligan, Administrative Assistant in RVH’s Emergency Services, who organized the event, says this is the third time that the ATLS course has been offered at RVH. “Participants would otherwise have had to travel to Toronto for the closest course offering,” she adds.

Randy Penney, President and CEO of RVH offered his congratulations to all those who participated in the course.

“To our physicians, nurses and paramedics as well as everyone else involved with setting the course up, I say well done. A key priority for our organization is investing in our staff and physicians and ensuring they maintain their competencies in important areas. We are particularly pleased that the course was offered on-site, in our own local hospital and community,” says Penney.

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For more information, please contact:
Randy Penney, President and CEO,
Renfrew Victoria Hospital
613-432-4851, ext. 260

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