Mock training for rural emergencies

It was all hands on deck for a specialized learning opportunity at St. Joseph’s General Hospital in Vegreville. Eight physicians, eight nurses and eight Emergency Medical Services (EMS) staff from the Vegreville area took part in the Comprehensive Approach to Rural Emergencies (CARE) course. The group worked 10-hour days Saturday and Sunday to learn new methods of handling the types of emergencies rural hospitals can encounter. 

“The physicians, nurses and EMS staff undertook this training because they care about our community and are dedicated to continually increasing what we can provide for the people in our town and surrounding areas,” says Tracy Watson, Unit Manager, St. Joseph's General Hospital. “We are great at our jobs, but in health care you never stop trying to get even better.”

Nike Amusat, a nurse at St. Joseph’s General Hospital; Dr. Andre Louw, a physician in Vermilion; and Dr. Patrick Sung from Vegreville work on a mock patient who was involved in a rodeo accident. The bull rider was thrown off the bull and trampled. They had to stabilize him, which included CPR before bringing him to hospital.

Hands-on learning is a big part of the course. The practice scenarios took the care providers through an entire emergency room encounter, from the first report of someone being injured to the patient being admitted to hospital or transported out of the city.

“The hands-on learning allowed everyone to practise skills they don’t get to use frequently,” says Tracy. “Each person went through 16 different scenarios in the two days. It was intense, but wonderful.” 

The program was brought to the community by the Alberta Rural Physician Action Plan.

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