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Effectiveness of the Rural Trauma Team Development Course for Educating Nurses and Other Health Care Providers at Rural Community Hospitals

Zhu, Thein Hlaing MBBS, MPH, FACE; Hollister, Lisa RN, BSN; Scheumann, Christopher RN, BSN; Konger, Jennifer RN, BSN; Opoku, Dazar MPH

doi: 10.1097/JTN.0000000000000176

The study evaluates (1) health care provider perception of the Rural Trauma Team Development Course (RTTDC); (2) improvement in acute trauma emergency care knowledge; and (3) early transfer of trauma patients from rural emergency departments (EDs) to a verified trauma center. A 1-day, 8-hour RTTDC was given to 101 nurses and other health care providers from nine rural community hospitals from 2011 to 2013. RTTDC participants completed questionnaires to address objectives (1) and (2). ED and trauma registry data were queried to achieve objective (3) for assessing reduction in ED time (EDT), from patient arrival to decision to transfer and ED length of stay (LOS). The RTTDC was positively perceived by health care providers (96.3% of them completed the program). Significant improvement in 13 of the 19 knowledge items was observed in nurses. Education intervention was an independent predictor in reducing EDT by 28 minutes and 95% confidence interval (CI) [−57, −0.1] at 6 months post-RTTDC, and 29 minutes and 95% CI [−53, −6] at 12 months post-RTTDC. Similar results were observed with ED LOS. The RTTDC is well-perceived as an education program. It improves acute trauma emergency care knowledge in rural health care providers. It promotes early transfer of severely injured patients to a higher level of care.

Parkview Adult and Pediatric Level 2 Trauma Center, Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Correspondence: Thein Hlaing Zhu, MBBS, MPH, FACE, Department of Trauma Services and Acute Care Surgery, Parkview Regional Medical Center, Fort Wayne, IN 46845 (

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Copyright © 2016 by the Society of Trauma Nurses.