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Members of Red Lake’s medical community are better prepared for emergencies, and working collaboratively following a weekend of training.
The Red Lake Margaret Cochenour Memorial Hospital hosted the Comprehensive Approach to Rural Emergencies (CARE) course, a two day hands-on learn inexperience in rural emergency care June 9 and 10.
Twenty-four local and regional participants learned about subjects like airway management, trauma care, cardiac care, emergency obstetrics, paediatrics, and neonatal care. “The course is taught by physicians and nurses and paramedics and it’s taught to physicians, nurses and paramedics, the idea being that that it’s in their home community so they’re working with the teams they’d normally work with,” explained Jel Coward, one of the facilitators.
When people only learn within their peer groups, and from their own peer groups, he said, the learning often doesn’t get connected. “When everyone’s together they form this joint knowledge,” Coward said, noting that the course strengthens the local team.
“We hope afterwards, when the CARE course leaves people are bonded together a bit more and have a but more understanding of each other’s roles and what each other can do, and therefore function as an inter-professional team together,” he said. “We hope that that lasts within the community.”
The impact, ideally, stays with the larger community too. “Retention and recruitment into rural areas is tricky… if you can strengthen the community and get people working well together their happiness index improves,” said Coward. “That bodes really well for future recruitment and retention.” Facilitator Rebecca Lind ley said that the training is based on what hap pens in real, rural com munities, training for situations that are the most critical, and, she said, those “people are often the most afraid of.”
“All of that is focused on what you can do in small communities,” she explained, using the ex ample of frameworks for critical care that indicate a patient should be sent for a CT scan. “Well, that’s not that helpful in Red Lake,” she pointed out. “[We’re] working with people to adapt what the evidence is for good care and what the protocols are and optimize that in a community like Red Lake.”
Dr. Andrew Gloster, chief of staff, said the course was “a fantastic learning experience applicable to emergency critical care in a rural environment.” “The training I received at the CARE course in Red Lake stands out to me as the best educational experience I have received since graduating college,” shared Terry Robinson, KDSB/Red Lake Ambulance Service.
“The normal training I receive each year as a paramedic is of course crucial, relevant, and en gaging, but always isolated to my own scope of practice. The CARE course gave me a chance to learn and practice alongside our fantastic nurses and doctors, and it really got me optimistic about our potential when we come together as team. I am grateful to have had this experience, and certainly feel like a better paramedic because of it.”
The CARE course is being piloted in Ontario as part of a rural medicine initiative of the Ontario College of Family Physicians’ Collaborative Mentoring Networks, funded by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care.