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Course focuses on trauma training for nurses, medics

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. David Herndon
  • 59th Medical Wing Public Affairs
To accommodate a large number of Airmen departing Wilford Hall Medical Center for Air Expeditionary Force 9/10, 59th Medical Wing leaders implemented a trauma pre-deployment course Aug. 16 for nurses and medical technicians.

The course is a condensed version of the Department of Defense's Emergency War Surgery Course (nursing track) that is offered at Wilford Hall to a limited number of deploying medical personnel.

"Since we knew the demand was more than the supply for this AEF cycle, we had to come up with something to make sure all of our folks were trained," said Rose Bolenbaucher, 59th MDW Trauma Performance Improvement coordinator.  "An observation was made in theater by our lead trauma teams that our nurses and technicians were not always familiar with some of the equipment being used."

Similar to A-10 Thunderbolt II pilots honing in on close-air support techniques and aerial movements before deployments, nurses and technicians here were able to familiarize themselves during the day-long course with medical instruments currently being used in theater in order to better support warfighters.

"This is mostly about hands-on (application), making sure our providers have the skill set necessary for a smooth transition to trauma cases that could be experienced in Balad (Air Base, Iraq)," said Tracy Cotner-Pouncy, 59th MDW trauma performance improvement coordinator. "It is important that they know the equipment."

The course gave students an opportunity to sit in on a Joint Theater Trauma System video teleconference, to promote understanding of how information and patients are moved from Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom areas of responsibility to the United States. Students also took an in-depth look at the critical care air transport process and spent nearly six hours in Wilford Hall's simulation lab.

"The hands-on training that the trauma pre-deployment course offered was invaluable in ensuring a successful transition to delivering quality patient care in the deployment area of responsibility for my recent rotation to Balad," said Maj. Stacy Greene, chief of 59th MDW Education and Training.

Trauma performance improvement coordinators throughout the wing feel that this type of application training provided to medical personnel will continue to give an edge to the level of care provided to servicemembers.

"The course opened up opportunities for dialogue with current deployers and I was able to meet colleagues who were deploying with me and ask questions that had been on my mind since I was told I was going to deploy," Major Greene said. 

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