CARE Course

07 May CARE Course

A team of Doctors, Nurses, and Paramedics made the voyage from British Columbia to Bruce County to run The CARE Course (Comprehensive Approaches to Rural Emergencies). This was the first time in Ontario that this program has been run and Bruce County Paramedic Service partnered with Grey Bruce Health Services to participate in this unique two-day rural emergency medicine program that brought together paramedics, nurses and physicians in a collaborative learning environment.

The training is designed for small rural hospitals where local people with medical emergencies are cared for by generalists (family physicians, nurses and paramedics). It originated in British Columbia and offers healthcare providers working in isolated areas the opportunity to hone their emergency response skills in simulated emergency situations.

The British Columbia team of rural educators brought a truckload of medical simulation equipment to Wiarton and Lion’s Head on March 2nd & 3rd and March 5th & 6th. This allowed the course to focus on skills stations and scenarios whereby interdisciplinary groups worked as teams in a fun learning environment. The 2 day inter-professional learning experience focused on airway management, trauma care, cardiac care emergencies, obstetrics, pediatric emergencies and neonatal care. Between the Lion’s Head and Wiarton sites, the training was available to 48 participants – made up equally of nurses, doctors and paramedics.

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, and is funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. Lion’s Head and Wiarton in Bruce County were the first sites in the Province to take part in this initiative. Another course is scheduled to take place in Red Lake in June and possibly other courses will occur over the next couple years with the hopes that this course becomes adapted to the Ontario system and becomes more widely available.

For the Bruce County paramedics that attended, they gained not only the knowledge of how some advanced skills are performed but also the “great opportunity to interact with nurses and doctors in a non-stressful way to gain insight into their roles and responsibilities after we transfer care to them.” Melissa Moulton (paramedic participant).

“Communication and inter-professional teamwork skills are at the centre of the learning and teaching experience and are an essential part of providing excellent emergency care in low human resource settings,” said Dr. Jel Coward, who, along with Dr. Rebecca Lindley, nurses and paramedics, assisted in teaching the courses.