Purpose: The American College of Surgeons’ Rural Trauma Team Development Course (RTTDC) was designed to help rural hospitals optimize a team approach to trauma management recognizing the need for early transfer. Little literature exists on the success of RTTDC achieving its objectives. The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of RTTDC on rural trauma team members. Methods: RTTDC was hosted at seven rural hospitals. A pre-course 30-question Likert survey gauging confidence managing trauma patients was administered to participants. Four weeks following, participants received a post-course survey with corresponding Likert questions and 11 trauma knowledge-based questions. Chi-square, Fisher’s exact tests and general linear models were utilized. Statistical significance is set as p < 0.05. Results: 111 participants completed the pre-course survey; 53 (48%) completed the post-course survey. Results presented on a 5-point Likert scale with 1 = “not at all comfortable” to 5 = “extremely comfortable.” Participants knowing their role in the trauma team improved by 16% (p = 0.02). Familiarity with the roles of other trauma team members was significantly improved (3.4 vs. 4.15; p < 0.01). Participants comfort with resuscitating trauma patients and managing traumatic brain injury significantly improved (3.29 vs. 3.69; p = 0.01 and 2.62 vs. 3.14; p = 0.004, respectively). Comfortability communicating with the regional trauma center improved significantly (3.64 vs. 4.19; p = 0.004). Participant decision to transfer trauma patients within 15 min of arrival improved by 3.2%. Participants answered 82% of the knowledge-based questions correctly. Conclusion: RTTDC instills confidence in providers at rural hospitals. The information taught is well retained, allowing for quality care and timely patient transfer to the nearest trauma center.
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