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Internationally Renowned Trauma Course Held In Tauranga For First Time

Hosting a high profile, internationally recognised trauma course at Tauranga Hospital for the first time is great news for both the Bay of Plenty District Health Board (BOPDHB) and the community it serves say medical experts.

Trauma physicians at the BOPDHB had been looking to hold the Emergency Management of Sudden Trauma (EMST) course locally for over 15 years and the stars finally aligned this year.

“Not only does the course improve trauma awareness and trauma care, but it also improves the standing of the BOPDHB as an entity in New Zealand,” said BOPDHB Medical Leader and Clinical Director for Tauranga ICU/HDU Troy Browne. “It’s a great day for the DHB, going from strength to strength in education and for the community.”

BOPDHB Emergency Medical Specialist Derek Sage echoed those thoughts saying the course would “improve the trauma health provision in our area”.

The three-day EMST course is mandatory for surgeons and rural GPs however it is also attended by Anaesthetists, Emergency Technicians, other GPs, and trainees from various medical specialities and backgrounds. 16 people attend each course and are split into groups of four for training. A nurse who has requested additional trauma training is also attached to each of these groups.

The course was developed in 1976 in the United States and has since been taken up by 78 countries globally. It has been running in Australia since 1988 and in New Zealand since 1989.

“It enables those in the trauma team to speak a common language and have a common set of skills,” explains Dr Sage. “There is no doubt that this course has improved trauma care around the world and continues to do so.”

BOPDHB Trauma Medical Director and Consultant General Surgeon Jacques Marnewick was an instructor on the course, along with Dr Sage and Dr Browne, and was thrilled it had finally come to the Bay.

“There is a need for the course here as we see a lot of trauma at Tauranga and Whakatāne hospitals. It also provides good training grounds for junior doctors as it is a vital component in their training. To be able to offer this here is gold,” he said.

“It is also important to recognise the work that went on behind the scenes because that was astounding; especially the work by the two nurses who ran the show – Christchurch Nurse Tracey Williams and Clinical Nurse Manager for Tauranga ED Stephanie Watson.”

National Trauma Network Clinical Director Ian Civil was also pleased to be among the faculty of instructors in Tauranga over the duration of the course, from Friday 16 October-Sunday 18 October.

“I have always loved doing the course,” he said. “It was really exciting for me to be back in the Bay of Plenty and have the opportunity to continue to teach this course which I know the team from the BOPDHB have been hanging out for for a long time. It was a great team and great instructors and I have no doubt they will lobby and it will be offered twice a year in Tauranga.”

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