The Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital (DECH), located in New Brunswick’s capital city, is a level III Trauma Centre and an integral piece in New Brunswick’s inclusive trauma system. As a level III facility, the DECH is able to provide surgical interventions, resuscitation, stabilization and diagnostic assessments for seriously injured patients. This Fredericton based trauma centre, being centrally located, is positioned to offer services to a myriad of different communities throughout New Brunswick. This includes injuries sustained in the military community; the Gagetown base is less than an hour away. The DECH is a teaching hospital, and is affiliated with Dalhousie Medical School’s family medicine program and University of New Brunswick’s faculty of Nursing. The DECH is an essential partner of the NB Trauma Program, and is dedicated to providing exceptional care to their injured patients.
The DECH is an important destination hospital for seriously injured patients. Annually, the DECH staff treat over 2500 injuries. In the previous year, transfers facilitated by the Toll Free Trauma Referral System resulted in 18 patients received by the DECH, and 22 to other level I and II designated facilities. For a patient to be transferred out, injuries are severe and exceed the capacity of the facility. When patients suffer an injury that exceeds the resources of the DECH, and thus requires transfer to another trauma centre, they are typically sent to either the Saint John Regional Hospital or to the Moncton Hospital.
When it comes to emergencies, the DECH models interdisciplinary and collaborative care. One of the ways the emergency department is able to provide such cohesive care, is through regular effective communication. Daily, all members of the emergency department participate in “Team Huddles,” an idea spearheaded by the former Nurse Manager, Susan McCarron. The idea is to bring all members of the emergency department team together, at the same time each day, to ensure all staff are informed, prepared, and empowered with resources to deliver exceptional trauma care. The model is so effective, because consistent messaging is issued every huddle meeting so that everyone is privy to departmental goings on. Janet Vautour, a trauma nurse at the DECH, used the daily opportunity for communication to provide trauma specific information to staff. She remarks that it’s an excellent opportunity for education, communication and logistics planning, all in a practical timeframe.
The DECH staff are engaged in keeping up with trauma education. The staff regularly participate in Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) and Trauma Nursing Core Courses (TNCC). TNCC has in fact been regularly hosted by the DECH. In the upcoming year, the facility is also excited to host several Simulation courses, where real time trauma scenarios are worked through in a simulated setting, using life like mannequins. DECH staff know that clinical education is central to providing exceptional clinical care.
The DECH is an integral centre within the New Brunswick Trauma Program. Housed on the DECH campus is the Stan Cassidy Centre for Rehabilitation. The Stan Cassidy Centre is an essential resource for trauma patients who have suffered neurologic complications as a result of a serious injury. Although the centre cares for many types of patients, for New Brunswickers who have suffered a serious traumatic injury, it is imperative to have programming that helps facilitate independence and recovery. The relationship shared between the DECH and Stan Cassidy Centre is an important for seriously injured patients.
The staff at the DECH are committed to providing exceptional care to those who are critically injured. To facilitate this, the hospital is undergoing extensive renovations, beginning in 2018, in order to best serve their patients. Though the renovations will mostly target primary care areas, they include a new Intensive Care Unit, which will help support patients who have experienced a serious traumatic injury.
The DECH is an essential component of the New Brunswick Trauma Program. Their commitment to exceptional, collaborative and interdisciplinary care is evident, and the service provided to the community is invaluable. An inclusive trauma system is made possible through cooperative engagement with level III centres, and the DECH certainly delivers. This trauma facility is truly an example of a uniquely exceptional care centre.
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