The Grand Manan Hospital (GMH) is located on a small isolated island in the Bay of Fundy. The GMH is a level V designated trauma centre that consists of an eight bed inpatient unit and two bed Emergency Room. GMH is also responsible for providing 24 hour emergency care to the (2500) residents of Grand Manan Island, along with the (150) residents of White Head Island. Grand Manan is a well know tourists destination that attracts a diverse population year round. GMH excels at accommodating this population influx, and the injuries/illnesses that can accompany them. Further, given the remote location of the GMH, the “trauma team” (Physician, Registered Nurses and Licensed Practical Nurse) not only provide initial resuscitation and stabilization, but ongoing care and evaluation.
GMH boasts a small but dedicated team of interdisciplinary health professionals. The physicians, NP, RN’s, LPN’s and an X-ray technician all work cohesively to provide the best possible care for all injured patients. In addition to being committed to providing optimal patient care, the team at GMH is intensely committed to one another. Many times when a serious trauma has occurred on the island, team members have come in to lend a hand, often on their days off, and sometimes without even being called. The willingness to help out when needed doesn’t end with those providing direct patient care, the entire support staff at GMH pitches in (kitchen staff, ward clerks, facility manager) etc. As well, in many circumstances GMH partners with ANB paramedics and the local volunteer firefighters. This sense of comradery is what sets GMH apart from other trauma centers.
The trauma team at the GMH is cognizant of the role that continuing education plays in optimal patient outcomes. The team regularly participates and is certified in courses including: Canadian Triage Acuity Scale, Trauma Nursing Core Course, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Emergency Nursing Pediatric Course, along with the Rural Trauma Team Development Course. In addition, the entire team participates in quarterly simulation activities. Due to the unique geographic location trauma patients are most often transferred to tertiary care via aircraft. In some situations the local private charter company is used for these transfers, therefore it is mandatory that each Registered nurse completes annual aircraft safety training.
GMH staff utilizes and collaborate with the Toll Free Trauma Referral System to ensure the best care is provided to the injured patient. Even with the remote location of GMH, patients who need to be transferred typically arrive to their definitive care facility within 3 hours of presentation to the GMH emergency room. Patient transport may be complicated by inclement weather; staff must be creative in safely transporting critically injured patients to other trauma facilities when required. Often this means ground transport with a ferry crossing, or air transfer.
The trauma team at GMH is passionate about injury prevention. They work with the local RCMP department in a campaign to encourage cyclists to wear helmets. In recent years, an RN delivered winter safety education to the grade 2 class at the community school. The staff is well trained to care for patients who present with injuries related to fishing industry, and water activities. GMH has great community of support as well. They collaborate with the Grand Manan Hospital Foundation to fund much needed medical equipment.
GMH is a remote level V designated centre that makes a huge impact in the community. The collaboration and comradery seen at this site are excellent examples of how this trauma centre provides exceptional care. The staff at this isolated site are dedicated to providing extraordinary trauma care, and is well-equipped to handle the unique challenges of this remote island community.
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