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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 27  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 9-15

Trauma experiences of rural practitioners: A self assessment

Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Canada

Correspondence Address:
MD, CCFP-EM Mohammad Ali Jami
Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Saskatchewan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/cjrm.cjrm_88_20

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Introduction: The purpose of this study was to identify, through self-assessment, how comfortable rural emergency medicine (EM) physicians are in treating critically ill trauma patients, the resources available to treat such patients and their comfort with performing trauma procedures. Methods: An anonymous self-assessment survey was e-mailed to family physicians practising rural EM in Saskatchewan regarding training, hospital resources, demographics and self-reported comfort with rural trauma management. We included physicians who had provided EM care within the past year in Saskatchewan outside of the major trauma centres. Comfort was measured on a Likert scale. Results: One hundred thirteen physicians out of a total of 479 physicians contacted agreed to participate (23.6%). Thirty-nine percent (n = 31) of respondents were comfortable with paediatric trauma, and 46% (n = 37) were comfortable with vascular trauma. Nineteen percent (n = 15) were comfortable with pericardiocentesis and 25% (n = 19) were comfortable with cricothyroidotomy. In the past 12 months, 21% (n = 17) had performed paediatric endotracheal intubation, 1.3% (n = 1) had performed cricothyroidotomy, 28.8% (n = 23) had performed needle thoracentesis and 20% (n = 16) had performed central venous line access. Those who did their residency training outside of Canada were more comfortable with overall trauma care. Those who had taken emergency department echo were generally more comfortable with trauma procedures. Those who had current advanced trauma life support were more comfortable with less frequently encountered aspects of trauma care. Conclusions: This self-assessment helped us identify which aspects of rural trauma medicine are the most challenging for rural practitioners. It gave us an understanding of the procedures related to trauma medicine that are the most difficult, which critical resources are available and where training could be focused to benefit rural emergency physicians.

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