Your Healthy Family: Inside Trauma Training - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Your Healthy Family: Inside Trauma Training

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Dr. David Steinbruner learned the principle, “train like you fight - fight like you train” while serving in the military.  It is a principle he has carried forward into his medical practice as an emergency department physician at UCHealth Memorial.

"In the past, we trained on real people, with residents and interns having attending doctors next to them.  Nurses who were more experienced were working over the nurses who were not, while working on real patients, and that's how they trained.   What we are doing now is using these very complicated and advanced mannequins, and we are able to train in a very real fashion before we ever touch a real person," Steinbruner said.

When UCHealth Memorial wanted to step up their game, they knew they had to step up their training to increase their trauma patient care. UCHealth Memorial trauma surgeon Dr. Brian Leininger stated, “We started doing this about five years ago when we realized that we wanted to deliver a level of care for trauma patients here in Colorado Springs that was equal to that of any one major high power trauma center in the country.  Once a month we do this, and the operating room and the emergency department get the chance to do a lot of things on a trauma patient and doing it right and doing it fast."

Dr. Leininger says these training sessions are far from the yelling and chaos usually depicted on TV shows.  "There is a natural tendency, when somebody is badly hurt and needs lots of things to happen at once, for people to get excited and to get anxious and sometimes not be able to coordinate between each other and get things done."

Dr. Steinbruner says conducting these training sessions in a calm manner is key for these medical professionals to hone the skills that truly can put patients at ease in a crisis.  "You don't yell for things, everyone should know what they are going to do because they are all professionals and they know what to do.  We have trained and have a system in place, so everyone is very adept at knowing where we are about to go.  Ideally, when we do these resuscitation trainings, I speak very little, because everyone knows what I want to do, and it's very calm.”  

While perfection is the goal, Dr. Steinbruner says a successful training session should not be perfect.  “At the end of the day, we should have some road bumps; we should have challenges.  We will continue to do this, and we want it to fail on some level so we know where to get better.  

“We're the ones at work. It's your emergency, not ours.  You want us to be calm collected and relaxed.  I won’t say you want us to be having fun, but you want us to be enjoying the fact that we are helping you. There is no reason we should be stressed out about that.  Are we stressed out about a little kid who is sick? You better believe it.  However, we are going to fake it till we make it, we are going to make sure that we understand how to do our job so well that you never see us stressed, and you are calm and relaxed because you know you’re in good hands."

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