Nurses trained as part of ongoing Level IV certification

Eight Wrangell nurses recently completed a course aimed at certifying them to better assist local trauma victims.

The training is part of the ongoing hospital push to seek a level IV trauma certification for the Medical Center. Nursing Director Denise McPherson said the hospital is almost two-thirds of the way through the process of obtaining the certification, and the final review in preparation to receive the designation could happen in February 2015. Officials started the drive late last year, saying the certification would bring a higher level of trauma care to Wrangell, and that it could also result in potential additional funding sources for the publicly managed hospital.

The course – called the Trauma Nursing Core Course – focused on immobilization and diagnostic techniques employed on trauma victims in a terrifying range of potentially fatal situations, McPherson said.

"If anybody is deemed trauma, they actually get the immobilization of the patient to make sure they're safe as far as stabilizing their spine," she said. "It [the course] also goes through the whole body systems to make sure everything's covered, to look at each individual organ system throughout the body to make sure that nothing's missed, everything's being treated, because when you have a trauma multiple things can be happening to the patient, and you might not see one thing unless you look for it."

The course, and the certification overall, mean not just better local care but more preparation and smoother transitions if a situation were to require a larger hospital's involvement, McPherson said.

"It increases the care we can provide through more experiences and through more education," she said. "It also provides better service to the community as well for us to have this designation, to get the current treatment plan on-board so that way when they get to a Level I trauma center, that way they can already be through the process of the patient being in the best care possible."


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