Every year in New Zealand, an estimated 2,000 people are admitted to hospital with major trauma. For those who survive, their injuries can have a profound and lasting impact on their life. A recent event in Southland aims to enhance the quality of care for trauma patients by bringing together health professionals from across the sector to learn, share and discuss new developments and best practice in trauma care.
Almost 80 health professionals from across the sector attended the first ‘Southland Trauma Symposium’ in Invercargill, including representatives from St John, Southland Hospital and Dunedin Hospital, as well as a number from rural hospitals and regions.Presentation topics by keynote speakers and specialists included new developments in trauma, ACC statistics and rehabilitation, patient and family perspectives, as well as trauma complications. Chair of the National Trauma Network, Professor Ian Civil, was one of the speakers.
The symposium, held on 28 November, was focused on educating clinicians to increase their knowledge and provide better care to trauma patients, whether in hospital or at the scene of an accident, says trauma nurse coordinator and organiser of the event, Rebecca Coats. “It’s about understanding how to apply this knowledge in a clinical context, as well as keeping up-to-date in current best practice.“Education is absolutely vital in gaining knowledge – but the symposium was about so much more than that. It was about building relationships, networking with other colleagues and strengthening the bond that exists between primary and tertiary healthcare providers.”
Rebecca says response to the event was overwhelming. “This was the first symposium for Southland and it was a huge success. The speakers were of high calibre and we received extremely positive feedback following the event. It’s anticipated there will be more planned for 2017 and beyond.” The South Island Major Trauma Workstream supports the initiative and will encourage the symposium model in other South Island districts next year.