Vance-Granville Community College will soon expand its Emergency Medical Services training options to include the internationally-recognized Prehospital Trauma Life Support (PHTLS) program.
Developed by the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians in cooperation with the American College of Surgeons’ Committee on Trauma, PHTLS is the leading continuing education program for prehospital emergency trauma care. The stated mission of PHTLS is “to promote excellence in trauma patient management by all providers involved in the delivery of prehospital care through global education.” The courses are intended to improve the quality of trauma care and, in turn, to save patients whose lives are in danger before they can reach the hospital.
PHTLS promotes critical thinking as the foundation for providing quality care. It is based on the belief that, given a good foundation of knowledge and key principles, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) practitioners are capable of making reasoned decisions regarding patient care. The PHTLS course is continuously updated and revised to keep up with advances in the field.
“Adding this program will help our local responders have a better understanding of trauma and how to treat the patient,” said Stephen Barney, VGCC’s coordinator/instructor for EMS Programs. “It will bring students up to the national standard of trauma care. This will allow providers to give better care to patients.”
There are several different PHTLS courses, which, Barney said, VGCC will offer as needed, starting in the fall. The offerings include a 16-hour “Provider Course” for emergency medical responders, EMTs, Paramedics, nurses, physician assistants and physicians; an 8-hour “Refresher Course” for individuals who have successfully completed the PHTLS provider course within the past four years; a four-hour “Instructor Update,” and an 8-hour “PHTLS for First Responders” course for emergency medical responders, police officers, firefighters, rescue personnel and safety officers to prepare for rendering care to trauma patients until EMS personnel arrive. Barney said that VGCC will become one of several North Carolina community colleges offering PHTLS, while many others use the “International Trauma Life Support” training course.
VGCC offers EMS training from the basic to the Paramedic level, in addition to continuing education. For more information, call Stephen Barney at (252) 738-3273.