Montana TNCC 2012

As I ran around making last minute preparations for the two day Trauma Nursing Core Course (TNCC) I would we would be teaching, I wondered how I would ever have time for my scheduled phone meeting with my trusted friend and fellow SOI Director, Rob Lindner.  After re-confirming dates and times with the team of experienced trauma nurse instructors, I sat down for the phone call. After Rob and I caught up on life a bit, I went on a rant about how much time, energy and money we were putting into this TNCC course, and whether it would be worth it. After a pause, my colleague said, “Well, isn’t this why we started Sentinel…to provide education to those who really need it and may not have access?”

He was right, and I he changed my attitude completely around. For the next two days of class, I looked around the room at the emergency and intensive care unit nurses from outlying, rural hospitals reflecting on what he said. After teaching for a month in educationally starved Africa, I had temporarily forgotten that we sometimes have the same challenges in our rural and expansive state. I was also overwhelmed by a sense of pride that Sentinel was able to bring this course to these students in Montana and that we had gathered a team of instructors with a wealth of information developed from providing trauma care to patients all around the US.

My pride turned to nervousness as it came time for the written and practical examinations. Had we covered everything we needed to? Had we prepared them well enough for a simulated trauma patient assessment? To my relief, all of the students passed with very strong marks. That evening I found myself reflecting back to Rob’s point, truly pleased that we have now added rural nurses to our list of students that we have reached out to in order to provide much needed, high quality education and training. Maybe next year we can take this international certification back to Africa…

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