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Trauma Challenges: Care of the Critically Injured Patient

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Course Description

This program is designed for the nurse caring for critically ill, multisystem trauma patients. The program will provide information regarding mechanisms of injury in all body systems, and then apply that knowledge to clinical assessment and management issues. Common complications of multisystem trauma, hemorrhagic shock, ARDS, coagulopathies and sepsis will be discussed. This seminar also serves as a review of nursing interventions, current guidelines and recommendations in each major organ system involved in trauma.

Program Learning Outcomes

This program prepares the learner to:

  • Discuss the mechanism of injury in the following areas: chest, abdomen, brain and spinal cord injuries.
  • Describe the physiology of shock, and discuss the management of hemorrhagic shock in a multisystem trauma patient.
  • Discuss the complications of multisystem trauma patients, including sepsis, ARDS and shock.
  • Describe the care of special trauma patients, including burns and pregnant trauma patients.
  • Discuss the psychological component for both the patient and family in regards to a traumatic injury, and identify nursing interventions to assist in the psychological healing process.


Sign-in begins at 7:30 am. Each day includes a one-hour lunch (on your own), as well as a morning and afternoon break of 15 minutes each. The order of lectures presented and break times may vary according to speaker preference.

Day 1, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm

  • Fall Down, Go Boom: Mechanisms of Trauma
    Kinetics | Patterns of Injury in the Motor Vehicle Collision | Vehicular Safety Devices | Patterns of Injury Associated with Falls | Ballistics | Patterns Associated with Stabbing and Gunshot Injuries
  • A Shocking Topic
    Recognition and Treatment of Hypovolemic Shock | End Points to Resuscitation | Current Research Regarding Aggressive Fluid Resuscitation
  • Abdominal Trauma
    FAST Assessment of Abdomen | Postoperative Complications | Management Issues
  • The Kill Zone: Chest Trauma
    Blunt vs. Penetrating Injuries | FAST Assessment of Chest | Management Issues | Postoperative Complications
  • Beyond the Golden Hour: Complications of Trauma
    Sepsis | Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome | Multi-Organ Dysfunction Syndrome | ARDS

Day 2, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm

  • Humpty Dumpty had a Great Fall: Traumatic Brain Injury
    Neurological Assessment | Increased Intracranial Pressure | Common Traumatic Brain Injuries
  • You’re Getting on my Nerves: Spinal Cord Trauma
    Complete Spinal Cord Syndromes | Partial Spinal Cord Syndromes | Care of the Patient with Spinal Cord Injury
  • Problems at the Top: Facial and Ocular Injuries
    Facial Fractures | Common Ocular Injuries Associated with Trauma
  • Those Burning Questions Regarding Care of the Burn Patient
    Thermal, Electrical and Radiation Burns | Carbon Monoxide Poisoning | Special Burn Situations
  • Care of the Traumatically Injured Pregnant Patient in the ICU
    Pathophysiological Changes Associated with Pregnancy | Injury Patterns and Care of the Pregnant Trauma Patient
  • Compartment Syndromes: Head, Abdomen, Extremity
    Compartment Syndrome Physiology | Recognition and Management
  • Going Beyond the Physical Component: Care of the Family in Crisis
    Ethical Decision-Making | Providing Psych-Social Care for the Family | Family Presence in Resuscitation