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Emergency Trauma Center Objectives

The Emergency Trauma Center rotation is designed to provide an experience in the acute management of both emergent and non-emergent medical and surgical problems.  Both assessment and management skills are emphasized and responsibilities are assumed in a graduated manner as competency increases.  Residents will become proficient in the triage management of injuries and illnesses.


  1. The resident will acquire the ability to differentiate and triage urgent and life threatening conditions from those that are subacute or psychogenic and to set treatment priorities.
  2. The resident will become proficient in the acute management of major and minor trauma, medical, surgical and psychiatric emergencies.
  3. The resident will become familiar with the techniques of advanced cardiac life support and the procedures for stabilizing acute trauma victims.
  4. The resident will learn to differentiate patients requiring hospital admission from those not needing extended observation and treatment.
  5. The resident will understand the emergency evaluation and management of the following signs and symptoms:
    • Coma
    • Shock
    • Vaginal bleeding
    • Chest pain
    • Respiratory distress
    • Syncope
    • Hemoptysis
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Abdominal pain
    • Headache
    • Febrile illness
    • Choking
  6. The resident will become proficient in the emergency management of the following medical/surgical conditions:
    • Asthma
    • Pulmonary embolus
    • Pneumothorax
    • Chest injury - penetrating or flail chest
    • Cardiac arrest
    • Hypertensive crisis
    • Cardiac arrhythmias
    • Pulmonary edema
    • Seizures
    • Stroke/cerebral edema
    • Acute psychosis
    • Suicide attempts
    • Ocular trauma
    • Epistaxis
    • GI or GU bleeding
    • Dental injury
    • Amputation of digits or extremities
    • Heat stroke and exhaustion
    • Sunburn
    • Frostbite
    • Drowning
    • Lightening/High voltage shock
    • Endocrine/thyroid storm
    • Adrenal insufficiency
    • Diabetic ketoacidosis
    • Burns
    • Foreign bodies in the eyes, ears, and nose
    • Acute urologic obstruction
    • Airway obstruction
    • Laceration repair
  7. The resident will become familiar with the emergency trauma center treatment of the following orthopedic conditions:
    • Fractures, dislocations and subluxations
    • Sprains and strains
    • Acute arthritis and bursitis
  8. The resident will become proficient at the management of toxic ingestion and drug overdose.
  9. The resident will learn to communicate with patients and families who are faced with frightening medical and surgical conditions in a manner that is supportive, informative and reassuring.
  10. The resident will understand the proper protocols for prophylaxis against tetanus, rabies, and those infectious diseases transmittable by needle puncture wounds.
  11. The resident should demonstrate an ability to read the following x-ray studies commonly utilized in the Emergency Trauma Center:
    • Chest x-ray
    • Cervical spine films
    • KUB and 3 position abdominal films
    • Long bone films for fractures including the ankles, elbows, and knees.

The resident should be aware of his/her knowledge and limitations and when appropriate, initiate proper consultations with other specialists.