Trauma centers are important community and regional resources. In addition to the patient care services they provide, these centers are sources of information, expertise, and public safety leadership in the treatment of major injury. Outreach programs are an integral part of trauma center services and are designed to help improve outcomes from trauma and prevent injury through the public and professional dissemination of information and the facilitation of access to the clinical and educational resources of a trauma center. The components of an outreach program may include public awareness and injury prevention education or professional education through course offerings, lectures, conferences, visitation programs, Websites, newsletters, legislative advocacy, and other means. The scope of educational and outreach programs depends on a variety of factors in a given region, including population size, type and level of trauma center, and regional needs and resources. All verified trauma centers, however, must engage in public and professional education (CD 17–1). Level I and II centers also must provide some means of referral and access to trauma center resources (CD 17–2).
Here at Richmond University Medical Center we provide trauma education through utilization of the Trauma Nursing Core Course, an ENA trauma course. We provide education to our nurses in various department from our facility while also being a center for trauma education for our region of trauma centers. Richmond University Medical Center helps to educate nurses in all boroughs
It is important that trauma center professionals participate in public education to enhance prevention efforts, disseminate awareness of trauma systems and how to access them, and build support for public policy change. The public and its elected representatives, armed with knowledge about injury, may provide the stimulus for a change in attitude and improve recognition for injury as a disease entity. Trauma-related activities and programs often are underfunded, and active public educational programs designed to increase awareness of injury as a treatable disease and a potentially preventable health problem are critical to correcting this deficiency. Legislative and media advocacy also may be useful to expand awareness of injury and the role of trauma systems in its treatment and prevention. Trauma centers should have an active role in supporting constructive public policy initiatives.