American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

Trauma Education

Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS)

Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) teaches a systematic, concise approach to the care of a trauma patient. ATLS was developed by the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma (ACS COT) and was first introduced in the U.S. and abroad in 1980. ATLS provides a safe and reliable method for the immediate management of injured patients. Participants learn how to assess a patient’s condition, resuscitate and stabilize him or her, and determine if patient needs exceed facility capacity. It also covers arranging for an interhospital transfer with optimum care provided throughout the process. 

Trauma Evaluation and Management (TEAM)

Trauma Evaluation and Management (TEAM) is an introductory course for medical students in the evaluation and management of trauma. The program includes a three-segment, initial-assessment video demonstration, clinical trauma case scenarios for small group discussion, and skills sessions. The content can be easily adapted to a medical school’s curriculum. The program’s core content is adapted from the ATLS course, and should not be used to replace ATLS participation. 

Advanced Trauma Operative Management (ATOM)

The Advanced Trauma Operative Management (ATOM) course increases surgical competence and confidence by teaching proper operative techniques for penetrating injuries to the chest and abdomen. Established in 1998, the ATOM course is intended for senior surgical residents, trauma fellows, military surgeons, and general surgeons not frequently called on to treat penetrating injuries. During the course, students are asked to identify traumatic injuries, develop a plan to surgically repair them, and be able to describe proper operative techniques. 

Rural Trauma Team Development Course (RTTDC)

The Rural Trauma Team Development Course (RTTDC) emphasizes a team approach to the initial evaluation and resuscitation of the trauma patient at a rural facility. The course assists health care professionals in determining the need to transfer the patient to a higher level of care. The one-day course includes interactive lectures on medical procedures and communication strategies as well as three team performance scenarios.

Disaster Management and Emergency Preparedness (DMEP)

The one-day Disaster Management and Emergency Preparedness (DMEP) course teaches planning methods, preparedness, and medical management of trauma patients in mass casualty disaster situations. Through lecture and interactive scenarios, health care providers learn incident command terminology, principles of disaster triage, injury patterns, and availability of assets for support.

Advanced Surgical Skills for Exposure in Trauma (ASSET)

Advanced Surgical Skills for Exposure in Trauma (ASSET) uses human cadavers to teach surgical exposure of anatomic structures that when injured may pose a threat to life or limb. The one-day course covers surgical exposures in the neck, chest, abdomen, pelvis, and upper and lower extremities. The low student-to-faculty ratio allows for extensive faculty guidance and interaction with students. 

Basic Endovascular Skills for Trauma (BEST)

In Basic Endovascular Skills for Trauma (BEST), participants learn endovascular techniques such as arterial access and resuscitative endovascular balloon occlusion of the aorta to temporize life-threatening hemorrhage. There is a simulator-based workshop, as well as a course that offers more hands-on training with perfused cadavers including ultrasound-guided common femoral arterial (CFA) access, percutaneous and open cannulation of the CFA, and CFA repair.