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


What is Rural Trauma Team Development Course (RTTDC) and why was it developed?

Rural trauma is the "neglected disease" of the 21st century. RTTDC has been developed to help rural hospitals with development of their trauma teams. The course improves the quality of care in rural communities by developing a timely, organized, and systemic response to the care of the trauma patient, and a team approach that addresses common problems in the initial assessment and stabilization of the injured.

How long is RTTDC?

The course is designed to be given in one day over the course of approximately eight hours, in four separate modules of 1.5–2 hours each, or in a combination of modules.

Who can host a course?

The course can be presented in any facility with a large enough room to hold 20–30 participants for the didactic portion of the course. Good lighting, good acoustics, and the ability to accommodate a large projection screen and equipment for a PowerPoint presentation are requirements. Additional space in this room, or additional rooms, is required to set up the team-performance teaching stations. These stations must be far enough apart to allow reasonable conversational speech levels between the instructors and participants without interference from the other stations.

Who can teach RTTDC?

RTTDC is taught by surgeons, emergency physicians, family physicians, nurses, and paramedics who are experienced trauma care providers and trauma course instructors.

Who is responsible for the courses in your state?

The American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma (ACS COT) Chair for your state or his or her designee is charged with authorizing all RTTDC courses. In most states, the responsibility of presenting the courses will be given to the Level I and II trauma centers in the vicinity of the rural hospital requesting the course. Most often this will be the trauma center to which the rural hospital refers its critically injured patients. These trauma centers have the responsibility to provide outreach education to their referring hospitals. Ultimate responsibility for RTTDC development, content, and overall quality management is the ad hoc Rural Trauma Committee of the ACS COT.

Who should be contacted to arrange a course for a rural hospital?

There are a number of persons to contact, including your state/provincial COT Chair, the trauma coordinator or trauma medical director at the trauma center to which you refer, and ad hoc Rural Trauma Committee members involved in development of the course. If you need assistance in identifying your state chair, please contact

Who has information on the course?

Please contact the Trauma Education Program Office at for more information. In addition to your state chair, the trauma medical director or trauma program manager at your nearest referral trauma center may already be involved in the courses and be a source of information.

How do I order materials for an RTTDC Course?

Individual manuals for an RTTDC course may be ordered on the ACS website. To order manuals for a course, please contact

Course materials are $50 per text, plus shipping charges, when purchased for approved RTTDC courses with a course serial number or for RTTDC faculty.

The other course materials are contained on a USB drive, which is available to Level I, II, and III trauma centers that present RTTDC at no charge.

What obligations does the rural hospital have?

A questionnaire will be sent to the rural hospital prior to scheduling. The faculty will use the answers to determine what sections of the course might be stressed during the course proper and what should be presented during the elective portion of the course. In addition, a list of suggestions for venue and equipment will be submitted. After the course, there is brief evaluation paperwork that will be completed by the course director and coordinator. It is extremely important that the post-course evaluation by the students is collected, as this information will be pooled with that from other courses across the country allowing for effective updates and revisions.

For all other inquiries, please contact