(Photo by Tim Jaynes, Staff)
SIKESTON - While Missouri Delta Medical Center is well-known as a health care provider, it has also been the area's leading Community Training Center for the American Heart Association for more than five years now.
"We started the training center here in 1997 when the American Red Cross decided to go with training center facilities instead of regional centers," recalled Mary Q. Malone, coordinator for the training center.
The 17 Training Centers in Missouri are designed to be the focal point in their communities for the training of individuals in basic and advanced adult and pediatric life support techniques and their rationale.
Since 1997, the Training Center at MDMC has trained 15,600 individuals in the three major disciplines: Basic Life Support, Advanced Cardiac Life Support and Pediatric Advanced Life Support.
Kathy Vickery, RN, MSN, the hospital's director of special care nursing and regional faculty for the American Heart Association, provides quality oversight, fields questions from instructors, troubleshoots, directs programs and teaches instructors new material and how to present the material among other duties. Instructors renew their instructor status every two years.
"The hospital has been very supportive of the Training Center being based here," said Vickery. "Our instructors and our region look to us as a leader for heart programs."
This year, a donation of a Resusci-Annie training unit with four manikins from the National Automobile Dealers Charitable Foundation and the Missouri Automobile Dealers Association will greatly enhance their training efforts, Vickery said.
Missouri is divided into three task forces. "We are in Task Force 3," Malone said. The center's area extends west to just beyond Poplar Bluff, south to the state line, east to the Mississippi River and north to the Ste. Genevieve area. This area is also served by St. Francis Medical Center which offers only the BLS training.
As of January, the MDMC Training Center maintains records or the teaching activities of 149 BLS instructors, 37 ACLS instructors and 10 PALS instructors in Southeast Missouri, in addition to issuing course completion/participation cards, ensuring appropriate equipment is available and used for training, facilitating dialogue between students and instructors and managing quality assurance in the service area.
Area instructors call MDMC's Training Center with questions and the center publishes a quarterly letter for instructors with the latest information, answers to frequently asked questions and a listing of instructor training/renewal courses.
MDMC's Training Center also provides its instructors with pertinent information as published by the American Heart Association and advises on the availability of textbooks, supplies and other items necessary to the teaching of the courses.
Basic life support courses are offered at Missouri Delta Medical Center at least three times each month and Advanced Cardiac Life Support courses four to five times per year.
"There are a variety of programs specific to the audience," Vickery said, ranging from courses designed for corporate settings and schools to individuals and health care professionals.
Pediatric Advanced Life Support courses are also offered four to five times each year but at Three Rivers Community College in Poplar Bluff. "We train the trainers," said Sharon Urhahn, director of marketing for Missouri Delta Medical Center.
The MDMC classes are not just for instructors, however. "All classes offered here are open to the public," said Malone.
Every five years, the American Heart Association and the Emergency Cardiovascular Care Committee use information to enhance training techniques. This achieves its mission and goal of educating and saving lives, Vickery said.
Among the major issues addressed for training lay people following the 2000 review were the use of defibrillators and the simplification of CPR steps.
Automatic External Defibrillator training "is very important," according to Malone. "The earlier the defibrillation, the great the chances for survival."
If you are interested in enrolling in one of the courses, please contact either Connie Drury at 472-7325 or Mary Malone at 472-7502.