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Medical Center Prepares for Trauma Center Designation

NMC Health Medical Center in Newton Ks entrance with yellow bar hospital and glass panel front entrance newton medical center


Recently, all registered nurses in Newton Medical Center’s (NMC) Emergency Department (ED) earned trauma certification by completing the Trauma Nursing Core Course (TNCC). This is an important requirement of staff training in the hospital’s preparation to apply for Level IV Trauma Center designation.

The TNCC, developed by the Emergency Nurses Association, is a course taken worldwide that equips nurses with the knowledge, critical thinking skills and hands on training to provide expert care for trauma patients. TNCC was developed to establish a standardized body of trauma nursing knowledge and to improve the care of all trauma patients.

At NMC, ED nurses complete the TNCC within their first year of employment; re-certification is required every four years. Most recently, Nicole Gutierrez, Shawna Lewis, Jared Regehr, Dan Reid, Kelly Reimer and Shelby Stohs earned the certification while Cheryl Brunner re-certified. The remaining 18 nurses on the Emergency Department staff have active certification in TNCC.

“I am very excited to be propelling forward with a standardized approach to treating trauma patients in the ED,” said Pam Kvas, director of emergency services. “With all of our nurses TNCC-certified, we can now focus on achieving the Level IV Trauma Center designation. This designation emphasizes a team approach to caring for patients with injury while using standardized evidence-based protocols, with a focus on patient outcomes, performance improvement, patient safety and injury prevention.”

NMC’s ED has also been holding trauma activation exercises in collaboration with Newton Fire/EMS and other departments at NMC who will respond to emergency trauma cases. The completion of these exercises results in formal trauma activation documentation; six months of this type of documentation is necessary in order to apply for the Level IV Trauma Center designation.

Staff training in TNCC or Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) is just one part of the extensive criteria, established by the American College of Surgeons, the hospital must meet. Among that criterion is demonstrating the ability to provide advanced trauma life support before patients are transferred to a higher level trauma center. In addition, the hospital must provide emergency evaluation, stabilization and diagnostic capabilities for injured patients.

“We are continually implementing new initiatives to ensure the highest level of patient care and safety in the ED; applying for this designation is one of those initiatives,” said Dr. Colin Windham, medical director of NMC’s ED and trauma program. “The goal of becoming a designated level IV trauma program is to assess, stabilize and direct the trauma patient to the resources most appropriate for care based on the nature of the injury, and ultimately, provide better, safer patient care.”

In early 2017, NMC is expected to receive a site visit from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to evaluate the program for designation.

About Newton Medical Center:
Newton Medical Center is a 103-bed hospital in Newton, Kan., providing comprehensive medical care to those in Harvey and surrounding counties. Services and specialties include emergency medicine, surgical services, occupational medicine, home health and more. The hospital, which also includes 12 primary care and specialty clinics, is conveniently located at the intersection of I-135 and Highway 50. For more information, call (316) 283-2700 or visit


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