MHC staff receives high praise from instructors in pediatric critical care

Manitoulin Health Centre physicians and nurses took part in a pediatric advanced lifesaving course offered by representatives of the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto.

MANITOULIN – A representative of the critical incident management response organization (CIMRO) and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto was effusive in his praise of physicians and nurses at Manitoulin Health Centre (MHC) after being involved in a pediatric advanced lifesaving (PALS) course. The inservice training in pediatric critical care was delivered at the Northeastern Manitoulin and the Islands (NEMI) recreation centre in January.

“These physicians and nurses were stellar,” stated Mark Cameron, one of the founders of CIMRO, of the 21 physicians and nurses who took the PALS training course January 16-17. “It just shows when people are serving their community, they really care. These doctors and nurses are serving the Manitoulin community very well and doing it way cheaper than those in big hospitals in areas like Toronto.”

“I was really impressed in how prepared everyone was,” stated Mr. Cameron. “Everyone was super well prepared when we arrived. I was thoroughly impressed, especially when you consider the MHC is a two-hospital site, small health centre. I’ve spent 30 years in health care and your local physicians and nurses are a cracker jack bunch. They really know their stuff.” 

Paula Fields, chief executive officer (CEO) and president of the MHC told The Expositor, “our doctors and nurses (from both Island hospital sites) received pediatric advanced life support training. Many of our doctors and nurses have been trained in similar programs and we had the opportunity to hire this group of professionals from Sunnybrook.

“This training provided for a great team building opportunity for our physicians and nurses. Many had been trained previously but are now recertified through this program,” said Ms. Fields. “We received excellent feedback on how skilled and how well our team works together. And our team members took time from their very few days off, which demonstrates the passion they have for health care and how much they want to provide the best care they can.”

Ms. Fields pointed out the two training sessions were held in the NEMI recreation centre in the Lions Den, curling club and field hospital. “We needed enough space to provide for distancing and to help set up training scenarios. She pointed out as well, “the training team from Sunnybrook brought in special  air purifiers and our staff had been tested (for COVID-19) a couple of days before the training session and the day of the training sessions.”

The training was originally scheduled to take place at the Manitoulin Hotel and Conference Centre but because of capacity concerns, it couldn’t be held there.

“I was also thoroughly impressed with the field hospital set  up (in the recreation centre),” said Mr. Cameron. “If there are a significant number of (COVID-19) cases, the field hospital has a room full of hospital beds ready for patients. This isn’t the case at many hospitals in southern Ontario, where patients are sleeping in hallways and on floors, in some cases.”

“And through CIMRO we conduct (mask) fit testing for hospital staff throughout the world, and this (MHC) is the only hospital that I’ve worked with that everyone has been 100 percent compliant with knowing how to property wear the masks, even including large hospitals,” said Mr. Cameron.

“Pediatric critical care training is one of our specialties,” Mr. Cameron told The Expositor. He is a retired medical physician’s assistant at Sunnybrook, but he along with members of his team, are clinical educators at Sunnybrook.  “I was really impressed with how prepared the (MHC) hospital staff were. I think this is evidence that it is different when a hospital staff is looking after their neighbours, families and friends.” 

Mr. Cameron explained that, in pediatric advanced life critical support training, these can include dealing with patients about to die, who have suffered trauma or have medical problems from birth to 18 years of age. “We train hospital staff how they have to treat patients for their conditions differently than for adult patients.” He pointed out the MHC staff had a zero percent failure in the course.

“They (MHC) obviously take their training very seriously. It starts with great leadership, great team members and working together, all things that were glaringly apparent with the MHC team members.”

“For example, while we were very impressed with the field hospital, it was found that there is not enough electricity outlets in the field hospital to go around,” continued Mr. Cameron. “They (MHC) got right on top of that and said that had been missed in setting up the field hospital and that this would be fixed immediately.”

Mr. Cameron said that over the two-day training course, “we trained the hospital staff in two separate groups. And when we visit to do training like this, we bring a world class air filtration system and take every measure so that everyone is safe. It would be a sin for a doctor or a nurse to become sick because of this type of training session.”

“It was an amazing training session,” stated Ms. Fields. “One of the MHC strategic goals is to empower knowledge to unleash the power of leadership in all of hospital staff. And the goal is to make a difference through targeted skill and knowledge transfers.”

“A big shout out to our partners, the Town of NEMI, for coming to the rescue at the last minute to provide the venue for the training. They provided a very clean space and set up. They were extremely accommodating.”