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In October 2013 nurses and surgeons from Hamilton Health Sciences and McMaster University collaborated with the perioperative Canadian Network for International Surgery (CNIS) nurses and UBC’s Uganda Sustainable Trauma Orthopaedic Program (USTOP) for the second time.  This collaboration consisted of a trip to Mulago Hospital, Kampala, Uganda for the purposes of furthering orthopaedic surgical and perioperative nursing education.  The entire team consisted of Dr. Brad Petrisor (orthopaedic surgeon at the Hamilton General Hospital), Dr. Desmond Kwok (orthopaedic surgeon at the Hamilton General Hospital), Franca Mossuto RN (CNIS instructor and service resource nurse for orthopaedics at the Hamilton General Hospital), Elizabeth Stec RN (clinical educator at McMaster Hospital), Audrey Hiebert (CNIS senior instructor), Marie Eve Pelletier (4th year orthopaedic resident from UBC), Gillian Bayley (4th year orthopaedic resident from Ottawa University), and Nathan O’Hara (USTOP program coordinator).

Nurses from Mulago hospital and CORSU (Comprehensive Rehabilitation Service for Uganda) attended a two-day perioperative nursing course developed for perioperative education in low resource settings.  The course included knowledge and strategies for implementation of the WHO’s surgical safety checklist (SSCL).  This very successful course was followed by further coaching and practical teaching “in theatre” by team members.  The work in the operating theatre solidified the concepts of the surgical safety checklist as well as furthered relationship building for future collaborations.

Two orthopaedic workshops for residents were held including both a basic and advanced fracture fixation course, complete with lectures, sawbones sessions and case-based discussion. Faculty for these courses included both surgeons and resident surgeons from McMaster, UBC, and Ottawa as well as local faculty from Mulago hospital. The sessions were well received and the cases provided a great forum for discussion.

Over the two week trip, there were many impromptu as well as scheduled teaching sessions with both residents and nursing staff. The operating theatre, both in the week prior to the courses as well as the week after, gave the team many opportunities to interact and discuss cases, surgical technique, sterile technique and the surgical safety checklist with orthopaedic residents and perioperative nurses. As well, the team gained a greater understanding of the barriers to care which patients face in Kampala from both a surgical and nursing perspective. This trip has marked the second collaboration between USTOP, McMaster and Mulago hospital and we are hoping to continue this interdisciplinary relationship.  The team thanks USTOP and Mr. Tito Beyeza, the Chair and Head of the Department of Orthopaedics at the Makerere University in Uganda, for his ongoing support of the USTOP program.

Written By: Dr. Brad Petrisor and Franca Mossuto RN



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