Life-threatening injuries can happen at any time and any place. The doctor who first attends to the injured patient has the greatest opportunity to make an impact on the patient's outcomes.
The Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) course for physicians is a program developed by the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma. It provides hour-for-hour continuing medical education credit in Category I for the physicians who complete the course. It provides one safe, reliable method for assessing and initially managing the trauma patient.
The ATLS course is designed for doctors who care for injured patients. It provides an organized approach for evaluating and managing seriously injured patients. It provides a foundation of common knowledge for all members of the trauma team. It has application in both large urban centers and small rural emergency departments.
The objects of the course include:
- Assessing the patient's condition rapidly and accurately
- Resuscitating and stabilizing the patient according to priority
- Determining if the patient's needs exceed a facility's capabilities
- Arranging appropriately for the patient's definitive care
- Ensuring that optimum care is provided
The student version of this course teaches medical core content in an interactive format. Hands-on skills sessions are taught in simulated trauma settings. Successful completion status runs for four years from the course date.