For rural physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants, maintaining clinical competency in emergency medicine can be a challenge.
The Rural Health Professions Action Plan, in partnership with Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society (STARS), offers rural physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants the opportunity to receive relevant, interactive skills training at their rural location through the General Emergency Medicine Skills (GEMS) Course.
GEMS is an online, multimedia emergency-skills training experience with a hands-on component provided via a STARS Human Patient Simulation Session that enables rural physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants to upgrade emergency medical skills at work or at home.
Through maintaining and acquiring emergency management skills, rural health-care providers achieve better patient outcomes, while maintaining their interest and commitment to rural Alberta.
The GEMS Course meets the accreditation criteria of the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) and has been accredited for Mainpro+ credits. For physicians to be eligible for these credits, both online and in-person simulator sessions must be successfully completed.
- Any rural-based* Alberta physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant is eligible to take the GEMS Course.
- Resident physicians, locum physicians, and students are not eligible to take the GEMS Course.
*For the purposes of this program, rural means practising in a rural Alberta community located outside the defined Census Metropolitan Area boundaries of Calgary or Edmonton with a population of fewer than 15,000 people.
GEMS Training Process
- Complete and submit the GEMS Application Form.
- RhPAP reviews the application. Approved candidates will receive the log-in and password to access the online GEMS Learning Platform.
- Complete each GEMS module, including the pre- and post-exams.
- Upon completion of the modules and exams, GEMS participants contact RhPAP to be registered for a STARS Human Patient Simulation session.
- STARS will notify RhPAP when the Human Patient Simulation session has been completed.
- Participants complete a GEMS evaluation survey.
- RhPAP sends a Certificate of Attendance to the GEMS participant. Physician participants can then record their completed CFPC Mainpro+® credits.
GEMS Learning Modules include the following:
- Preparation for transport
- C-spine X-ray and CT head
- Emergency thoracostomy
- Advanced airway management and rapid sequence intubation
- Injured child
- Central venous access and intraosseous infusion
- Obstetrical emergencies