Advanced course in handling trauma by nurses

Advanced Trauma Course for Nurses.

Born in the USA , in the model of the  ATLS®, the ATCN® is an internationally recognized diploma and status. Its concept allows systematic management of serious injuries and enhances the doctor-nurse collaboration.

The necessary skills fall within the field of nursing activity involving  the care of seriously injured: emergency nurses and specialist nurses working both inside the hospital and outside the hospital.

A validated course focused on patient care.

The course consists of methodical training of participants , in accordance with established standards to ensure optimal management of the seriously injured, compared to their condition and needs.

At the end of the course, training is validated through a theoretical and practical examination.

The ATCN® is based on the same management model (reception, treatment and care of the  seriously injured) as  ATLS®, which is the "Trauma" training for physicians.

The main objective is the reduction of morbidity and mortality in the first few hours of the accident: THE GOLDEN HOUR.

 The concept ATLS® / ATCN® was developed for physicians and for nurses in direct contact with the seriously injured.
Its application allows the "Trauma Team" to overcome the critical threats and stabilize a patient awaiting a "final treatment".

A systematic approach, in order to leave nothing out.

 The ATCN® course consists of theory sessions and practice. The theoretical basis and the workbook, are those of the ATLS®. They are based on the widely used technique of ABCDE. During workshops, called "Skill Stations', nurses and physicians approach the same subjects, but are separated to allow each professional to practice taking into account his field Professional skills. Elements specific to nursing training are described in the manual ATCN®.

The patient is evaluated in two stages: "Primary Survey" and "Secondary Survey".

• The ABCDE technique is used at the first evaluation, asking the essential questions: Are the airways free? Are they threatened? Is there respiration? if so, is it effective? etc. Throughout this procedure, the patient is reassessed in order not to "omit" life-threatening or major deterioration in his condition, which should then be treated without delay.

• Secondary assessment can not start before the end of the primary survey, or if the patient's condition is not stabilized. This second assessment "head to toe", consists of a “detailed” physical examination , completed with "the patient's medical history" and the cause of injuries .

In practice.

The theoretical lessons are led by certified ATLS® instructors . The preliminary study manuals, are essential. The "Skill Stations" or simulations, are led by certified nursing ATCN® instructors . Using appropriate pedagogy, these simulations allow each participant to actively participate in the training.

The certification "ATCN® Provider" is obtained after successful completion of theoretical and practical examinations. A minimum of 80% of correct answers is required at the theoretical examination. The practical exam is a simulation of a participant facing a wounded person suitably madeup to appear realistic.


This type of training requires a significant personal investment, both before and during the course. The "return on investment" is also important: each participant comes out of the course richer in both knowledge and competence which he/she can use for the benefit of the institution and especially the patients he/she will treat in collaboration with the doctor.


With high added value, such training becomes a necessary condition for integrating a trauma team, in many European hospitals.
It is a tremendous opportunity for nurses to increase their knowledge and skills, as well as for the institutions to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their emergency teams. It complets the serious injuries management chain.