American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

Rural Trauma Team Development Course

RTTDC brochure

The Rural Trauma Team Development Course (RTTDC) emphasizes a team approach to the initial evaluation and resuscitation of the trauma patient at a rural facility. With more than 60 percent of the country’s trauma deaths occurring in rural areas, the course assists health care professionals in determining the need to transfer the patient to a higher level of care. The one-day course includes interactive lectures on both medical procedures and communication strategies and three team performance scenarios. For more course information, contact the Trauma Education Program office at 312-202-5188 or e-mail Order RTTDC manuals. For information regarding rural trauma courses outside of the United States, please contact the Trauma Programs office.

Course Description

Developed by the Rural Trauma Committee of the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma (ACS COT), RTTDC is based on the concept that in most situations, rural facilities can form a trauma team consisting of at least three core members. The course is offered in a single day or modular format.

Target Audience

The intended audience includes individuals who are involved in the care of the injured patient, including physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, prehospital personnel, technicians, and administrative support.

Course Objectives

  • Organize a rural trauma team with defined roles and responsibilities for the members
  • Prepare a rural facility for the appropriate care of the injured patient
  • Identify local resources and limitations
  • Assess and resuscitate a trauma patient
  • Initiate the transfer process early
  • Establish a performance improvement process
  • Encourage effective communication
  • Define the relationship between the rural trauma facility and the regional trauma system


The American College of Surgeons is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

CME Credit

The American College of Surgeons designates this live activity for a maximum of 8.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) accepts AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ issued by organizations accredited by the ACCME.

Other non-physician participants will receive a certificate of course completion that they can use to claim credits from their respective credentialing entities.

Rural Trauma Subcommittee Mission Statement


To provide leadership and advocacy for rural trauma/surgical issues and the rural trauma patient.


  1. Promote the development of regional health care systems by:
    1. Promoting the development of rural trauma systems as part of the public health system
    2. Enhancing the preparedness of critical access hospitals to meet the needs of rural trauma patients/disaster preparedness by research, education, and evaluation programs
    3. Improving rural public health by seeking solutions to the disparity of treatment outcomes for rural trauma patients compared to urban trauma patients
  2. Develop and promulgate rural trauma education:
    1. Continue refinement of the RTTDC through outcomes studies and the planned four-year revision cycle
    2. Explore Web-based education to increase availability of educational opportunities in rural and frontier communities, emergency medical services (EMS), and critical access hospital networks
    3. Promote telemedicine courses as a means of reaching the rural/frontier communities, EMS, and critical access hospital networks
    4. Continue to develop and expand relationships with international organizations that provide care and training in rural trauma
  3. Establish an ongoing working relationship with the Rural Surgery Subcommittee of the ACS Advisory Council for General Surgery
  4. Collaborate with the ACS COT Injury Prevention and Control Subcommittee to promote rural injury prevention
  5. Collaborate with the ACS COT Trauma System Consultation committee
  6. Establish and maintain a working relationship with the Indian Health Service
  7. Evaluate and provide input into the rural EMS issues of triage and transport, communications, and treatment guidelines through collaboration with the ACS COT EMS-Prehospital committee and involvement with National Association of State EMS Officials
  8. Maintain a close working relationship with the EAST Rural Trauma Committee to provide input on the rural trauma research agenda, guideline development, and rural trauma legislative issues and to collaborate on the Rural Trauma website
  9. Maintain relationships with the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Office of Rural Health Policy to provide insight into rural trauma and public health issues