Surgical Society Emergency Room Initiative

Surgical Society Emergency Room Initiative (SSERI)

SSERI is a trauma-based project that is run in collaboration with Mitchell’s Plain District Hospital. It was launched in 2017 with the aim of providing students with practical exposure to basic trauma procedures and the emergency room setting.

This initiative provides an excellent opportunity for clinical students who would like to gain valuable experience in suturing and other emergency procedures that they may not get enough of in their formal medical training. It provides students with the opportunity to learn the basic skills required in an emergency room through a series of workshops. These workshops include Advanced Airway Management, basic suturing and the insertion of intercostal chest drains.

After completing the workshops, participants are able to apply these skills and be exposed to various emergency cases by doing a series of 8-hour shifts, over the weekends, at one of the busiest emergency rooms in the Western Cape, Mitchell’s Plain District Hospital. This initiative forms part of a study to determine whether those students who were part of SSERI obtain more exposure to the management of emergency patients and the performance of basic surgical procedures than students who were not, and how this impacted on their confidence and competence.

Based on the resounding success of its’ first year, in 2018, the program will be expanded to include more students. Thus, providing more students with the opportunity to gain clinical exposure in the emergency setting.

In the near future, we hope to expand and launch the project at other Emergency Centres in the Western Cape.