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Docs in training study at CFVH

Thursday, July 24, 2014

by Ed Moreth, Sanders County Ledger

Clark Fork Valley Hospital doctors participated in a daylong training of nearly a dozen University of Montana medical students at the hospital Thursday.

Eleven men and women in their first year of residency at the UM took part in the Neonatal Resuscitation Program at the Plains hospital, accompanied by four doctors from the university. Dr. Gregory Hanson, the hospital's CEO and president, and Dr. Ronald Black, also of Clark Fork Valley Hospital, helped teach the eight-hour class, a specialty course designed to teach doctors what to do in an emergency during a baby delivery. Hanson, Black and Dr. Jeanne Williams are the hospital's obstetrics specialists.

"They did great," said Hanson, who has trained other students and some of his own staff the same procedures. This was the second year the hospital has hosted the Neonatal Resuscitation Program and Hanson hopes they'll do it again next year. The majority of the training centered around five stations, a doctor at each one, each with a different problem.

The students, who ranged from 26 years old to 33, were divided into groups and spent about 20 minutes at each station. One station involved the setting up and starting the resuscitation procedure. At station two, the students worked on the dummy baby's ventilation in an effort to get the baby to start breathing. One station went over the proper way to perform chest compression. Another one involved intubation. Hanson taught the residents the proper way to administer drugs to a newborn.

Each student practiced at each station during the morning class, and later went through various scenarios that involved aspects of all five stations. "We want them to have an ability to respond to problems that occur in newborns," said Dr. John Miller, one of the UM instructors.

The group also received a tour of Clark Fork Valley Hospital and met with several staff physicians and administrators. The residents were all tested on the material at the end of the day.

"This training is very important, similar to the course they took last week on Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics that deals with emergencies that come up in pregnant women and delivering babies," said Miller. "It provides them with the skills to be able to help out in these most basic human experiences having a baby and caring for the newborn," he added.

"The problems that we were training the residents how to treat come up after the baby is born, when they transition from the aqueous environment of the uterus to breathing air," said Miller. "The main issue is that they need to establish breathing or ventilation to get oxygen into their system using their lungs for the first time. The main treatment is ventilation or pushing air into the lungs to get them to start working," he added.

Miller credited much of the class success to Hanson, who he said took the lead in running the training. "Dr. Black has also been helpful in teaching and helping the residents understand how things work in a small town hospital," said Miller, who has delivered more than 300 babies during his career.

"This gave us the opportunity to introduce these doctors to our program," said Hanson, a doctor for 23 years and who took the same type of training in 1994. Clark Fork Valley Hospital is always thinking about recruitment because it's sometimes difficult to get doctors in a rural hospital setting, said Hanson. Forty to 45 babies will be born at Clark Fork Valley Hospital this year, according to Hanson.

"It was good for them to get the training, but also important to get it in Plains, which is the type of community in which many of them are going to practice after training," said Miller, who wants to hold the training in Plains again next year.

Miller said the bulk of the residents' training is done at St. Patrick Hospital and Community Medical Center in Missoula, and at the Kalispell Regional Medical Center.

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