In the fast paced, ever changing world of medicine continuing education is of utmost importance.
Today more than 50 healthcare professionals from Nebraska and neighboring states are getting a refresher course in life-saving skills thanks to University of Nebraska Medical Center and Children's Hospital.
The Rural Emergency Medicine Course is two and a half days of skills labs using mannequins, real people, computer simulators and lightly embalmed cadavers.
"So, you might have someone that's coming in that was in a car accident. So they'll come to our low critical access hospital," said Dr. Beatrice Taylor of Ainsworth, Nebraska. "So we keep them stable and figure out if it's something we can take care of on our level or if we have to transfer them to a higher level of care."
In rural areas - the nearest hospital emergency room could be hours away - meaning the first response could be the difference between life and death.
This week's Rural Emergency Medicine Course gives health care professionals the chance to brush up on skills not commonly needed in a small town setting. These include using rescue airway devices, intubation, EKG interpretations and prepping patients for hospital transport.
"Just because we're rural doesn't mean we don't want to provide the top notch quality care that we can in whatever setting," said Theresa Lee, Family Nurse Practitioner in Fairfax, Missouri.
"They have to make do with different skills and sometimes the things they see in the rural community - they only see occasionally," said Assistant Professor Russell Buzalko, UNMC.
Experts say continuing education is a must because of rapid advancements in healthcare.
"One day eggs are good for you, the next day they cause cholesterol problems. Right now, they are good for you," said Dr. Beatrice Taylor. "So, medicine is like that and you want to be up to date on everything."
The course is going strong for ten years now and is offered in April as a collaboration between UNCM and Children's Hospital.