Attending a PTC course

The PTC Foundation course is a practical two-day trauma management course that helps you organise much of what you already know about trauma. What we do is to teach you a framework that will help you not to forget something important when faced with a severely injured patient. PTC focuses on using the resources you have available – mostly your own knowledge and skills, your eyes, ears, hands and (most of all) your brain – to diagnose, assess and treat life-threatening complications of trauma.

The PTC system, like other trauma systems, consists of a primary survey/treat as you find phase, followed by systematic secondary survey, leading to definitive care. The course has been specifically designed for the needs of developing countries, where most of the world’s trauma deaths occur, and has been introduced into 59 developing countries since 1996. After successful completion of the course you will receive a PTC certificate, and access to educational materials to use yourself, and pass on to your colleagues.

The course consists of two intensive days, which combine talks, discussions, seminars, and practical workshops with “hands on” experience of practical skills such as airway management, chest drain insertion, and clinical problem-solving. If you come, it’s essential for you to be there for the full two days. We will provide a free course manual which will help you to prepare, revise, and later pass on what you learned to others. You can download this manual from our Resource Centre prior to your course.

The PTC Instructor course

PTC works by passing on responsibility for organising courses and teaching trauma training skills to the nationals of the countries in which you work. Anyone who has completed a PTC course may be invited to join an instructor course, in which we share with you the secrets of effective PTC teaching, so that you will be able to pass on what you have learned to other people in your own country. We have found this is a much more effective way of passing on the PTC training, than to depend on a group of foreigners coming to teach each course.

The instructor course focuses entirely on how to teach PTC materials, but you will probably find that what you learn is of great benefit to other teaching that you may do. It is a one–day course on which you will learn how to give a formal lecture, how to teach interactively, how to teach practical skills, lead a discussion and make effective use of visual aids. You will also learn how to organise a PTC course, get feedback and write a report, and hear about the worldwide activities of PTC.

At the end of the first instructor course in your country, we will ask you to choose a PTC national committee which will take on responsibility for further PTC teaching in your country. Some people compare PTC to joining a club or a family – for others it’s something that having received, you will want to pass on.