medical courses for rural locum tenens

Medical Courses For Rural Locum Tenens

At Wilderness Medical Staffing, the locum tenens providers who we work with provide medical care in some of the most remote places in the United States. Many of the sites we staff require providers to be solo-capable, as you could be the only healthcare provider within several hundreds of miles. To perform your job to the best of your abilities, here are the medical courses for rural locum tenens that we’d recommend providers take. Upon successful completion of most of these courses, you’ll earn a certification which you can add to your CV and keep as part of your file.

Clinical Certifications

Not every assignment requires emergency certifications. Some of the assignments we staff are in a clinical setting at primary care clinics or school-based clinics. For these assignments, we recommend a few courses which will add to your clinical experience.

BLS – Basic Life Support

Presented by: American Heart Association
Certificate valid for: 2 years

The American Heart Association’s Basic Life Support course is probably the most basic (yet very important) course that a provider can take. It’s assumed that as a healthcare professional, you will have a BLS certification, but you need to ensure it is up-to-date.

Basic Life Support teaches the following according to the American Heart Association website:

  • Basics include CPR for adults, children, and adults.
  • Early access, early basic CPR, early defibrillation, and early ACLS, also known as the AHA Chain of Survival.
  • Important early use of AED (automated external defibrillator).
  • Effective ventilations of using a barrier device and the importance of teams in multirescuer resuscitation and performance
  • Relief of foreign-body airway obstruction (choking) for adults and infants

Learn more BLS here.

ACLS – Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support

Presented by: American Heart Association
Certificate valid for: 2 years

medical courses for rural locum tenensACLS builds on the skills learned in the BLS courses certified by the American Heart Association. In our experience, we’ve found that most clinics and all hospitals require that providers have an up-to-date ACLS certification. To work on any assignment with Wilderness Medical Staffing, we require providers to have a valid ACLS certification. According to the AHA, this course is intended for healthcare professionals who either direct or participate in the management of cardiopulmonary arrest or other cardiovascular emergencies and for personnel in emergency response.

ACLS teaches the following according to the American Heart Association website:

  • Basic life support skills, including effective chest compressions, use of a bag-mask device, and use of an AED
  • Recognition and early management of respiratory and cardiac arrest• Recognition and early management of peri-arrest conditions such as symptomatic bradycardia
  • Airway management
  • Related pharmacology
  • Management of ACS and stroke
  • Effective communication as a member and leader of a resuscitation team

Learn more ACLS here.

PALS – Pediatric Advanced Support

Presented by: American Heart Association
Certificate valid for: 2 years

PALS is intended for healthcare providers who respond to emergencies in infants and children and for personnel in emergency response, emergency medicine, intensive care, and critical care units. Like ACLS, many clinics and all hospitals require PALS. WMS encourages providers to have an up-to-date PALS certification.

PALS teaches the following according to the American Heart Association website:

  • Perform high-quality cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) per American Heart Association (AHA) basic life support (BLS) recommendations
  • Differentiate between patients who do and do not require immediate intervention
  • Recognize cardiopulmonary arrest early and begin CPR within 10 seconds
  • Apply team dynamics
  • Differentiate between respiratory distress and failure
  • Perform early interventions for respiratory distress and failure
  • Differentiate between compensated and decompensated (hypotensive) shock
  • Perform early interventions for the treatment of shock
  • Differentiate between unstable and stable patients with arrhythmias
  • Describe clinical characteristics of instability in patients with arrhythmias
  • Implement post-cardiac arrest management

Learn more about PALS here.

Emergency Medicine Certifications

In addition to having the clinical certifications mentioned above, to stand out as a qualified provider with Wilderness Medical Staffing, we also encourage providers to obtain various emergency medicine certifications for many of the positions we staff. Most of our emergency medicine openings require two years of EM experience along with ATLS. If you want to make sure you’re as prepared as possible for the austere environment of many of our assignments, obtaining certifications in CALS, ER Bootcamp, and the Advanced Airway Course is beneficial.

ATLS – Advanced Trauma Life Support

medical courses for rural locum tenens

Presented by: American College of Surgeons
Certificate valid for: 4 years

ATLS is an intensive training course that we highly recommend WMS locum tenens providers take. You must pass a written test before you’re allowed to test your knowledge in a hands-on environment. All critical access hospitals (CAH) in Montana require an ATLS certification to work on assignments, which is why we advocate heavily for providers to gain this certification.

According to the American College of Surgeons, ATLS “presents a concise approach to assessing and managing multiply injured patients. The course presents doctors and other qualified healthcare providers with knowledge and techniques that are comprehensive and easily adapted to fit their needs.”

The ATLS course teaches the following according to the American College of Surgeons:

  • Assess the patient’s condition rapidly and accurately
  • Resuscitate and stabilize the patient according to priority
  • Determine if the patient’s needs exceed a facility’s capacity
  • Arrange appropriately for the patient’s inter-hospital transfer (who, what, when, and how)
  • Assure that optimum care is provided and that the level of care does not deteriorate at any point during the evaluation, resuscitation, or transfer process

Wilderness Medical Staffing hosts ATLS courses in Washington State once a year. Learn about upcoming courses.

Learn more about ATLS here.

CALS – Comprehensive Advanced Life Support

Presented by: Rural Emergency Medical Education
Certificate valid for: 2 years

The CALS certification is a Minnesota-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, specifically designed for medical providers who are working in rural, remote, and global emergency departments. CALS is taught through interactive sessions in cardiac, traumatic, pediatric, obstetrical, neonatal, and medical advanced life support.

Courses are offered in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Montana.

The CALS course teaches the following according to Rural Emergency Medical Education:

  • Demonstrate the ability to problem solve in a variety of clinical situations
  • Identify key threats and demonstrate therapeutic interventions.
  • Discuss the roles of each team member involved in patient evaluation and treatment.
  • Perform skills consistent with the provider’s role on the advanced life support team.
  • Prerequisites: It is recommended that participants have attended at least one other advanced life support course, be knowledgeable of cardiac rhythm recognition, and have adequate clinical experience in critical situations.

Learn more about CALS here.

Emergency Medicine Bootcamp

Presented by: Center for Medical Education
CME Credits Available

Emergency Medicine Bootcamp is taught by a faculty of award-winning emergency medicine educators to teach participants the essential information needed to practice medicine in emergency departments or urgent care centers. This course comes highly recommended by our WMS founder and Chief Medical Officer, Mary Ellen Doty.

This 3.5 day course is hosted twice a year in Las Vegas, NV, with courses in July and December. EM Bootcamp serves as a refresher course for experienced emergency room providers and gives newer providers a comprehensive overview of the various medical scenarios that may come into an emergency room.

Emergency Medicine Bootcamp teaches the following according to The Center for Medical Education:

  • Incorporate strategies into practice to reduce the likelihood of misdiagnosis in common emergencies
  • Identify historical, physical and testing strategies to consistently provide evidence-based care to a large variety of ED and urgent care patients
  • Enhance clinical skills with regard to the day-to-day care of emergency department and urgent care patients
  • Enhance clinical skills for the delivery of care to patients with emergent or urgent complaints in a variety of ambulatory care settings

Learn more about Emergency Medicine Bootcamp here.

Advanced Airway Course

Presented by: Avera Corp.

The Advanced Airway Course is held once a year in Sioux Falls, South Dakota in May.

This is the only national CME program that teaches an evidence-based, algorithmic approach to emergency airway management. This is a very hands-on course with a detailed education about getting an airway established in the case of trauma or severe illness.

Learn more about the Advanced Airway Course here.

ALSO – Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics

Presented by: American Academy of Family Physicians
Certificate valid for: 3 years

The ALSO Provider Course is a “team-based approach to learning designed to teach healthcare providers how to improve patient safety and positively impact maternal outcomes with an online and live component.” This course is recommended for providers working rurally and remotely who may have to deliver a baby. WMS has clients who require providers to hold an ALSO certification to work at the facility.

The ALSO Provider Course covers the following topics including:

  • Safety in Maternity Care (lecture presented at the live course)
  • Late Pregnancy Bleeding
  • Preterm Labor and Premature Rupture of Membranes
  • Intrapartum Fetal Surveillance
  • Hypertensive Disorders of Pregnancy*
  • Labor Dystocia
  • Malpresentations, Malpositions and Multiple Gestation*
  • Assisted Vaginal Delivery*
  • Shoulder Dystocia*
  • Postpartum Hemorrhage*
  • Maternal Resuscitation and Trauma*
  • Cardiac Complications of Pregnancy
  • Venous Thromboembolism in Pregnancy
  • Maternal Sepsis

Learn more about ALSO here.

Neonatal Resuscitation Program

Presented by: American Academy of Pediatrics
Certificate valid for: 2 years

The Neonatal Resuscitation Program is a life-saving course for newborns immediately after birth. According to the AAP, “The Neonatal Resuscitation Program® (NRP®) course conveys an evidence-based approach to care of the newborn at birth and facilitates effective team-based care for healthcare professionals who care for newborns at the time of delivery.”

Learn more about the Neonatal Resuscitation Program.

Do you have questions about what courses would be the best to take based on your skills and professional experience? Contact us for more information.

locum tenens jobs