Carolinas HealthCare System
Trauma and Surgical Critical Care

Who We Are

CMC Trauma Services Team
Trauma Services

In 2010, Trauma and Surgical Critical Care provided treatment to over 2,570 patients, the team is led by Trauma Surgeons specially trained in the management of the critically injured patient. The trauma surgeons have at least five years of post-graduate school training.  Due to the complexity of the patient population, our team also includes resident physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, medical students, case managers, clinical social workers, respiratory therapists, physical therapists and other medical professionals. The trauma team is also supported by other specialty services including orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, vascular surgery and plastic surgery as needed. We are in a constant state of readiness no matter how severe the injury.  

The trauma team will supervise your loved one’s care while he or she is hospitalized. For less severe injuries -- or after a stay in the ICU -- care will be managed by either the trauma service or transitioned to an appropriate specialty service.

Surgical Critical Care

In addition to the emergency surgery and trauma services, our physicians and advanced practitioners provide a surgical intensivist service within our adult intensive care units. Surgical critical care is a specialty of surgery and a primary component of general surgery related to the care of patients with acute, life-threatening or potentially life-threatening surgical conditions. Surgical critical care not only incorporates knowledge and skills of nonoperative techniques for supportive care for critically ill patients but also a broad understanding of the relationship between critical surgical illness and surgical procedures. The diplomate in surgical critical care has specialized expertise relating both to the physiologic responses to tissue injury from trauma, burns, operations, infections, acute inflammation, or ischemia and to the ways these responses interact with other disease processes.

Specialists in surgical critical care possess advanced knowledge and skills that enable them to provide comprehensive care to critically ill patients from all surgical specialties and in all age groups. Because the care of such patients involves skill in a number of disciplines, as well as an understanding of surgery, the specialist in surgical critical care must have a broad knowledge base and expertise concerning the biology of the critically ill surgical patient and the support of organ system function.

Our surgeons are board certified in surgical critical care and serve to coordinate the patient's recovery. We are a 24/7 consultation service, serving the critically ill neurosurgical, vascular, oncologic, transplant, hepato-biliary, thoracic, vascular, orthopedic, plastic, gyneocolgic, urologic and head and neck surgical patients. We not only treat patients within the combined Surgical/Trauma ICU, but also the neurosurgical, medical and cardiovascular ICUs at CMC. We provide collaboration with the primary surgical team to aid in ventilator management as well as all critical issues involving all critically ill patients. This multidisciplinary approach is aimed at improved outcomes as well as shortening the patient's length of ICU stay.

We strive to provide the highest level of critical care management within evidence-based practice guidelines. Our team works on quality assurance by continually assessing our outcomes, process improvement, and length of stay for our patients.  Our surgical intensivists and advanced practitioners are involved in leadership initiatives within our institution, teach, and conduct research in the field of critical care.

Emergency General Surgery (EGS)

Our third branch of service provided by our surgical intensivists is Emergency General Surgery (EGS). This service is primarily coordinated by our acute care surgeons and a surgical chief resident to provide timely assessment of a surgical emergency as well as its operative management. Surgical emergencies that bring patients to the emergency department such as bowel obstructions, appendicitis, gallbladder disease, diverticulitis, skin infections and gastrointestinal bleeding are those diagnoses our in which our surgeons specialize in.  Our team meets the patient and their family in the emergency department and cares for them through the operating room to the Intensive Care Unit and until discharge. The EGS service is beneficial to our patient population at CMC in that patients are assessed, diagnosed and treated quickly, therefore vastly diminishing length of hospital stay.

Surgical Trauma Intensive Care Unit (STICU)

The Surgical-Trauma Intensive Care Unit (STICU) at Carolinas Medical Center is a 29 bed unit caring for high acuity traumatically injured and critically ill patients. Multidisciplinary teams work to provide the highest quality of safecare to patients and families served. Registered nurses, patient care technicians, and unit secretaries collaborate with physicians, pharmacists, dietitians, respiratory, and rehabilitative therapist to ensure progression and continuity in the continuum of care.

Highly trained registered nurses, patient care technicians, and unit secretaries comprise the surgical-trauma intensive care unit nursing care team. Diverse educational opportunities are offered supporting critical care continued education and competency development. All nurses are certified in basic and advanced cardiac life support. Many have also achieved nationally recognized Critical Care Registered Nurse (CCRN) and Trauma Nursing Core Course (TNCC) certifications. We also have staff nationally certified in Transplant (CCTN) and Emergency Nursing (CEN). Together, we work to provide exceptional nursing care facilitating optimal outcomes and recovery for patients and their families.

Uncompromising excellence and commitment to care describes the dedication to delivering the highest quality of care and service to our patients and families. Vigilant efforts toward reducing hospital acquired infections and patient falls have resulted in a culture of safety of which we are proud. Development of team oriented, innovative solutions have driven sustained quality and patient safety outcomes achieving top deciles of national performance.

Active involvement in professional organizations at the national, state, and local levels facilitates professional development and enhances knowledge of critical care delivery. Providing evidenced based, collaborative medical and nursing care is a priority. We are very proud of our staff members involved in nursing research and evidenced based practice projects; leading initiatives presented at state and national levels. Efforts have resulted in driving system wide changes in clinical practice.

11A Trauma Step Down

11A is a 24 bed step-down trauma unit which includes the overflow of orthopedic, general surgery, and medicine patient populations. We accept direct admissions from the Emergency Department or Admitting and transfers from ICU and Progressive Care Units. We are a fast paced unit with patients that require a high level of care. We have the capability to monitor continuous pulse oximetry and telemetry as needed.

Registered nurses and other staff on 11A care for patients with multiple complex injuries including spinal cord injuries, broken bones, and head injuries as well as drug and alcohol addictions. Clinical skills utilized on 11A include care of chest tubes, large dressing changes, tracheostomy care, and insertion of Nasogastric, Dobhoff, and Foley catheter tubes. The Registered nurses also work diligently with the physicians and pharmacists for adequate pain management through the use of patient controlled analgesia devices, oral medications, and epidural pumps.

Our nurses also work closely with our Patient Care Leaders, physical, occupational, and speech therapists to provide holistic care. We discuss and implement plans of care so that our patients can receive therapy throughout the day, from all staff, not just the therapist. We also encourage our patients to get out of bed as early and as often as possible in order to decrease their length of stay and get them home sooner.

Our philosophy on 11A is to provide high quality care to all patients utilizing teamwork and the multidisciplinary approach.

For more information please call Karon Wold, RN, MSN Nurse Manager at 704-446-0095.

11 Tower - Orthopedic-Trauma

11T is a 36-bed unit that houses orthopedic patients such as total joint surgeries, tendon/muscle repairs, traumatic fractures, amputations, and muscle flaps.  The majority of patients on our unit are divided between planned and scheduled orthopedic surgeries and patients admitted through the Emergency Department due to trauma or medical reasons. Due to the extensive medical and surgical work up this patient population requires, the unit works in conjunction with the trauma team, plastic surgery, general surgery, and the medical team. 11T has telemetry and continuous pulse oximetry monitoring capabilities. Due to this monitoring ability, 11T is also used for medical-telemetry overflow.

The unit has a nursing team that consists of a nurse manager, charge nurse, clinical nurse leader, patient care leaders, registered nurses, and nursing assistants. This group of nurses monitors patients with complex wound and dressing changes, wound vacs, drains, chest tubes, epidural and pain pumps, restraints, central and peripheral lines, along with the insertion of dobhoff and nasogastric tubes. These nurses also work with an interdisciplinary team that consists of attending and consulting physicians, respiratory therapists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, nutritionists, social workers, clinical case managers, pharmacists, and speech therapists.

The patient's plan of care is updated daily through the work of the Clinical Nurse Leader, Patient Care Leaders, and Registered Nurses. 11T's staff collaborates as a team to deliver excellent care to all of its clientele. Safety is a top priority of our unit and 11T has bed alarms that can be placed on patients who meet the criteria for fall risk.

If any further information is needed please feel free to contact:Barbara Baugh, RN, Nurse Manager (704) 355-6111

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