Training and Education

Strengthening Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Project-Hanoi, Vietnam

Lead Instructor: Charles Mock, MD, PhD, MPH

The University of Washington, Harborview Medical Center and the HIPRC are working in partnership with Counterpart International and the Hanoi Department of Health Services to implement a project to strengthen Hanoi's EMS system. Goals for the program include institutionalizing EMS training in Hanoi through the establishment of an EMS training center; improving the quality of EMS service delivery; and upgrading clinical hospital equipment and ambulances in Hanoi. Vietnamese doctors were trained in EMS provision in Seattle, Washington, with the intent that they would return to Vietnam and train others. Twelve doctors from the ambulance services and emergency rooms of Hanoi, Hai Phong, Da Nang, and Khan Hoa took part in directing the project.

In late July of 2003, six doctors from Hanoi and Haiphong visited Seattle. During the first two weeks of August, six doctors from Danang and Khan Hoa visited Seattle. The sessions offered prepared the visitors well for assuming their role as EMS instructors in Vietnam. The sessions in Seattle provided practical background information about EMS organization and implementation, and gave instructors tools to help them teach the course when they returned to Vietnam. The EMS course was taught first in Hanoi (September 23, 2003 - September 26, 2003), and later in Da Nang (September 29, 2003 - October 2, 2003), by people who attended the course in Seattle during the summer. Both trainings were handled very effectively and student learning was apparent based on pre and post tests.

The "train the trainer" approach worked very well in this course. Having the Harborview Medical Center staff and local emergency staff co-teaching this course added a dimension to the course. The course had the advantage of having local emergency staff being able to teach with a better understanding of the realities of health care provision, but also included the expertise of HMC staff to bring the level of care to a higher standard.