August 24, 2006 10:00 ET

Romanian nurses come to Sunnybrook to Learn about Emergency Medicine

Attention: Assignment Editor, City Editor, Health/Medical Editor, Media Editor, News Editor TORONTO/ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Aug. 24, 2006) - On August 27th two nurses from Cluj, Romania will touchdown in Toronto to begin a month-long immersion in Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre's Emergency Department (ED). During their stay, Kinga Ferenezi and Mihaela Bajko, will learn about triage and nursing care in the ED so they can bring this knowledge back to their peers at the Cluj County Hospital, a tertiary teaching facility. This is the first international project hosted by Sunnybrook's Emergency Department.

The exchange is the second phase of a partnership Dr. Valerie Krym, Emergency Staff Physician at Sunnybrook, initiated with Cluj County Hospital in the Fall of 2005 as part of Canada's first International Emergency Medicine (IEM) Fellowship Program. At that time, Dr. Krym, who founded the IEM Fellowship at the University of Toronto in July 2005, a nurse and the IEM fellow went to Cluj County Hospital to assess their Emergency Department and provide recommendations. In addition, they provided 26 lectures on topics requested by the Romanian nurses and physicians.

"We discovered that the hospital's ED physicians were fairly up-to-date in their practices; however, the role of the ED nurses had room for improvement," says Dr. Krym, an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Medicine. "In Romania there is no emergency nursing course, meaning emergency care is not as optimal as it could be. We are fortunate that the Chief of the Emergency Department at the Cluj County Hospital is eager to work with us to improve their system through knowledge transfer."

Kinga and Mihaela were identified as the best candidates for exchange as they are key nurses in Cluj County Hospital's ED and also speak good English. While at Sunnybrook, they will learn the role of the ED nurse, current protocols and routines and they will witness real triage happening. They will also participate in the fall Sunnybrook Nursing Orientation Program and take part in an Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) course with other residents and students. Their shifts will be from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and they will stay until September 26th; however, their role will be purely observational so they will not be doing any hands-on patient care.

"We are thrilled to host Kinga and Mihaela and to work with our counterparts in Cluj," says Dr. Krym. "Everyone there treated us so well on our first visit. We want to exhibit the same hospitality that we were shown."

Learning how to set up a triage system was the number one request from nurses and physicians at the Cluj County Hospital ED. Triage is the process by which patients' injuries and illnesses are assessed and prioritized. When Dr. Krym, Dr. Curea and Steve Scott RN return to Cluj this October they will spend an intensive month at the hospital teaching and training the team there in triage. In fact, Dr. Krym and her team will assist in establishing the first comprehensive ED triage system in northern Romania. Kinga and Mihaela will be an integral part of this as they work side by side with the Canadians, helping to achieve sustainability in their ED.

A Romania Emergency Medicine Project Committee was formed after the first visit to Cluj to raise funds and plan for these international projects. Recently the Committee, headed by Dr. Krym, held a book drive at Sunnybrook and the College of Nurses to collect used nursing textbooks for Cluj. Over 250 textbooks were collected in all, and these books will be brought to Cluj in October.

"Sunnybrook is seeking to become a leader in international emergency medicine initiatives and these projects will help us work to achieve that goal," says Dr. Krym. "Having Kinga and Mihaela here with us next month will be beneficial to both sides as we continue an extremely rewarding partnership."

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre is transforming health care through the dedication of its more than 10,000 staff members who provide compassionate and innovative patient focused care. An internationally recognized leader in women's health, academic research and education and an affiliation with the University of Toronto distinguishes Sunnybrook as one of Canada's premier health sciences centres. Sunnybrook specializes in caring for newborns, adults and the elderly, treating and preventing cancer, heart problems, orthopaedic and arthritic conditions and traumatic injuries. Toronto Sunnybrook Regional Cancer Centre is the comprehensive cancer program at Sunnybrook, a Cancer Care Ontario partner and fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.

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Contact Information

  • Laura Bristow
    Primary Phone: 416-480-4040