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Mobile Medical Unit rolls out of Island Health

Mobile Medical Unit and supply trailer in a hospital parking lot
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​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​MMU at Victoria General Hospital

The Mobile Medical Unit’s (MMU) 2015 visit to Island Health has come to a close.

The Mobile Medical Unit’s (MMU) 2015 visit to Island Health has come to a close. 

The MMU rolled into Victoria General Hospital on October 14 and hosted open houses and orientation presentations on October 15 before joining forces with Island Health’s Centre for Interprofessional Clinical Simulation Learning team, Trauma Services and Health Emergency Management BC to provide specialized clinical training. 

Over two days, more than 60 internal and external stakeholders including View Royal and Colwood Fire Departments, the Department of National Defence 11 Field Ambulance Medical Assistants, Island Health nurses and nursing students, residents, family physicians and Island Health clinicians participated in the diverse training. 

Exercises included a mass-casualty earthquake scenario involving a multitude of stakeholders; skills stations involving casting, intraosseous IVs, and suturing – to name a few; disaster training presentations by Drs. Mike Flesher and Omar Ahmad; and a review of START triage.

The specialized, hands-on training enabled the groups to practice skills they may not have the ability to practice on a regular basis while encouraging them to step outside of their comfort zones to see how their specific discipline collaborated with other professions. 

Feedback from participants was positive, and included comments such as extending the training for all physicians, clinicians and first responders on the island. 

Following the deployment to VGH, the MMU visited Esquimalt Nation and hosted pediatric respiratory and allergy clinics. Using the unit as a clinic space, Island health clinicians provided care to members of the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations communities. 

Over the course of two days, 28 children were seen by clinicians, including a respirologist, allergist, respiratory therapist and nurse practitioner, close to their homes. Five adults also attended the drop-in evening session. Of those patients, three are being assessed for sleep apnea and several will follow-up with Dr. Beck and Dr. Cameron. Two other adults were directed to go to their physician or NP for treatment of possible pneumonia. By having the MMU host the clinic right in their community, patients were able to receive the care and referrals they needed in a timely manner before their conditions worsened. Further, the unit provided a private and welcoming space for clinicians to continue to build relationships with patients. 
Feedback from clinicians included expanding the clinics to more First Nations communities. 

A shared provincial resource among all of the health authorities, the MMU makes planned deployments to each health authority annually. 

Since 2011, the MMU has travelled the entire province, lending its flexible and high-tech clinical space for many purposes: as a sub-in for emergency departments and other areas while a hospital or clinic undergoes a renovation; as additional treatment space for mass-event participants who need care or as the home to specialized public outreach clinics. The unit and team have travelled more than 20,000 kilometres across the province in the past four years, and the unit has supported more than 4,000 patient visits. Eight hundred clinicians have also been trained by the team. 

For more information, visit and follow the unit and team on Twitter (@MobileMedicalBC).




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