Pamela J., Trauma Registrar

Celebrate Trauma Registry Professionals

Trauma registrars never put their hands on a single patient.

They don’t prescribe or administer medication.

They don’t help with breathing treatments, insert catheters and IVs, or take vital signs.  

But trauma registrars are vitally important members of the healthcare team, nonetheless.

The trauma registrar is the data expert for a trauma center. They collect, verify, and enter data from trauma patients into a facility’s trauma registry, and they also analyze and create reports derived from that data. They follow detailed guidelines to maintain the trauma registry as set out by the

American College of Surgeons (ACS). Plus, many of them pursue certification such as the Certified Specialist in Trauma Registries (CSTR) certification that demonstrates their commitment to their profession—and ultimately, to patients.

Essentially, if you need data—and you will need data in today’s healthcare environment—seek out the trauma registrar. Or as longtime trauma registrar Pamela J. says with a smile, “Without us, there would be no data to show the good and the bad and the ugly to have a successful trauma program.”

For that reason, we celebrate all trauma registry professionals on May 5th, which is National Trauma Registry Professionals Day.

Meet Trauma Registry Professional, Pamela J.

Pamela worked as a trauma registrar for 21 years with 9 years previously as a Patient Care Tech (PCT) in the hospital setting. She worked 15 years in Atlanta before moving to a hospital in Wisconsin and eventually being hired as a trauma registrar and Performance Improvement Coordinator for a hospital in Middle Tennessee—helping to achieve its provisional designation as a Level 3 provisional trauma hospital. She successfully convinced the Tennessee hospital administration to build a helipad on site that was fully operational within 6 months and created and helped implement the hospital’s trauma paging system—using data, of course, to show the potential benefits.  

Then Pamela took on a role as the lead trauma registrar in Washington DC, a position that she still holds. She’s worked hard to help the hospital receive their Level 1 trauma reverification designation, something she’s very proud of. The job she was asked to perform was to lead 5 other trauma registrars remotely and two in-house registrars to abstract 2300 patient charts into the registry within 4 months and to prepare for their reverification in August of the same year.  

Many people in healthcare describe their jobs as a calling—for Pamela, it is a passion. She has always been drawn to healthcare, but combining technology, data, and a background as a PCT in the clinical setting was a win for her. Being an excellent trauma registrar is how she contributes. She understands that hospitals need detailed information about their patients, the care they receive while in the hospital and care after discharge with outreach programs that the hospital provides and what improvements could be made in the future.

“Every part of the data that we take from a patient’s chart can tell us more about how we can better healthcare and healthcare systems,” she said. “But without trauma registrars or registry personnel, that information won’t be available to a hospital. You must have someone who can read, extract, interpret and analyze that data.”

She continued, “I basically want to make sure that what I’m doing is making a difference in a person’s life and in the hospital’s healthcare system as a whole even if the patient’s outcome was not favorable, we learn from it.”

Pamela also emphasized that she’s been glad to have a great team of fellow registrars, and she lets them know how important they are. “I learn through them and their knowledge they bring to the table, which makes them more valuable as a registrar,” she noted. “We brainstorm together on questions one might have.”

Looking to make a difference? 

Thinking about pursuing a career in the trauma registry arena? Consider what Pamela had to say about her career choice. “Being a trauma registrar is rewarding because at the end of the day, I feel like I am making a difference in the healthcare of injured and their outcomes for those who come through the doors.” If you’re seeking to make a difference in the lives of trauma patients, learn more about exciting trauma registry career opportunities at AMN Healthcare Revenue Cycle Solutions.

If you’re a leader in a healthcare organization that needs to hire excellent professionals for your trauma registry department, look no further than AMN Healthcare. AMN can help you find a well-trained professional who is an expert at data collection, validation, coding, and reporting: someone who can be a partner with your organization to create individualized and effective solutions that will enhance the service that your organization provides--as well as the bottom line.