Diver Medical Technician

This course is essentially aimed at commercial divers

Diver Medical Technicians (DMTs) serve as the critical first step in the dive medicine chain, caring for injured divers on the scene and acting as tenders in the hyperbaric chamber. Many of the participants in these programs are diving safety officers with dive teams or tenders associated with hyperbaric chambers, but many of them are also dive professionals interested in advancing their knowledge of dive medicine so they can better tend to the divers in their care.

Why a DMT course? | What does a DMT do? | To Whom This Course is Addressed? | Course Objective | Learning Objectives | Prerequisites | Certification | Refresher Courses | Next courses
 

Why a DMT course?
As any diver well knows, decompression accidents require immediate action and recompression. Proximity to a hyperbaric chamber and availability of a diving physician are crucial factors when it comes to properly treating an injured diver and thus avoiding bad consequences. Most of the times, however, diving physicians are far away and cannot intervene immediately. It is therefore essential the presence on-scene of a diving medic who has been specifically trained.  The DAN DMT course has just been introduced to address this specific need and complete the dive medicine chain.
 

What does a DMT do?
A DMT usually becomes the first response person on scene assisting the injured or unwell diver and remotely communicates with diving physicians to provide the necessary treatment until they arrive on scene. The DMT supports the hyperbaric chamber personnel with providing continued treatment under the care of a Hyperbaric Physician.
 

To Whom This Course is Addressed?
The DMT course was originally designed for commercial divers, who are able to get an IMCA DMT certification. However ,DAN offers the course (without IMCA accreditation) also to professional and recreational divers wanting to deepen their knowledge and understanding of dive medicine, in order to better help divers with their new skills and knowledge in an emergency. The course will also be of interest to those who are already working in the industry as diving safety officers including surface support personnel at dive sites.

IMCA accredited (or recognised) Offshore divers
With offshore diving there is a requirement that one member of a dive team who is not diving, other than the supervisor, should be trained in advanced first aid as a diver medic. The DMT course is designed under the IMCA accreditation scheme to meet this need.
To gain the IMCA DMT certification as an offshore diver, you must hold an IMCA qualification in offshore diving (or IMCA recognised equivalent – if you are not sure whether your certification is IMCA recognised please click here to be referred to the relevant page on the IMCA website).

Course Objective
The Diver Medical Technician is an intensive two week course which aims to teach divers, both commercial and recreational, advanced first aid and emergency treatment.
By the end of the course, diver medical technicians will have been provided with the training and skills to be able to:

  • Administer first aid and emergency treatment
  • Carry out the directions of a doctor pending the arrival of a more skilled medical aid.
  • Communicate understandably by telephone, radio or facsimile with a doctor
  • Be familiar with diving procedures and compression chamber operation
  • Assist the diving supervisor with decompression procedures and advise when medical help should be sought.

Learning Ojectives
To ensure that a dive medic technician is prepared and ready to act when an emergency arises, the DMT course consists of theory and practical sessions in a wide range of medical areas, ranging from first aid to more advanced medical procedures such as suturing (sewing people up). 

The full range of subjects taught can be found listed below:

  • Role of the DMT/First Aider and Ethics
  • Primary and Secondary Survey
  • Personal hygiene and infection control
  • The Respiratory system
  • Breathing problems, asthma, choking and anaphylaxis
  • Basic Life Support, CPR and the recovery position
  • The circulatory system
  • Shock
  • Burns
  • Diabetes
  • Injuries to eyes and skin
  • Wounds and bleeding
  • Slings and dressings
  • The musculo-skeletal system
  • Fractures, sprains and muscle trauma
  • The Nervous System
  • Stroke
  • Head injuries
  • Epilepsy and convulsions
  • Immobilisation (Splinting, neck collars and the spine board)
  • First Aid Kits at Dive Sites
  • Communication with the Emergency Medical Services)
  • Drowning
  • Thermal Trauma
  • Advanced Airway Managment
  • Pleural Drains
  • Needle Decompression for pneumothorax
  • Oxygen Administration
  • Use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs)
  • Diving Physics
  • Decompression Sickness
  • Lung Injuries
  • Underwater blast injuries
  • Gas poisoning
  • Gas contamination by other sources
  • Patient care and observations
  • ENT (ear, nose and throat) and barotrauma
  • Bladder catheterisation
  • Drug Administration
  • Setting up intravenous infusions
  • Suturing
  • Dental problems
  • Dangerous marine life
  • Moving and handling
  • Management of medical emergencies within a diving bell/chamber
  • Medical record keeping
  • Neurological examination

Prerequisites
Commercial Diver participants:

  • Must hold a valid medical certification (for Commercial Divers needing IMCA DMT)
  • For IMCA offshore diver accreditation, in addition to the above, candidates must also hold an IMCA qualification in offshore diving (or IMCA recognised equivalent)
  • Should at least hold a current BLS/First Aid certification

Professional and Recreational Divers

  • Must be over the age of 18
  • Have at least the recreational diver standard of Rescue Diver or equivalent
  • Should at least hold a current BLS/First Aid certification

Certification

IMCA accreditation is only for commercial divers fulfilling the prerequisites as described above

Certified Diver Medicial Technician – Valid for 3 Years

Certified Diver Medical Technician – Valid for 3 Years

Refresher Courses
Once you have completed the initial DMT course you are required to undertake a refresher every three years prior to the expiry date of your previous course.
The five day refresher course will enable you to refresh your skills and knowledge in all areas formerly taught and to learn any new updates that have been made in the preceding three years.
Ensuring your skills are kept up to date is vital to ensure that you are prepared and confident to act if faced with a medical emergency.