Diver Medic Technician Course

What is greater than the skill of a guy using an underwater chainsaw?

Having the skills and training to save that guy’s life if something goes wrong.

DIT takes pride in producing skilled divers that follow the strictest safety standards. An important part of safety is being prepared for accidents, so if they occur, you can handle them expertly.

Divers Institute of Technology offers a two week course in Diver Medical Technician training where you can become certified to render advanced hyperbaric care for an injured diver.

The course is internationally recognized by IMCA (International Marine Contractors Association), DCBC (Divers Certification Board of Canada), and offers certification through the NBDHMT (National Board of Diving and Hyperbaric Medical Technology).

Need in the field

In both inland and offshore dive sites in the United States, every dive team is recommended to have at least one diver medic. For international jobs, many larger companies are pushing to have every single member of the team be a diver medic. This is very important for all methods of diving whether SCUBA, surface supplied air / mixed gas, deep bore tunneling and/or saturation dives.

In an emergency

Unlike EMTs, DMTs have the ability to render definitive care. If the treatment is in their scope, they are able to administer it completely. If the patient needs to get to a hospital, the Diver Medic can stabilize and render life saving aid, but the DMT is not alone. They have phone and radio communication with diving physicians, so divers have the support needed to make the right decisions and provide prompt and adequate treatment.

Most days

Most of what a Diver Medic does in the field is preventative, they may be called upon to plan or supervise decompression, train new tenders on chamber operations, run the dive team through emergency drills,  and/or verify the emergency medical plan.  The DMT will be among the first in the event of incident to render aid and advise in a treatment decision.

Course director Sam Green explains that building trust is essential, “If they trust you, they’ll come to you. That’s why it’s important to constantly get in the books. Never stop learning, and  understand all the things that could potentially go wrong.”

Course Program:

Week 1 Renew C.P.R., First Aid, O2 and A.E.D. skills. Continue the week in classroom.
Week 2 Hands on practice in the recompression chamber. Use training mannequins.

The Learning is Hands-On

You'll learn how to conduct patient assessments, wound closure, splinting, hemorrhage control, start IV’s, urinary catheterization, advanced airway adjuncts, and administer parenteral medications. You'll be run through scenarios in which you are given a situation where you’ll have to make appropriate treatment decisions and diagnosis using tools that you learned in the classroom.

You'll practice monitoring recompression, and learn about communicating with doctors and dive supervisors to work as a team.

Testing

There is a 100 question written exam, and a practical exam where you get a test scenario and are graded on your diagnosis and treatment decision.

What you need to succeed

When asked about what kind of person will do well in this course, Sam Green explained that empathy and compassion are key traits for all good diver medics.

“I think it’s really important that they care about people. If all they want is the DMT certification to get a job or to get paid more, then I suggest they not take the course. But if they really care about people and want to help the industry, then that’s the kind of person that will do well.”