When diving offshore, it is required that one member of the dive team who is not diving, (besides a supervisor), should be trained in advanced first aid. This team member is a Diver Medic Technician (DMT), commonly referred to as a diver medic.
But what is a diver medic? What do they do and what courses do you need to do to become one?
Here, we have created a guide about everything diver medic.
What is a diver medic?
A diver medic ensures the safety of the entire dive team, identifying hazards, assessing divers’ needs and executing underwater emergency responses.
Commercial, professional and scientific divers often find themselves at work in medical and geographic isolation. Medical evacuation of injured divers can be complicated by long distances and large bodies of water. Here, 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 people who take part in these diver medic courses are diving safety officers with dive teams or tenders associated with hyperbaric chambers, but many of them are also dive professionals interested in gaining a working knowledge of dive medicine so they can better tend to divers in their care.
What are the duties of a diver medic?
The Diver Medic Technician is trained to administer advanced medical aid and life support skills & to manage and treat diving casualties, both while at pressure and during saturation diving operations.
The responsibilities of a diver medic can include:
- Administering first aid and vital emergency treatment.
- Communicating with the company doctor, executing their directions pending the arrival of more skilled medical aid.
- Being familiar with diving procedures and compression chamber operation.
- Assisting the diving supervisor with decompression procedures, advising when medical help should be sought.
Decompression accidents require immediate recompression. Delays in treatment can result in fatal outcomes, permanent neurological injury, or other career-ending complications. It is common, therefore, to find hyperbaric recompression chambers located at the working diver’s site of operation. This can include offshore drilling rigs, oil and gas support vessels, research vessels and shore-based island marine science facilities. In such scenarios, a contracted doctor trained in diving medicine acts remotely as a supervisor, directing the actions of the DMT.
How much does a diver medic make?
For diver medic jobs, there’s no set salary since it functions as an extra part of your professional skillset rather than a standalone job. A diver medic technician course, however, is meant to advance your level of education. It is a valuable asset that has been known to make the difference between getting a job and getting passed over by an employer. You also stand the chance of receiving a bump in pay if you’re the only certified DMT.
What do I need to become a diver medic?
To qualify for the IMCA Diver Medic Technician qualification, applicants must hold an offshore qualification in diving. This can be an LST, diving supervisor or a diving qualification recognised by IMCA.
A medical certificate is NOT needed to attend the course and obtain an IMCA DMT certificate.
What Diver Medic courses does MediPro run?
At MediPro, we offer two types of Diver Medic courses, both of which last for two weeks. These are:
- IMCA Diver Medic Technician
- IMCA Diver Medic Technician Refresher
Our IMCA DMT training courses are internationally approved and delivered at our centre in Stockton-on-Tees in the North East of England.
Our courses follow a very practical approach and are taught by existing, practising medical professionals. These courses are comprehensive, ensuring the medic has all the necessary skills and knowledge to manage any situation. Some of the topics covered in the course include:
- Casualty Handling Under Pressure
- Care of Medical Equipment/Record Keeping
- Diving Related Illness: Barotraumas, DCI,
- Decompression Illness
- Advanced Life Support skills
- Control & Management of Dive Related Injury or Illness
- Insertion of Chest Drain and needle decompression
- Patient Examination
- Basic Anatomy & Physiology
- Intraosseous Infusion
- Advanced airway management
- Use of Defibrillator
- Oxygen Administration
- Trauma care
As part of these courses, learners are provided with a free DMT Pocket Book, as well as online access to our student learning cloud.
There will also be both theoretical and practical assessments. Upon successful completion, learners will be awarded the following:
- IMCA Diver Medic Technician certificate valid for 2 years
- MediPro First Aid at Work certificate valid for 3 years
- Emergency Oxygen for Divers certificate valid for 2 years
As an optional extra, you can attend a placement within a busy A&E department. This would last 2 days for the full course and 1 day for the refresher. It will give you an ideal opportunity to improve your knowledge, skills, abilities, and most of all your confidence as a medic. Please note all students who wish to attend the A&E department must have an enhanced DBS which MediPro will apply for, so we advise you to book as early as possible to ensure it is completed.
If you would like to book one of our Diver Medic courses, please visit the Diver Medic section of our website, or call us on 01325 609030.