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Careers in Commercial Diving: Dive Medic Technicians

Date Posted: 22 Sep 2017

Careers in Commercial Diving: Dive Medic Technicians

A Different Breed of Divers Who Sustain Lives - Are you up to it?

Wayne Lee H E
Head of Medical Training
KBA Training Centre Pte Ltd (KBAT)

The Diver Medic Technician (DMT), a different breed of men and women whose principal role is to ensure the preservation of life to whoever requires their aid and care. The uniqueness of these individuals lies in their expertise in particularly, the hyperbaric environment. Hostile in nature, filled with risks and dangers in the deep blue abyss. However, when an accident or incident occurs at an inshore/offshore location out at sea, the DMT's have an added advantage when operating in a region where medical support is scarce or the location of operations is remote. The DMT's uphold a strong core value of the basic principal of medical care which is to do no further harm and to sustain lives.

The DMT's roles and responsibilities covers seven primary pointsMedical training arm simulator

  1. Personal Safety - They ensure the safety of the crew, patients and bystanders (within the immediate vicinity)
  2. Patient Assessment - Patient care based on the findings using a Patient Assessment Module (PAM).
  3. Advanced Emergency Medical Techniques:
    • Basic & Advance Airway Management
    • Thoracentesis
    • Intravenous Infusion -(IV)
    • Intraosseous Infusion- (IO)
    • Suturing Minor Wounds
    • Urinary Catheterisation
  4. The proper handling methods of lifting and moving wounded patients to safety
  5. Transportation and Transfer of care of patients
  6. Record keeping and data collection: The reporting of the patient's status and medical conditions to Diving doctors and to Diving Supervisor/ Diving Superintendent for all diving-related injuries
  7. Patient advocacy: Upholding Patient Confidentiality & Privacy

Above: Dive Medic Technician training using a medical
training arm simulator. (pic: KBA Training Centre Pte ltd)

Continuation Cycle of Higher Medical Training for First Responders and First-Aiders

In the present times, there have been a sharp rise in the amount of accidents and incidents happening across the offshore, marine and construction industry. As numerous companies continue to seek out new projects and contracts, there are times where safety lapses may occur. When these safety lapses are not found or discovered, accidents may occur which can result in injury or the worst case scenario, death.

Although many companies may send their employees or safety managers and executives to attend basic first aid courses, there have been a cry out for the greater need and response for first aiders and responders to possess more knowledge about injuries and medical conditions that can occur at any point in time in the workplace. However, when an individual comes equipped with proper training through theory and practical assessments and technical experience, this extra and technical medical knowledge can be the difference between life and death, when an individual is armed with DMT medical training comes can perform a variety of first-aid treatment where a normal first-aider may not be able to.

Application of Diver Medic Training (DMT) in a Marine, Offshore, &. Hyperbaric Setting

History & Relevance: In an Inland Inshore or offshore diving setting, it is a requirement that there is at least one member of a dive team who is not involved in the diving operations besides the Diving Supervisor to be trained in advance first-aid treatment. These individuals who possess the advance first-aid treatment will be the diving crew's designated “diver medic".

Benefits & Legitimacy: There has been a sense of relief for marine and offshore companies to have a DMT on site besides their diving supervisor carries significant fringe benefits for the legitimation of the operations conducted by marine companies and contractors providing their services. It projects a positive outlook for the marine and diving companies to have their own DMTs as they have full and active knowledge of medical conditions of all the divers working on the job site. There have been Instances that with the DMT's active involvement in minor to major medical emergencies has ensured that the lives of their patients have been preserved and prevented further loss of life or further damage to the wounded employees.

Medical Direction: In most circumstances due to the remote nature of the Job site, theDive Medic Technician training DMT’s have been charged with what is known as “Medical Direction". This has given the "Rig Medic" or the OMT's to save precious life-saving time to contact an authorised physician from the field via radio or other means of communications to obtain further necessary Instructions on the care/treatment of a patient. This step in the life-saving process is very essential and used particularly when a patient is in dire need of care and that is not allowed without medical direction under the caregiver's scope of practice. In a sense, due to the essential training undergone by a DMT, they are authorised to administer certain treatments (e.g. medications, pharmaceutical drugs) with the direction of a certified physician. This step is known as Direct Medical Direction. In the other likely scenario known as Indirect Medical Direction, the DMT's will administer drugs following a set of written instructions such as protocols, or standing orders and Patient Group Directives (PGD's).

The DMT training can be considered a major shift in the normal routines of a diver, dive technician or a diving supervisor or dive master in their career. To possess the DMT certification is not a certification to be treated lightly as the skills that the DMT's have learnt can be put to good use daily and this has also increased the value of the divers and employees working In the marine and offshore industry to be one step closer to the preservation of life. This positive practice gives potential clients an assurance that besides the services rendered for marine and offshore job tasks are covered with an individual who has advanced first-aid knowledge.

Above: Dive Medic Technician training
(pic: KBA Training Centre Pte Ltd}

For more information on becoming a DMT, please visit our Diver Medic Technician Course page.
 




 

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