DMT Training in South Africa

​DAN Southern Africa frequently gets requests to offer “DMT”training. The term, DMT stands for Diving Medical Technologist (DMT). Unfortunately, this term is a bit ambiguous and the purpose of this information bulletin is to clarify its applications:
 
DMT training, in general , involves two groups  of individuals: (1) commercial divers, who have been taught some additional emergency medical interventions with which to support health care workers and their diving buddies in the case of a diving injury or accident (when they work in isolated environments) , and (2) Emergency Medical Technologists (EMT's) who are typically pre-hospital emergency health workers serving commercial / professional diving environments or in search, rescue or forensic diving services. In South Africa, EMT's are classified and registered as pre-hospital Emergency Care Providers by the Health Professions Council (HPCSA) as Basic, Intermediate or Advance Life Support Providers. Advanced Life Support Providers are also called paramedics, although there are several distinctions in the certifications and training programmes leading to Advanced registration. 

 The key issue is that individuals who form part of group (1) are lay persons, whereas group (2) are registered health care professionals. Lay persons are restricted to First Aid training and apply it within the restrictions imposed by common law principles in South Africa or Good Samaritan Laws in the USA. Health professionals are limited to their respective scopes of practice by the HPCSA, irrespective of whether they have been trained to apply the skills in the diving environment or not. Conversely, no amount of diving medical training can convert a lay person into a health professional. This requires formal training in Emergency Care by registered agencies. First Aid and Advanced First Aid may be taught to lay persons. However, they are still unable to apply their skills for any financial return, and their scope of practice is limited to non-invasive support – something that is not always understood.
 
So, with that long introduction: For reasons that should now be obvious, DAN is not able to train individuals beyond their current scopes of practice - whether lay or professional. Hence, DAN Southern Africa invests in training divers and diving professionals - who serve as lay persons in case of an emergency - to the highest possible level of First Aid training. This is what the DAN First Aid Programs are designed to achieve. DAN also participates in the training of EMT's and doctors to ensure that they are able to apply their registered scope of practice to the benefit of divers.
 
Divers who would like more training in First Aid or Medical Aspects of Diving may consider obtaining the following levels of recognition.
 
Diving Emergency Management Provider (DEMP) Programme. This programme is a conveniently packaged version of several of the most popular DAN first aid courses:
  • Oxygen First Aid for Scuba Diving Injuries
  • Advanced Oxygen First Aid for Scuba Diving Injuries
  • Automated External Defibrillators (AED) for Scuba Diving
  • First Aid for Hazardous Marine Life Injuries
It has been designed specifically to train or ramp up all the essential skills for a cohesive and consolidated approach to diving emergency management. 

The Diving Emergency Specialist (DES). DAN's recognition program for divers who are interested in dive safety.
 
Diving Medicine for Divers (DMFD. Most divers find the health and physiological aspects of diving quite fascinating. This is true, not only because the additional knowledge and skills are helpful when things go wrong, but also because it gives us greater appreciation for how our body works under these unique circumstances. Many divers who undergo DAN training eventually become so interested that they end up doing all the DAN first aid courses and then ask us what else they can do or learn. This three-part course is DAN’s response to that need: itprovides more in-depth training and information on diving physiology and first aid. Divers love it!
 
Commercial Divers who would like to have further training may want to contact organizations who cater specifically for Diver Medic Training for Commercial Divers.
 
If you have any specific questions, feel free to e-mail us on training@dansa.org or contact us on +27 11 266 4900+27 11 266 4900.
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