By Dr. Kevin Brown (published online on 1st Jan 2016)
Why did you do the course?
During my first year working in Emergency Medicine I stumbled across an EM conference with a heavy emphasis on pre-hospital care. I was inspired by the speakers and thought this really might be an area I would want to work in in the future. I really enjoy trauma management and this is about as real as it gets.
Who is the course aimed at?
The course is designed to teach anyone who is likely to find themselves in the pre-hospital setting and so ranges from firefighters and military medics through to EM docs and anaesthetists. Any level of trainee would be suited and I attended during my first year following intern year (and before doing ATLS). All you need is a genuine interest in trauma care. The course is taught by BASICS doctors (usually GPs) and paramedics.
Give a brief overview of the course
The course is 3 full days and usually held out in the countryside in a military training centre. You begin with a few lectures introducing the faculty and the kind of things that will be covered, and are then split into several groups of about 6 or 7 people and assigned a tutor. In your groups you will go through loads of practical sessions with plenty of time for real learning and practice. The scenarios range from applying a splint and log-rolling to management of a poly-trauma to learning how to break into a car if you are first responder at a motor vehicle collision.
Some of the course is taught outdoors and it is advisable to bring warm clothes.
Most people lodge at the training centre and this includes meals and usually a trip to the in-house pub each evening, a great way to get to know your group!
Would you recommend the course?
Without a doubt. This is probably the best course I have been on. The wide range of candidates means there is lots of experience and differing viewpoints, which makes for great learning during the scenarios. You learn so much and the full 3 days means you really get immersed in what you are learning by the end of it. The faculty are extremely knowledgeable and experienced in the area and very approachable. This course really solidified my interest in pre-hospital and is a fantastic foundation for anyone who thinks this may be where they are heading in their career.
When is the course usually run and how much did it cost?
The course usually runs twice a year in England. It costs £860 and this will likely have to be paid in its entirety by the candidate.
Where can we find more information?