Emergency Care Refresher

Written by DAN Staff

Being able to quickly and correctly provide emergency care during a dive incident can be the difference between a positive outcome and a fatality. Regardless of your level of personal experience with emergency management and response, providing adequate care requires regular refreshers of even the most basic skills, such as measuring vital signs. Accurate assessment of an individual’s condition not only provides EMS personnel with a good baseline for care, but can also help expedite needed medical interventions, and provide a valuable timeline of a patient’s condition. How well do you know your basic life support skills? 

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Time

Time is a fundamental metric in emergency response. Regularly recording the patient’s condition and the corresponding time is important to creating an accurate timeline of the patient’s symptoms. A timeline can be used to determine whether the patient’s condition is worsening and can dictate medical interventions. Seriously ill patients should have their vital signs reassessed every few minutes, while patients who are stable may reasonably have their vitals checked less frequently.

Level of Responsiveness

A patient’s level of responsiveness (LOR) can be one of the most revealing indicators of well-being. LOR is generally measured with four basic questions:

  • What is your name?
  • Where are we?
  • What time is it?
  • What happened?

If an individual can answer all of these questions with reasonable accuracy, you can quantify the LOR as “Alert and Oriented to Person, Place, Time, and Event,” which is frequently written as “A+Ox4.” In the event that a person can’t respond to these, or is unconscious, you can further measure LOR by determining if the patient is responsive to verbal or physical stimuli. While this measurement may provide useful information to professional responders, it’s not likely to change the care  you provide as a dive professional.

Pulse

Pulse can be a very effective indicator of an individual’s wellness, especially if you measure strength and regularity of the beat in addition to frequency. To assess a pulse, place two fingers gently on either the carotid artery on the neck, or on a patient’s wrist just beneath the base of their thumb. If you difficulty finding a pulse, first confirm the location of your fingers, and then make sure you aren’t pressing too hard or too gently. Note not just the speed at which the heart beats, but also the strength and regularity of the beat, these can be important factors when determining injury severity.

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Respiration

Constantly monitoring a patient’s breathing is a crucial emergency care step. Because many people will alter their breathing if they know you’re trying to count their breaths, begin counting respirations immediately after measuring the patient’s pulse. Pay close attention to the sound of breath and listen for wheezing, gasping, or labored breathing. These can indicate the existence of specific conditions and be valuable information for healthcare personnel.

For more information on diver health and safety visit diversalertnetwork.org.

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Take Part in the Fourth Annual PADI Women’s Dive Day on Saturday 21 July 2018

For the past three years, divers from every corner of the globe have come together for PADI® Women’s Dive Day to bond over their love of the ocean and a passion for diving. This growing tradition will continue on 21 July 2018, further strengthening and supporting the female dive community through a day of fun, adventure and camaraderie.

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PADI Dive Centers and Resorts hosted more than 884 events in 85 countries last year for the third annual PADI Women’s Dive Day on 15 July 2017. Since the 2015 inaugural event, the celebration has continued to gain momentum as new and experienced divers gear up for everything from high tea on the high seas to shark dives and underwater cleanups. As a result, PADI female certifications increased noticeably increased noticeably year over year.

This was possible thanks to the enthusiasm and participation from PADI Members around the world who got behind this initiative. Let’s do it again, only bigger. More new divers. More ambassadors for the underwater world.

Participate in PADI Women’s Dive Day 2018 to strengthen and grow the female dive community, attract new women to the sports of scuba diving and freediving, and motivate existing female divers to get back in the water and continue their dive training.



Start planning your 2018 PADI Women’s Dive Day event on 21 July 2018 using these simple steps. 

  1. Decide what type of event to host. The type of event to host is completely up to you! Whether you conduct PADI Women’s Dive Day themed courses, have a family-oriented open day, host fun dives or even a girls’ night out with your divers, only your imagination limits your event.
  2. PADI Retail and Resort Members, register your event on the PADI Women’s Dive Day Event Locator. By registering your event, your dive center/resort will be included on the Event Locator at padi.com/women-dive.  To register your event, ensure you are logged into the Pros’ Site with your PADI Dive Center or Resort account (not an Individual Member account), go to ‘My Account’ page of the PADI Pros’ Site, and click on ‘Register your Women’s Dive Day event(s)’. Follow the on-screen instructions to quickly and easily add your event.
  3. PADI Professionals hosting an event not affiliated with a dive center/resort are encouraged to share their event information with their regional PADI office (PADI Americas: womendive@padi.com; PADI Asia Pacific: marketing@padi.com.au; PADI EMEA: marketing.emea@padi.com).
  4. Promote your event. Use different platforms to help get the word out about your event – email, social media, advertisements (print, online and in-store), and event calendars. Be sure to tag your social posts with #padiwomen to be part of the global conversation.
  5. Post Event Follow-Up. Follow up with all your PADI Women’s Dive Day event participants afterward. A simple “thanks for being with us” keeps divers engaged and encourages them to continue diving with you. Don’t forget to include links, telephone and a call to action. And be sure your success stories and photos with the marketing team at your PADI Regional Headquarters! Tag event photos that you post on social media with #padiwomen to feed into PADI’s social channels.

PADI Retail and Resort Members: Register your 2018 PADI Women’s Dive Day event now! 

 

Customer Service and PADI Standards

The PADI® Quality Management program’s primary objective is to ensure that all PADI Members understand the importance of using PADI’s educational system and are aware of their responsibility to adhere to PADI Standards. When members deviate from standards, the program acts to get members back on track. When members demonstrate excellent service and are complimented by their student divers, they receive recognition for their work.

There are times, however, when complaints come in that are more about customer service issues than clear violations of PADI Standards. The PADI Quality Management team won’t tell PADI Members how to run their businesses, but will get involved when a member’s practices fall within the parameters of PADI Standards, specifically the PADI Member Code of Practice (found in the first section of your PADI Instructor Manual).

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Here’s a review of a few common customer service complaints that cross over into standards issues, along with tips to help you avoid disappointing your customers and hearing from the Quality Management team:

1. Customers express concern and frustration when planned dives are changed at the last minute to very different sites than what was initially advertised. For example, the dive is scheduled for a shallow reef and en route the boat captain tells customers they’re going to a deep site with more challenging conditions because one buddy team, or worse, a crew member, requested it.

  • Divers who are prepared and comfortable doing a shallow reef dive may not be ready for a deep, challenging dive.
  • In the Member Code of Practice, you are required to comply with the intent of safe diving practices, consider individual comfort levels and err on the side of safety. Changing to a more challenging site does not uphold these practices.
  • If you must change sites, make an effort to choose alternate sites with dive profiles and features similar to the initially planned dives.

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2. Another common complaint from student divers and certified divers is concern about the equipment provided to them. For example, divers describe extremely tight-fitting BCDs or exposure protection that restrict breathing. Wet suits that are too large are also problematic because being cold may increase decompression sickness risk. Then, there is the marginally working low-pressure inflator or the leaky alternate air source.

  • PADI Members have an obligation to put diver safety first, providing a student diver or novice ill-fitting equipment, or worse, equipment that isn’t functioning properly is inconsistent with this obligation.
  • Proper maintenance is paramount to diver safety, customer satisfaction and risk management. It’s also important that maintenance records be maintained and the maintenance schedule is consistent with any existing procedures or manufacturer recommendations.
  • Enhance your customer service by asking customer if they’re familiar with and comfortable using the provided equipment. Showing your concern for the diver’s safety and enjoyment is prudent and a good business practice.

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3. Customer refunds are a common customer service issue. For example, a customer complains that a “three-week” Rescue Diver course is only partially complete after three months due to continuous rescheduling on the instructor’s part. The customer asks for a referral and the instructor refuses without explanation.

  • PADI Standards require you to issue a referral if the student diver completed at least one segment of the course and has met agreed-upon financial arrangements.
  • After a quality management inquiry, the dive center that employs the instructor determines it’s appropriate to not only provide the referral, but also a refund for the course. However, the dive center never provides a refund to the diver.
  • Alerted that the dive center did not meet its commitment, the quality management inquiry is reopened due to the member’s lack of common honesty and professional obligation to the customer and PADI.
  • Again, PADI Members determine business policies, such as when to provide refunds. However, if you make a commitment to a customer, you need to fulfill that commitment.

The best way to avoid customer service and quality management issues, it to apply good judgment when providing dive services and to be diligent about maintaining professional business practices. Occasionally, take a moment to reread the PADI Member Code of Practice and make sure you abide by all requirements.

Stopping the Sting

Written by DAN staff

Marine life stings are an uncommon, but unfortunate reality of exploring the underwater world. No matter how hard you try, you can’t entirely eliminate the risk of marine life stings for yourself or your student divers. Know how to reduce risk, treat injuries, and keep your students more sting-free and happily diving this year.

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Jellyfish

The name “jellyfish” refers to an enormous number of marine animals belonging to the phylum Cnidarian. While some species, like the Box Jellyfish, can cause life-threatening health complications with their venom, the majority of jellyfish encountered by divers are significantly less lethal. Jellyfish stings typically range from painless, imperceptive numbness, to burning reactions with mild to moderate blistering.

Student divers may be too excited and task-focused on their first dives to keep an eye out for jellyfish, so exposure protection is important. Have students use dive skins, wetsuits or dry suits as appropriate to protect their skin. In locations where the jellyfish populations are prominent, it’s possible to be stung by almost invisible strands or tentacle pieces carried in the current. Exposure suits are the best bet for injury prevention in these areas.

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If stung, irrigate the area with generous amounts of vinegar to prevent further envenomation, remove any visible tentacles with tweezers or protective barriers, and wash the area with a seawater or saline solution. Irrigating with freshwater can cause further envenomation. Using painkillers, anti-inflammatory medications, or topical anesthetics can help remedy discomfort, as can immersing the area in hot water or icing the injury for 30 to 90 minutes.

Life threatening reactions are rare, but possible, and are characterized by severe pain, nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, muscle spasms, low blood pressure, dysrhythmias, and cardiovascular failure. Follow emergency care procedures and quickly get the patient to professional medical care in these cases.

Fire Coral

Fire coral are colonial marine cnidarians that can envenomate humans through direct skin contact and cause burning skin reactions. The coral often appears yellow-green or brownish and frequently has branchy formations, although this can vary based on its environment. Divers can prevent injury by avoiding fire coral contact or by using exposure protection, such as dive skins or gloves.

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Fire coral injuries typically present as a burning sensation that can last several hours, followed by a rash that may last for several days. The rash will often subside after a day or two, only to reappear several days or weeks later. Treat fire coral injuries by rinsing the affected area with vinegar and keeping the area clean, dry, and aerated. Redness and blisters will likely develop. Allow the injury to heal on its own, do not further irrigate the area or puncture the blisters.

Fire coral injuries are rarely serious, but can complicate open wounds and result in tissue death, so be sure to seek qualified medical attention if you or a student has a rash in the area of an open wound.

For more information on marine life injuries, visit DAN.org/Health

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Member Forum 2018 Online Coming Soon

There’s no need to wait for a Member Forum to come to your area. You can get the latest and greatest information from the 2018 Member Forum Online that will be available on the PADI® Pros’ Site in February – in English and Spanish.

Member Forum 2018 covers:

  • We Are PADI – a Force for Good
  • What’s New with PADI Digital Products
  • My PADI ClubTM Features
  • Project AWARE® – Where Conservation Meets Adventure
  • How to Use New Digital Forms
  • The New PADI Adaptive Techniques Specialty
  • Risk Management – Scenario Reviews

Stay tuned for more information coming later this month and watch for a schedule of limited dates for in-person Member Forums.

2018 PADI Business Academy – Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

PADI® Business Academy (PBA) is heading to Fort Lauderdale, Florida to conduct another industry leading business development seminar on 12-13 February 2018. This PBA will be held at Nova Southeastern University and will include a guest presentation from a Nova professor and a panel discussion with Millennial-aged students. Whether you have attended PBA in the past or not, this program is one you certainly don’t want to miss. Sign up today and join PADI Staff for the first PBA of the new year.

Register Now

If you can’t attend PBA – Ft. Lauderdale, please take a moment to review 2018 calendar of events or visit the PBA page on the PADI Pros’ Site.

Find Out More

2018 PADI Event Calendar

Register to attend the PADI® events located near you.

 

Day Month Event Location Registration Link
02-04 February PADI Swim Instructor Trainer Development Course (ITDC) Greenville, South Carolina Register now
06-09 February PADI Swim Instructor Trainer Development Course (ITDC) Pete Beach, Florida Register now
12-13 February PADI Business Academy Fort Lauderdale, Florida Register now
16-18 February PADI Swim Instructor Trainer Development Course (ITDC) Houston, Texas Register now
01-03 March PADI Swim Instructor Trainer Development Course (ITDC) Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Register now
02-04 March PADI Swim Instructor Trainer Development Course (ITDC) Cape Coral, Florida Register now
21-22 March PADI Business Academy Secaucus, New Jersey Register now
23-25 March PADI Swim Instructor Trainer Development Course (ITDC) Eugene, Oregon Register now
23-25 March PADI Swim Instructor Trainer Development Course (ITDC) Glenview, Illinois Register now
10-12 April PADI Swim Instructor Trainer Development Course (ITDC) Scottsdale, Arizona Register now
13-15 April PADI Swim Instructor Trainer Development Course (ITDC) Colorado Springs, Colorado Register now
20-22 April PADI Swim Instructor Trainer Development Course (ITDC) Glenview, Illinois Register now
07-09 May PADI Swim Instructor Trainer Development Course (ITDC) Bolingbrook, Illinois Register now
20-21 June PADI Business Academy Rancho Santa Margarita, California Register now
17 November PADI Business Academy Lite Las Vegas, Nevada Register now