Fitness to Dive: Introduction to the Routine Medical Evaluation of Recreational Divers


This course is designed to increase your general knowledge and comfort in evaluating a routine, recreational divers “fitness to dive.”  Enjoying the underwater environment, even under ideal conditions comes with inherent risk, which may be increased by certain physical conditions.  Divers and diver candidates often do not understand or appreciate the risk associated with diving, or how their underlying conditions may be affected by the underwater environment.  It is important for physicians who are asked to evaluate an individual for recreational diving to have a basic understanding of SCUBA diving itself, the physiologic effects this activity places on the body, and some of the common diving related pathologies in order to have informed conversations with patients.  Unfortunately, these topics are insufficiently addressed during most formal medical training.

This course is intended as an introduction to recreational diving medical evaluations and is geared toward the primary care provider who is occasionally asked to evaluate relatively healthy individuals who wish to take a SCUBA diving course or continue diving after new medical conditions arise.  The overall goal of the course is to help providers gain comfort in performing routine evaluations, highlight resources available for future assistance, and understand when more complex issues should be discussed with or referred to an experienced diving medicine physician. 

This is a focused continuing medical education activity only and does not result in certification or certificate of added qualification.  This course is NOT intended to qualify physicians for the evaluation of commercial divers, or replace the UHMS Medical Examiner of Divers Course, the UHMS Physicians Training in Dive Medicine Course, fellowship training, or board certification in Undersea & Hyperbaric Medicine. 

During this course, we will discuss the basic principles of diving and aspects of the routine recreational fitness to dive encounter: 

  • Types of diving activity and equipment
  • Diving injury epidemiology
  • Basic diving physics, physiology and pathophysiology
  • The Diver Medical Participant Questionnaire (completed by diver prior to visit)
  • Pertinent history taking and physical examination
  • Common medical and physical conditions related to diving risk
  • Absolute contraindications to diving
  • Medication considerations
  • Documentation including the RSTC Diver Medical Physician’s Evaluation Form
  • Available Resources including the Recreational Diving Medical Screening System and referrals

On completion of this course, the candidate is expected to:

  • Have a basic understanding of what is (and is NOT) recreational SCUBA diving
  • Have basic knowledge about the risks of underwater activity and the interaction of underlying medical conditions
  • Have greater knowledge of how to perform and document a routine recreational fitness to dive evaluation
  • Understand available resources for help, and when to refer to a diving medicine specialist
  • Understand the availability of more advanced training in diving medicine

Schedule

Date: Thursday, June 15
Time: 8am - 5:00pm
Posted: 5/17/2022
Schedule: pdf version

 

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