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This is the entry-level course into the professional field of pre-hospital emergency care, and is registered with the Department of Health and the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA). The course is open to all lay-persons, as well as to those already in the healthcare sector, who wish to hold a registerable qualification which would allow the rescuer to render professional and legal pre-hospital emergency medical care.

The course includes the following subjects:

  • Medicolegal Law
  • Health Professions Council Protocols for Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Personnel
  • Human anatomy and physiology
  • Emergency medical equipment Emergency vehicles and driving
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation for adult, child and infant victims
  • Relief of foreign-body airway obstruction for adult, child and infant victims
  • Automated external defibrillation
  • The Basic Life Support Mega-Code
  • Airway management and the use of adjuncts
  • Oxygen therapy and the use of oxygen delivery devices
  • Ventilatory management
  • Patient assessment
  • Patient positioning
  • Completion of patient records and reports
  • Pain and pain relief
  • Shock (hypovolaemic; cardiogenic; neurogenic; anaphylactic; septic; metabolic)
  • The kinematics of trauma
  • Soft tissue injuries and haemorrhage
  • Head, facial and spinal injuries
  • Chest and abdomino-pelvic injuries
  • Musculo-skeletal injuries (including splints and splinting techniques)
  • Environmental injuries (lightning, radiation, heat illnesses, cold illnesses, near drowning, decompression illness)
  • Envenomations, bites and stings
  • Poisoning and Overdosage
  • Cardiovascular and Cerebrovascular emergencies
  • Respiratory emergencies
  • The acute abdominal emergencies
  • Epilepsy and seizure disorders
  • Diabetes Mellitus and diabetic emergencies
  • Obstetric emergencies and childbirth
  • Paediatric emergencies
  • Crisis intervention and special patients
  • Death, grief and bereavement
  • Hazardous materials
  • Ambulance communications

Successful course completion requires the passing of a vive voce (oral) examination, written theory examinations, practical skills stations, as well as a realistic patient scenario. Successful candidates are required to register with the Health Professions Council of South Africa as Basic Ambulance Assistants prior to beginning practicing the art.

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