1640a Qualification and requirements for hyperbaric chamber facility personnel

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Abstract

The range of personnel involved in hyperbaric chamber operations requires a specific set of skills. There are minimum requirements for all key level positions with regards to training, experience and medical fitness and these are discussed in detail. The appropriate staff numbers and their qualifications depend on the combination of patient numbers and needs, chamber type and features, as well as the use of medical and other equipment. For a standard multi-place chamber the minimum complement must comprise of a hyperbaric physician on-site, a minimum of one qualified attendant available inside and one outside the chamber, as well as a hyperbaric technical officer. Depending on the type of patients being treated, there may be a necessity for an intensive care trained nurse as hyperbaric attendant. The qualifications and responsibilities can overlap between the hyperbaric facility personnel. The training requirements are also very specific. The Hyperbaric Physician must have knowledge, training and experience in the diagnosis, treatment and assessment of individuals in whom hyperbaric oxygen therapy is contemplated. He is medically accountable for the safety of patients and staff involved in the treatment. This requires knowledge of the indications, contraindications, side effects and complications of therapy, as well as provisions of an environment to safely treat patients. The Hyperbaric Attendant must be a nurse or a diving medical technician with emergency medical training. They must possess both theoretical and practical knowledge and competencies. This is achieved through successful completion of a training course that covers specific relevant curriculum. Before any medical personnel can enter hyperbaric environment they must be certified as medically fit to undergo pressurisation. The person’s fitness is determined through a medical examination that comprises of a detailed medical questionnaire and a medical examination conducted by a medical practitioner appropriately trained in hyperbaric and diving medicine.

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