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Course FAQ’s: MCA / STCW Proficiency in First Aid on Board Ship

What will you get out of the MCA / STCW Proficiency in First Aid course?

This four day course will enable you to administer First Aid to passengers or crew that have been injured or fall ill whilst at sea. You will look at all the major situations where First Aid is required, from poisoning to wounds, from falls to drowning. You will then have an internationally recognised accreditation that will allow you to practice this discipline on vessels up to 150 miles offshore.

Though this is technically for professional seafarers, it does go into sufficient depth that it should be seriously considered for anyone planning on going to sea for a protracted period of time, whether a leisure yachtsman or a professional deckhand.

How much does this course cost?

Expect to pay around £400/565 EUROS/US $625 depending on when and where you do the First Aid course.

What are your limits on passing it?

You will be able to practice First Aid at sea, up to 150 miles offshore. This may enable you to keep the patient alive and comfortable until help arrives by helicopter or lifeboat.

Is the course practical, theory or a combination of both?

The course is theoretical with lots of practice on dummies, for instance administering CPR.

Where can you take it?

This is a UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency accredited course so can only be done in the UK and its dependencies. Perform a search on the The Boating Hub website for an idea of where to do the course near you.

What level of experience (prerequisites) do you need before you take it?

A previous short First Aid course would be helpful but is not required. The minimum age requirement is 16 years old.

Duration - How long does it take?

The course is 4 days long. Expect to be given homework as well as the tuition on the days.

What does the Proficiency in First Aid on Board Ship course involve?

It covers the following situations:

  • Scene management
  • Resuscitation
  • Poisons
  • Temperature Extremes
  • The unconscious casualty
  • Care of the rescued casualty
  • Shock
  • Medical Emergencies
  • Wounds & Bleeding
  • Casualty handling
  • Burns
  • Communications
  • Head Injuries
  • Equipment & Information
  • Fractures & Dislocation
  • Health & Hygiene
  • Spinal Injuries

You will cover the theory and practice on dummies, and will be expected to do homework every evening.

Finally, you will be examined throughout the course but also sit a 30 question multiple choice exam at the end.

How do you progress after completing this?

Consider the MCA/STCW Proficiency in Medical Care as a next step. Having the First Aid certificate should significantly improve your employability in the super yacht industry as well.

Does it give you international accreditation?

Yes, this is UK government approved and is recognised under the International Maritime Organisation’s Standards for the Training and Certification of Watchkeeping Convention.

Where can I learn more about this STCW/MCA First Aid course?

Further Resources;

Have a look at this MCA PDF for more information as to what the course entails, or review the syllabus here.

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