Prehospital emergency care course: PhEC

The courseThe weekend course currently costs £735 for BASICS members and £800 for non-members, candidates might also want to consider paying for accommodation during the course and this can be booked online via the BASICS website. It may also be worthwhile for potential candidates to consider joining BASICS in order to benefit from this discount and to receive the various other benefits of membership to this leading organization. Currently, BASICS membership costs from £47 for student members (with no journal subscription) to £177 for full members, including a paper subscription to the Emergency Medicine Journal.As mentioned previously, the course material is delivered over three days. There is however a large syllabus to be accommodated within these three days and candidates can expect to begin lectures at 08:00–08:30 each day and not leaving before 18:00. It is also advisable not to expect to be ‘spoon-fed’ information during the course; as although there are excellent lectures and instructional practical sessions, a large amount of prior knowledge and preferably experience is certainly needed.Once you have registered for the PhEC course on the BASICS website, you will be sent further registration documents, recommended reading lists, the Manual of Core Skills produced by the RCSEd and a practice test paper (with answers).It is definitely advisable that all candidates work through the Manual of Core material and other recommended reading thoroughly, prior to the course. It is also important to remember that the course culminates in a national examination and participants are expected to have a broad understanding and knowledge of the subject areas covered, even if certain interventions are beyond their current scope of practice. For example, it would not be unreasonable for a candidate to be able to state that the patient in their moulage may benefit from interventions such as ketamine, escharotomy or surgical cricothyroidotomy. Equally, one should anticipate the exam to require knowledge of drugs or interventions not currently available to paramedics, or not covered by the basic paramedic curriculum.Overall the course encourages all candidates to be aware of the latest developments in evidence based practice, especially in terms of relevant NICE guidance, which may be a change from other prehospital care courses; where either the course material or the word of the instructors is taken as gospel, without necessarily being supported by the current evidence base. Typical course content is outlined in Box 2.Box 2.Typical course contentsScene assessmentMechanism of injuryAssessment of trauma patientsAirway assessment and managementSpinal immobilization and splintingExtrication techniquesHaemorrhage controlVascular accessPaediatric emergenciesMajor incidentPrehospital analgesiaCardiac arrest, dysrhythmias and ALSThrombolytics and ECGDrowningHypothermiaMaternal emergenciesMedical emergencies.

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