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A very common question regarding the Rescue Diver Course is if it is hard.  For many scuba divers this is the first course that presents a real challenge.  That’s the easiest way to answer the question.  The rescue diver course is both mentally and physically challenging. Now with that said if you are in good physical shape, have average reading comprehension skills, and are a good diver you may find the rescue course just slightly harder than the advanced diver course.

Rescue Diver Course Summary

rescue diver certification skillsThe rescue diver course consists of three or four phases. You will have to complete classroom, pool, and open water sessions. You also need to have completed the Emergency First Response Primary and Secondary Care. Often times this is taken along with the rescue course.  This course requires a passing grade on the final test.

Rescue Diver Classroom

The rescue diver classroom sessions focus on techniques that you will use in the water to assist a diver in need of various types of help. In addition to these techniques you will learn situational awareness to identify a problem before it occurs.  Up until the rescue course divers are taught to focus on themselves and their buddy. The rescue course begins to teach you how to expand that focus.  Awareness is key a trait for a skilled scuba diver.

The classroom sessions also dive deeper in the potential risks of scuba diving. You will learn more about what will actually happen should one of these risks become a reality. Most importantly you will learn what you can do to help to help mitigate the problem once it occurs. Knowing what decompression sickness is dangerous is good. But spotting a situation that may result in DCS and potentially stopping it is even better.

Skills learned in the rescue classroom session will be beneficial to you and others in the water, on a boat, or even walking down the street.  Where there is tragedy there is usually panic. In scuba diving most bad situations occur because of panic or result in panic. Knowing how to handle or what to expect in these challenging situations will help you and the people around you.

Rescue Diver Pool Session

Once you get into the pool you will practice the skills you read about. These skills range from dealing with a panicked diver, an unconscious diver, and also how to begin providing first aid.  The situations you may encounter are a panicked diver at the surface or underwater, and also an unconscious diver at the surface or underwater. The number one priority as a rescue diver is to protect yourself first. You cannot help anyone if you become a victim. Approaching a panicked diver or bringing an unconscious diver to the surface requires very important skills that must be perfected to safely help.  These skills will better prepare you to go scuba diving in key largo or anywhere in the world.

rescue diver certification tired diver towThe pool sessions will also teach you how to begin providing aid in the water and how to prepare a victim to get them out of the water.  Emergency management is another set of skills you will learn. Often times you will be surrounded by other people when a problem occurs. Properly managing the situation and utilizing the skills of others willing to help is crucial for the best outcome for the patient.

Open Water Rescue Dives

The open water rescue dives is where you will be challenged the most.  You will again practice skills learned in the pool in an open water environment.  Additional skills like search and recovery, setting up life saving equipment, and learning what to look for on a boat that could assist in a rescue situation.  Once this is covered you will encounter real life mock rescue scenarios. Like the pool session there will be a person acting as the victim.  You will complete surface and underwater rescues. You will practice encountering panicked and unconscious divers.  Your management skills and general knowledge of why you are doing what you are doing while in action will be tested.  You will be required to complete a full circle rescue. Starting with locating an unconscious diver, then providing life support in the water, and finishing with CPR out of the water.

Rescue Diver Written Exam

The rescue diver exam will require some study. Up until this point many people are able to complete their knowledge exam requirements with minimal study. The rescue exam is more detailed. You will need to read and understand the entire rescue book. The same is true with the Emergency First Responder Primary Secondary Care. Without prior knowledge the information learned in these classes will most likely be very new to you. Reading and understanding the entire book and 2-4 hours of studying should be sufficient for most people.

What The Hardest Part Of The Rescue Course?

For most people the hardest part of the course is how physically demanding it is compared to the Open Water and Advanced Open Water course. It’s not about strength but about stamina and mental toughness. The open water rescue scenarios are fast paced and require swimming, thinking, talking, rescue breathing, dealing with current or chop, all while an instructor may be adding some stress to the situation. This should not deter people from entering the course. The point of the course is to build your confidence as a diver and also teach you what to expect in bad situation.

rescue diver cprThe exam session should be easy. Take some time and study and you will do fine. The pool session is also easy and is a learning experience. The open water dives are challenging but it’s no different than a really good work out. The people that struggle still are not confident divers themselves.  At Key Largo Scuba Diving we welcome all qualified applicants. We have excellent instructors and will work with you on any skills that need practice.

After you complete the rescue diver course with Key Largo Scuba Diving you will go home knowing you are now a much better diver than you were before the course. The rescue course is a very rewarding course. It will probably change your perspective on diving. You will become a better dive buddy, a safer diver, and for many people diving is more enjoyable after completing the course.

Although it is not required for everyone. It is a course that everyone should take if they dive regularly or go diving in areas where it is just you and your dive buddy. You will learn and practice much more than just rescuing a fellow diver. The skills you learn will complement your everyday diving. You’ll never hear someone say they wished they didn’t take the course.

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