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MCA STCW Proficiency in Medical First Aid on Board Ship

  • Course

    This four day course is an advanced first aid qualification for people who work at sea up to 150 miles from a safe haven as well as for leisure sailors considering blue water cruising.

    One of the biggest issues when someone is injured or falls ill on board a vessel out at sea is the length of time it can take for emergency services to reach the casualty. The Proficiency in Medical First Aid On Board Ship course provides the level of knowledge sufficient to enable crew to take immediate action in the case of injury or illness and to be able to care for the casualty and prepare for their evacuation whilst awaiting for assistance.

    The course which is a combination of lectures, case studies and practical sessions will cover:

    • Scene Management
    • Resuscitation
    • The Unconscious Casualty
    • Shock
    • Bleeding
    • Wounds and Injuries
    • Burns
    • Head Injury
    • Fractures and Dislocation
    • Soft Tissue Injury
    • Spinal Injury
    • Poisoning
    • Temperature Extremes
    • Care of the Rescued Casualty
    • Medical Emergencies
    • Casualty Handling
    • Communications
    • Equipment and Information
    • Heath and Hygiene

    The candidates must be at least 16 years old

    The course which is run from our training centre in Emsworth Yacht Harbour starts at 9.00am and finishes at approximately 5.30pm.

    Tea, coffee and all equipment to complete the course including the St Johns / Red Cross First Aid Manual will be provided. You just need to bring a notepad. Lunch can be obtained from the Deck Cafe on site or the village which is a short walk away or alternatively bring a packed lunch with you

    The MCA STCW Proficiency in Medical First Aid on Board Ship Course is in accordance with Regulation VI/4 of the Annex to the STCW Convention and Section A-VI/4 (1-3) of the STCW Code and the Merchant Shipping (Training and Certification) Regulations 1997.

  • Syllabus

    Module 1: Scene Management


    Assessment of the situation
    Recognition and management of dangers
    Raising the alarm
    Principles and priorities of first aid
    Assessment of the casualty
    Dealing with the aftermath


    Recognition of dangers
    Scene and casualty assessment (simulation)

    Module 2: Resuscitation


    Anatomy and physiology of the respiratory and circulatory system
    Recognition of hypoxia and asphyxia
    Management of choking
    Primary assessment of the casualty – DR ABC
    Chain of Survival
    Basic Life Support - resuscitation techniques in accordance with the Resuscitation Council (UK) Guidelines
    Use of Adjuncts in Basic Life support – face shield, face mask, oropharyngeal airway


    Perform basic life support on a resuscitation manikin
    Use of adjuncts on a training manikin
    Perform back slaps and abdominal thrusts on a training manikin

    Module 3: The Unconscious Casualty


    Causes, recognition and management of the unconscious casualty
    Primary and secondary assessment


    Primary and secondary assessment on a simulated casualty
    The recovery position on a simulated casualty
    Assessment of level of consciousness
    Observation of pupils

    Module 4: Shock


    Causes, recognition and management of shock


    Positioning a casualty in shock, including modifications necessary because of specific injuries.

    Module 5: Bleeding


    Anatomy and physiology of the circulatory system
    Recognition and management of arterial, venous and capillary bleeding
    Fundamentals of bleeding control – pressure and elevation


    Use of first aid dressings to achieve fundamentals of treatment
    Use of alternatives to first aid dressings to achieve fundamentals of treatment
    Identification of pressure points used in indirect pressure
    Dressing a wound where there is a retained foreign body

    Module 6: Wounds and Injuries


    Skin function
    Causes, recognition and management of types of wounds
    Causes, recognition and management of injuries including open and closed chest injury, open and closed abdominal injury, impalement, crush, amputation and eye injury, blast injuries.


    Protruding object wound dressing
    Stump dressing
    Eye irrigation and use of eye pad
    3 sided flap valve dressing
    Positioning of the casualty appropriate to injury (conscious, in shock and unconscious

    Module 7: Burns


    Causes, recognition and management of burns (heat and cold)
    Severity and complexity of a burn
    Use of special burns dressings
    Prevention of complications


    Use of dressings

    Module 8: Head Injury


    Causes of head injury
    Associated injuries and complications
    Recognition and management of concussion and compression
    Observation of the casualty
    Management of head wounds


    Dressing techniques
    Observation of the level of consciousness
    Observation of the pupils
    Monitoring other observations

    Module 9: Fractures and Dislocation


    Anatomy and physiology of the musculo-skeletal system
    Causes, types, recognition and management of fractures
    Immobilisation and methods available
    Complications associated with specific fractures – jaw, skull, pelvis, femur, rib.
    Complications associated with dislocation


    Simple immobilisation of upper and lower limbs using triangular bandages
    Immobilisation using splints
    Dressing and immobilisation of protruding bone

    Module 10: Soft Tissue Injury


    Causes, recognition and management of sprains and strains


    Compression bandaging

    Module 11: Spinal Injury


    Causes, recognition and management of spinal injuries.
    Recognition of neurological deficit
    Airway management in cervical spine injury
    Immobilisation techniques
    Casualty handling


    Spinal recovery position
    Jaw thrust and chin lift on training mannikin
    Log rolling of simulated casualty
    Use of cervical collars
    Use of stretchers and immobilisation techniques

    Module 12: Poisoning


    Definition, causes, recognition and management of poisoning
    Scene and casualty assessment
    Specific poison management
    Sources of information
    Reference materials on dangerous goods cargoes
    Causes, recognition and treatment of bites and stings


    Role play exercises/demonstrations to reinforce the above with particular reference to identifying and accessing information that is relevant to specific circumstances

    Module 13: Temperature Extremes


    Causes, recognition and management of hypothermia, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.


    Assessing skin temperature

    Module 14: Care of the Rescued Casualty


    Effect of temperature extremes – hypothermia, heat exhaustion, heat stroke
    Sunburn, Frostbite, Immersion Foot
    Rescue from the water including rescue collapse
    Emotional aspects of rescue
    Recognition and management of drowning, near drowning and secondary drowning
    Recognition and management of dehydration


    Role play

    Module 15: Medical emergencies


    Causes, recognition and management of medical emergencies e.g. chest pain, asthma, hypoglycaemia and seizures.


    Positioning a casualty according to medical condition

    Module 16: Casualty Handling


    Basic principles of casualty and manual handling
    Equipment available on board
    Consideration of the condition of the casualty


    Exercises to demonstrate the principles of casualty handling

    Module 17: Communications


    Raising the alarm on board
    Reporting on the casualty’s condition
    Accident reporting and record keeping
    Communicating with the casualty and assistance
    Radio Medical Advice


    Reporting on simulated casualty situation

    Module 18: Equipment and Information


    Equipment and pharmaceuticals available on board
    Sources of Information on board, including the Ship Captain’s Medical Guide


    Familiarisation with equipment and information sources as available

    Module 19: Health and Hygiene


    Means of sterilisation and disinfection
    Management of body fluid spillages
    Blood borne infection
    Prevention of contamination including use of gloves
    Medications available on board for use in a first aid situation – GTN, salbutamol inhaler, pain relief



  • FAQ's

    MCA Proficiency In Medical First Aid On Board Ship - FAQ’s

    These are a few of the questions we get asked by people booking on the MCA STCW Proficiency in Medical First Aid Course. If you have any further queries or are unsure whether this is the course for you please call us on 01243 432485 and we will be only too happy to chat to you.

    What time does the MCA Medical First Aid Course start and finish?

    Typically we start at 9.00am and finish at about 5.30pm with an hour break for lunch

    What is included in the course fee?

    The price includes a copy of the St Johns Ambulance / British Red Cross First Aid Manual and additional course notes

    What do I need to bring?

    You just need to bring a notepad with you (ideally A4 size).

    Where is the course held?

    It will be held at Classroom 1 in Emsworth Yacht Harbour, Thorney Road, Emsworth, Hants PO10 8BP

    What qualifications or experience do I need to complete the MCA Proficiency in Medical First Aid Course

    You don’t need any prior qualifications to complete this course.

    Are there any exams?

    At the end of the course there will be a practical assessment.

    What qualification will I get once I have completed the course
    On successful completion of the course you will be issued with the MCA STCW Prociciency in Medical First Aid Certificate.

    How many people will there be on the course?

    We have a maximum of 6 people on a course.

    How long is the certificate valid for?
    It is valid for 5 years.

    Do I need to do this course?

    This course has been designed for anyone who may be responsible for carrying out First Aid duties on vessels that go up to 150 miles from a safe haven but it is useful for any person who goes offshore in their boat.

    It is also a requirement for anyone who wants to obtain the MCA Cetrificates of Competences at an operational level e.g., Chief Mate qualification and for those who may be completing the PYA interior steward/ stewardess certificate.

    How do I book

    Just click on the book now button

  • Testimonials

    Sue's excellent knowledge of subject matter made for a highly informative course.  Her method of instruction was clear and easy to folIow.  Thank you.

    Rob Clark

    I thought this course may be too advanced for me but it was absolutely the right course for a pleasure cruiser. 

    Peter Leggett

    just wanted to say thanks for the Med Care course, enjoyed them both, although the bum got a bit numb towards the end!.  Would recommend your school and Sue to anyone thinking of doing courses.

    Brian Campbell-Bottoms

    Just wanted to say thank you very much again for the medical course.  I found it very valuable.


    3rd course done at ESN, top quality instructors at exceptional prices. Thank you.

    Rich Walker
  • Technical Requirements

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  • All Dates

or to discuss your requirements you can contact us seven days a week from 8.00a.m to 7.30pm on 01243 432485 or 07702 842190

Emsworth School of Navigation

Emsworth Yacht Harbour, Thorney Road, Emsworth
Hampshire, PO10 8BP

01243 432485, 07702 842190

Emsworth School of Navigation LLP t/as Emsworth School of Navigation is a Limited Liability Partnership Registered in England and Wales—No: OC413937