I took one yesterday. I traveled from my house in Goffstown to Damariscotta, Maine for a class.
Now some people would ask me why I would drive so far for education. I’ve actually talked about this in the past, and I’ve stated that I am not averse to traveling to learn. This was no different, but I wasn’t really sure what to expect. As it turned out, I’m really glad I went.
The class was a PHTLS refresher. PHTLS – stands for “Pre-Hospital Trauma Life Support." – is one of the “alphabet certifications” that some people inside the EMS community talk about. There are people that talk about these types of certifications (they include not just PHTLS but also ACLS, PALS, PEPP, AMLS, at the like) with a level of derision as some of these folks think they’re simply not worth the trouble, or they’re not good classes. Others speak highly of them; these people have said that they are worthwhile resources for reinforcing knowledge and skills.
In this case – at least right now – I’m leaning towards the second point of view. And I’ll explain why.
A part of the reason is the content. There are actually three different programs that all sort of dovetail together all dealing with trauma: PHTLS, ATLS (Advanced Trauma Life Support, taught to emergency physicians), and TNCC (Trauma Nurse Core Curriculum, taught to ER nurses). They all cover the basics for trauma resuscitation and management. And while I had been certified, it was really nice to have the review as it made the stuff that I’ve been doing since the last time I had the class all come together.
Another part of the reason was the instructor. His name is Rick Petrie – works for Kennebec Valley EMS. He’s also involved with the EMS administration at some level in the state of Maine. I was incredibly impressed with his level of knowledge plus his ability to communicate in the classroom. And I really got a lot out of it.
There is also the people who were in the class. It was a small class – total of 6 of us that were there. All nice people, and when we were done I was invited back anytime. That was nice.
The ride up involved me driving on US Route 1 for a bit longer than I expected. I picked Route 1 up in Brunswick and drove approximately 35 miles into Damariscotta. Not an especially long distance, but it was slow because of time of day and road conditions. it took me a little longer to get to where the class was because of this. But I got there okay. The total time I spent between driving and class time was a little over 14 hours.
A long day. But a good day.