Approved UHMS Introductory Courses

What is a UHMS Designated Introductory Course in Hyperbaric Medicine?

UHMS approved introductory course training is expected to require a minimum of 40 hours of face-to-face hyperbaric medicine specific instruction, formal assessment upon completion, some element of practical chamber‑side instruction, and must be documented by a certificate of completion. A UHMS‑Designated Introductory Course in Hyperbaric Medicine shall cover the following elements: Historical Considerations, Physics of Hyperbaric Exposure, Mechanisms of hyperbaric oxygen, Air Decompression Procedures, UHMS Accepted Indications: Their Scientific Basis and Treatment Protocols, Side Effects and Contraindications, Patient Assessment and Management, Hyperbaric Chamber Systems, Hyperbaric Safety and Emergency Procedures, Administrative/ Management Issues, Clinical and Technical Practicum and a final examination and evaluation.

A UHMS Designated Introductory Course in Hyperbaric Medicine is designed to introduce physicians, nurses and technicians to the theory and practice of hyperbaric medicine. On May 21, 1998 the UHMS Board of Directors established the minimum content, duration, and quality of a UHMS Designated Introductory Course.

Basic Considerations for Determining the Elements

In establishing the minimum content and duration of a UHMS Designated Introductory Course, the Education Committee considered the following items.

Consideration 1. A physician practicing hyperbaric medicine should be a fully licensed MD or DO who has been granted privileges in hyperbaric medicine by the medical staff of the hospital in which hyperbaric oxygen therapy is being performed.
Consideration 2. Completion of a UHMS‑Designated Introductory Course in Hyperbaric Medicine does not credential or imply credentialing of a physician, nurse or technician to practice hyperbaric medicine. Being qualified in the hyperbaric medicine specialty requires additional specialized training.
Consideration 3. A UHMS‑Designated Introductory Course in Hyperbaric Medicine should make available to the participant the currently accepted community and national standards for safe and effective application of hyperbaric oxygen (HBO2) therapy for specific clinical conditions.
Consideration 4. Basic medical skills on management of medical emergencies are outside the scope of a UHMS‑Designated Introductory Course in Hyperbaric Medicine, so physicians must either possess or acquire these skills apart from the Introductory Course.
Consideration 5. Physicians trained in the practice of hyperbaric medicine have the same education requirements regardless of the type of chamber, e.g., monoplace or multiplace.
Consideration 6. The UHMS will continue to provide Physician CME Activities beyond the Introductory Hyperbaric Medicine Course to aid physicians in meeting their ongoing CME requirement to maintain their credentials in hyperbaric medicine (as established by hospitals or specialty boards).

Additional guidelines for training, credentialing and staffing can be found in the UHMS Guidelines for Hyperbaric Facility Operations.