The PADI approach to diver rescue training.

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Title: The PADI approach to diver rescue training.
Author: Richardson, D; Shreeves, K
Abstract: Designing instruction for rescue skill training in recreational divers must address the question of what to teach (content), and when to teach it (sequence amid the development of prerequisite cognitive and motor abilities). The “old school” of diver training attempted to teach all aspects of rescue to the beginner diver. This has given way to training rescue skills by building basic skills in steps to assure prerequisite learning and psychological preparedness. Teaching rescue skills content is a question of sequence. Examining rescue skills and student characteristics against the doctrines of instructional system design theory (ISDT), learning theory and cognitive psychology shows that premature rescue skill training has several potential pitfalls. Among these are potential failure to perform, failure to assimilate, failure to retain, and failure to transfer skills to rescue situations after training. Students may not recognise these failures in themselves and therefore have unrealistic estimations of their rescue abilities. The potential for these problems, despite otherwise appropriate teaching methodologies, arises, among other reasons, because of limitations in human attentional resources, and the absence of experienced-based mental frameworks and related domain-specific prerequisite intellectual skills. The preferred timing of practice sessions may also be an issue. Sequence is also content related. There is a potential for increasing the complexity of a rescue when rescuers learn techniques as isolated skills. Both patient and rescuer benefit when the content integrates rescue and first aid in a priority hierarchy that parallels emergency medical care, though at the lay level. Adapting to local emergency medical protocols enhances this approach to content yet further. The PADI system of diver education presents diver rescue training in a content based on established medical and rescue protocols and sequence based on ISDT, cognitive psychology and motor learning theory. This approach minimises or eliminates the problems associated with “old school” recreational rescue diver skill training to assure the assimilation, retention and application of appropriate rescue techniques and philosophies.
Description: Journal of the South Pacific Underwater Medicine Society.
Date: 1998

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