The senior OEC component is a national education opportunity that allows members to participate in ski patrol-relevant exercises. These exercises are designed to develop and enhance the skills of decision making, problem management, and leadership as applied to the management of emergency care situations in a typical ski patrol environment. Their purpose is to build on but not duplicate the Outdoor Emergency Care Program.
Senior OEC training provides an opportunity for senior candidates to gain new and different perspectives on their own style of leadership in emergency medical situations. Division senior staffs provide scenarios for written and on-snow practice exercises. These scenarios emphasize leadership, triage, and managing multiple-injury problems.
Local training for the senior OEC program may be accomplished at the patrol, section, or region level, depending on geography, instructor availability, and other considerations. Training of senior OEC candidates should be done under conditions and on terrain similar to that which will be used for the clinic evaluations. It is recommended that training be done on snow for the benefit of the candidate.
During the clinic evaluations, the senior OEC candidates will be assigned an advocate whose primary responsibility is to observe the candidates throughout the clinic, be a mentor for the candidates, and be another set of eyes for the examiners in support of the candidates’ actions.
- Review basic skills (OEC and Basic Life Support CPR).
- Submit written answers to two open-ended practice scenario problems.
- Create one new senior-level training scenario.
- Participate as a leader in a minimum of four practice scenarios.
- Participate in training clinics.
- Outdoor Emergency Care, National Ski Patrol, current edition
- OEC Study Book, National Ski Patrol, current edition
On-hill scenarios (typical patrol emergency care situations) must be scheduled during the ski season, on the snow, and comply with requirements described in the scenario. There must be sufficient snow to accomplish all evaluation criteria. Other scenario types, i.e., non-ski run emergencies, such as those that occur in the patrol room, cafeteria, or base area facility, must also be in their realistic settings. The evaluation clinic must be held at a ski area although the ski area does not need to be open at the time of the evaluation.
Under exceptional circumstances, an alternative location (not a ski area) may be used, but only if the division OEC supervisor has approved the location in advance. The location must meet all the requirements for a senior OEC clinic/evaluation, including terrain, skiing capabilities, scenarios, emergency care equipment, patrol toboggans, etc. If there is no snow at the time of the evaluation, the clinic/evaluation must be canceled or rescheduled.
National senior-rated scenarios will be used in all warm-up and evaluation rounds. No props, other than moulage, may be used to simulate conditions specified in a scenario. For example, a bamboo pole may not be substituted for a tree. Alpine and Nordic candidates may be evaluated as a leader in no more than one non-ski run problem (e.g., incident in a patrol room, cafeteria, or base-area facility). If the scenario specifies a snow environment, the candidate being evaluated as the leader must be able to ski up to the “incident.” Reasonable accommodations must be made for non-skiing senior auxiliary candidates to access all scenarios, e.g., snowmobile transport. Any equipment or helpers that are part of the scenario should be waiting out of sight of the scenario and the helpers should be able to ski up when responding to the leader’s request for assistance.
Senior auxiliary candidates must be evaluated as a leader in one non-ski run problem.
Performance Objectives for Senior OEC
At each scenario, candidates are evaluated on their ability to meet the standardized performance objectives for decision making, problem management, and leadership. Each objective carries equal weight. What follows is an explanation of how the terms “decision making, problem management, and leadership” relate to expected performance.
- Problem assessment: The candidate approaches the incident appropriately, evaluates the situation, and determines all essential issues and safety needs.
- Patient assessment: The candidate conducts a primary survey and secondary survey, and during a “patient” interview considers the trauma and likely medical outcome.
- Appropriate prioritizing: The candidate addresses a single patient and determines whether the patient is a priority case. The candidate also assigns priority status to multiple patients and conducts triage.
- Overall safety: The candidate takes all appropriate actions to identify, protect, mark, and move patients.
- People resources: The candidate requests, uses, and directs available resources appropriately; keeping people involved without allowing independent actions.
- Equipment resources: The candidate requests and uses equipment appropriately and ensures that other patrollers also use equipment appropriately.
- Plan of action: The candidate manages the problem, avoids repeating actions, directs logical follow through given the patient’s condition, and allots the appropriate amount of time for action points.
- Anticipation: The candidate plans for what may happen next, avoids common problems and duplication of services, and unnecessary movement of the patient.
- OEC skills: The candidate directs or applies appropriate OEC skills according to patient need and in accordance with OEC skill performance guidelines.
- Transportation: The candidate uses planned, supportive, and appropriate means to arrange transportation for priority cases and for others, securing an adequate number of helpers.
- Communication with the patient, helpers, bystanders: The candidate informs the patient of what is happening, gives appropriate instructions to helpers, and directs bystanders without introducing confusion.
- Attitude: The candidate is positive, reassuring, and outgoing.
- Ability to direct: The candidate is assertive, makes independent decisions, and demonstrates an ability to use resources and provide clear direction to helpers.
- Confidence: The candidate demonstrates that he or she knows what to do and how to do it.
- Delegating: The candidate builds and uses a controlled team approach and doesn’t try to do everything alone.
Course Objectives—Final Evaluation
The senior OEC candidate will demonstrate the following knowledge and abilities as they pertain to various elements of Outdoor Emergency Care.
At the end of every scenario, each evaluator will independently complete an evaluation sheet. The advocate for the senior and the two station evaluators must reach a consensus evaluation regarding the senior candidate’s performance on that scenario. The point of striving for consensus is to have a well-reasoned decision to share with the candidate. Station evaluators should defer non-critical performance issues to the advocate. Since advocates have observed candidate performance throughout the entire day of warm-ups and evaluations, they must be allowed to overrule decisions concerning the candidate’s minor errors if they believe the error was misunderstood by the examiners.
If the basic skill review and practice scenarios have been administered correctly during senior OEC training, the candidate should be able to meet all of the program objectives. If the senior candidate feels comfortable with his or her ability to deliver high-quality emergency care, the candidate’s decision-making efforts will reflect that confidence.
Contact Region Senior EMM Advisor Bryant Hall for more information.