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NAEMT Pre-Hospital Trauma Life Support

NAEMT's Prehospital Trauma Life Support (PHTLS) is recognized around the world as the leading continuing education program for prehospital emergency trauma care.

PHTLS promotes excellence in trauma patient management through global education of all providers involved in the delivery of prehospital care.  PHTLS is developed by NAEMT in cooperation with the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma.

PHTLS courses improve the quality of trauma care in your area and decrease mortality. The program is based on a prehospital trauma care philosophy, stressing the treatment of the multi-system trauma patient as a unique entity with specific needs. This may require an approach to the trauma patient that varies from traditional treatment modalities.

PHTLS promotes critical thinking as the foundation for providing quality care. It is based on the belief that, given a good fund of knowledge and key principles, EMS providers are capable of making reasoned decisions regarding patient care. The PHTLS course is continuously updated and revised to keep up with the advances in the field, ATLS Guidelines and feedback from PHTLS participants.  

PHTLS programs are developed from the Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) Program, a course for physicians developed by the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma. They follow the principles of trauma care developed by the Committee on Trauma. The Committee provides the medical direction and content oversight for the PHTLS program. 

Although PHTLS originated in the United States, it has evolved and now serves as an international education program available to EMS providers in 34 countries including Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bolivia, Brazil Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Kenya, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Trinidad & Tobago, United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Uruguay. 


PHTLS Provider Course 2 - day

The PHTLS Provider course is designed to be an intensive 16-20 hour experience.  It is available to all levels of prehospital care providers, and programmes are typically attended by Emergency First Responders (Fire, Police, Search & Rescue, etc.), EMTs, Paramedics, Nurses (including Industrial based Occupational Health Nurses), Physicians, and Physician Assistants.

The course is scenario-based, with lectures and interactive skills to add to prehospital care providers’ knowledge, and further develop the critical thinking skills required to effectively treat the trauma patient in the field

Refresher Course 

The PHTLS Refresher course is designed to be an 8-hour workshop and incorporates interactive teaching sessions and evaluation stations.  Candidates who wish to participant in a refresher course much have successfully completed a PHTLS or BTLS provider course within the last 4 years prior to the course.

Trauma First Response


The Trauma First Response course is a one-day continuing education course that teaches the principles of Prehospital Trauma Life Support (PHTLS) to non-EMS practitioners, including first responders, police officers, firefighters, rescue personnel and safety officers. It helps them prepare to care for trauma patients while serving as part of a transport team or awaiting a transport provider.

The course serves up core PHTLS content to those who haven’t had EMT or advanced prehospital training. The lectures and practical stations are designed for the type of care first responders can render while awaiting patient transport or when assisting paramedics and EMTs at a trauma scene.



Tactical Combat Casualty Care

The NAEMT Prehospital Trauma Life Support (PHTLS) Committee is pleased to host the Committee on Tactical Combat Casualty Care’s (CoTCCC) updated curriculum for the Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) course. 

The TCCC course is the military counterpart to the PHTLS course. It is designed for military medics, corpsmen, and pararescuemen who are preparing to deploy in support of combat operations. Casualty care on the battlefield must be the best possible combination of good medicine and good small-unit tactics. 

The specifics of casualty care in the tactical setting will depend on the tactical situation, the injuries sustained by the casualty, the knowledge and skills of the first responder, and the medical equipment at hand. In contrast to a hospital Emergency Department setting where the patient IS the mission, on the battlefield, care of casualties sustained is only PART of the mission. TCCC recognizes this fact and structures its guidelines to accomplish three primary goals: 

1. Treat the casualty 
2. Prevent additional casualties 
3. Complete the mission

The TCCC program was developed to customize the principles of good trauma care for successful use on the battlefield. 

The need for a standing committee to ensure that the TCCC guidelines are updated as necessary to reflect both new advances in prehospital medicine and battlefield experience with TCCC was identified in the original 1996 TCCC paper. The CoTCCC was established in 2001 and is now part of the Defence Health Board. 

The TCCC guidelines are published every 4 years in the Prehospital Trauma Life Support manual. It has been recognized that TCCC guidelines and curriculum will need to change more often than the 4-year cycle of the PHTLS textbook publication. NAEMT will include the updated TCCC guidelines and curriculum on its website as they are approved as a way to help get this new information out to the combat medical personnel in the military who need it. 



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