• Date created: June 27, 2019
    Date revised: October 5, 2019
    Date of next review: June 2021
    Authorship: UHMS Associate Council
    Reviewed/Approved by: Publications Committee (8-11-19); BOD (10-5-19)

    Title: The Importance & Recognition of Hyperbaric Certification for Technicians & Nurses

    It is the position of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) Associate Council (AC) that technicians and nurses who oversee hyperbaric oxygen therapy should achieve hyperbaric certification to enhance patient safety, knowledge, skills, and application gained by the certification process.

    Many hyperbaric facilities have technicians and nurses who have not achieved certification, nor have they attended an approved 40-hour hyperbaric specific introductory course.  In addition, there is not a consistent minimum standard of who can become certified by the various hyperbaric certifying bodies. 

    The UHMS Associate Council (AC) has historically only recognized two hyperbaric certifications CHT & CHRN.  Recently more certifying bodies have started to appear around the world and within the United States.  Each certifying body has different standards to achieve certification.  
    As the hyperbaric community evolves, the UHMS AC will routinely review and recognize different hyperbaric certifications that achieve the minimum, yet high standard, we envision will help ensure quality, safety, and professionalism of the operators, technicians, and nurses in the field of hyperbaric medicine.

    Conclusions and Recommendations:
    The UHMS Associate Council (AC) believe that all operators, technicians, and nurses should be certified. They formally recognize those that have achieved the following certifications CHS (Certified Hyperbaric Specialist), CHWS (Certified Hyperbaric & Wound Care Specialist), CHT (Certified Hyperbaric Technologist), & CHRN (Certified Hyperbaric Nurse) AND who meet the minimum standards as set below:

  • The UHMS AC believes that each technician or nurse should attend a NBDHMT (National Board of Diving and Hyperbaric Medical Technology), UHMS, or ACHM (American College of Hyperbaric Medicine) face-to-face approved 40 Hour Introductory Hyperbaric Medicine course and achieve hyperbaric certification within 18 months or less of starting work in a hyperbaric environment
  • The certified individual should maintain the primary licensure/certification within their scope of practice or be signed off by their supervising physician (I.E. – non-licensed Medical Assistants)
  • The certified individual must have the following minimal skill sets and annual competencies to effectively manage patients safely during hyperbaric treatment: BLS, taking Vital Signs (BP, Pulse, Respirations, Pulse Ox, & Pain level), Blood Glucose, & safely perform Patient Transfers
  • We believe it is important to continually stay proficient and knowledgeable of the hyperbaric field of medicine by maintaining 12 hyperbaric specific CEUs annually
  • Finally, the UHMS Associates recommend that nurses be certified through the BNACB (Baromedical Nurses Association Certification Board) to consistently align with nursing best practices

     Associated Documents:
  1. National Board of Diving & Hyperbaric Medical Technology https://www.nbdhmt.org/
  2. American Board of Wound Healing https://abwh.net/ 
  3. Baromedical Nurses Association http://hyperbaricnurses.org/