Prehospital 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. The mission of PHTLS is to promote excellence in trauma patient management by 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. The Committee provides the medical direction and content oversight for the PHTLS program.
PHTLS courses improve the quality of trauma care and decrease mortality. The program is based on a philosophy stressing the treatment of the multi-system trauma patient as a unique entity with specific needs. 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 practitioners are capable of making reasoned decisions regarding patient care. The course utilizes the internationally recognized PHTLS textbook and covers the following topics:
- Physiology of life and death
- Scene assessment
- Patient assessment
- Breathing, ventilation and oxygenation
- Circulation, hemorrhage and shock
- Patients with disabilities
- Patient simulations
PHTLS is the global gold standard in prehospital trauma education and is taught in 64 countries. PHTLS is appropriate for EMTs, paramedics, nurses, physician assistants, physicians, and other prehospital providers. PHTLS is accredited by CAPCE and recognized by NREMT.
The following PHTLS courses are offered to address the needs of providers and instructors:
Provider Course: 16-hour course for EMTs, paramedics, nurses, physician assistants, physicians and other prehospital providers. Upon successful completion of the course, students receive a certificate of completion, a wallet card recognizing them as PHTLS providers for 4 years, and 16 hours of CAPCE credit. This course may be offered as a classroom course, or a hybrid course where students take 8 hours of the course online followed by 8 hours in the classroom.
Learn what’s new in the PHTLS 9th Edition Provider Course
Refresher Course: 8-hour classroom course for individuals who have successfully completed the 16 hour PHTLS provider course within the past four years. Current PHTLS provider certificate or wallet card required. Upon successful completion of the course, students receive a certificate of completion and 8 hours of CAPCE credit.
PHTLS for First Responders – PHTLS-FR – Provider Course: PHTLS for First Responders (PHTLS-FR)is an 8-hour classroom course that takes the world-class trauma care content from the 9th edition of PHTLS and delivers it in a style that is relevant to and accessible by first responders, including emergency medical responders (EMR), firefighters, rescue personnel and law enforcement officers. Covering life-saving interventions such as hemorrhage control and airway management, this course teaches critical trauma concepts, demonstrates skills, and walks students through potential patient scenarios. Course materials include a student manual, providing students with access to these important concepts long after the course is over. Upon successful completion of this course, students receive a certificate of completion, a wallet card good for 4 years and 8 hours of CAPCE credit.
Online PHTLS Module: 8-hour online module that covers the didactic portion of the 16 hour provider course. Upon successful completion of the module, students receive a certificate of completion and 8 hours of CAPCE credit.
Instructor Update: 4-hour course for current PHTLS instructors that provides a comprehensive overview of content and features of a new edition of PHTLS. This course is offered in a classroom format in conjunction with EMS World Expo, and subsequently as an online course. This course is required with each new edition of PHTLS to maintain current instructor status.