As a research intern at Divers Alert Network, there is an opportunity to learn at every corner. In my time with the research team, I received incredible mentorship as a young scientist to hone my data collection, analysis, and knowledge translation skills. Going into the internship, I knew the quality of research DAN produces, so I was eager to learn as much as I could from the team. But the amount I learned exceeded all expectations.
In addition to DAN’s commitment to training me to be a better scientist, I was provided with a wealth of opportunities for continuing education, allowing me to increase my capacity to act as a steward and leader in the diving field.
I am proud to now hold certifications as a Professional Scuba Inspector/Professional Cylinder Inspectors (PSI/PCI) Visual Cylinder Inspector, Oxygen Cylinder Cleaning Technician and Valve Repair Technician. This course consisted of didactic learning portions and tank and valve disassembly, as well as a tour of a facility where compressed gas cylinders are made. We were incredibly fortunate to have the CEO of PSI/PCI, Mark Gresham, to lead us through learning the intricacies of ensuring safety when working with compressed gas.
As research interns, we were also given the opportunity to participate in a regulator clinic at the headquarters of Dive Rite. This was a first for many of us, to open up such a critical part of our life-support equipment. The experience gave me a better understanding of the system and while it was complex in some sense, it could be broken down into a relatively simple system.
During my time at DAN, I also became certified as an instructor for the Divers Alert Network First Aid for Professional Divers (DFA Pro) Course. For the course, we were guided through general first aid, emergency oxygen, CPR, neurological assessment and first aid for hazardous marine life injuries. These skills were first taught at the provider level with the help of our instructors Christine Tamburri and Wally Endres from Risk Mitigation and Safety Services.
This course gave us the foundations and knowledge to apply to our DFA Pro instructor training, which was done with the help of Jim Gunderson, the director of training at DAN. Working with Jim, we were able to better understand the teaching methodology DAN employs to provide some of the most robust training in CPR and first aid available while making it applicable to divers.
Each of these certifications has aided in my professional development immensely, as I am able to bring them back to my home dive shop. I am excited to teach new students about the importance of first aid training for divers. I also have gained a deeper understanding of how my equipment works when diving and am therefore better equipped to solve problems above and below the water.