While The Difficult Airway Course™ has a strong presence in the United States, it also extends itself to a global reach. Starting with courses in Canada and The United Kingdom, The Difficult Airway Course has since grown to reach Saudi Arabia, Italy, Trinidad and Tobago, Korea, and numerous other places all around the globe.
With this international presence, airway management becomes more accessible to new corners of the world; providing the course with the opportunity to share techniques and tools that can change healthcare on a global scale. Students are impacted by the experience and knowledge gained in a different way. “When we were in Trinidad and Tobago, we brought out a video laryngoscope, and they had never used them before,” remembers Angela Swain, who has been with The Difficult Airway Course since 2001. “We teach with it as a primary means of airway management, and they were astounded by the ease of it.”
The global courses focus mostly on emergency medicine. In many places, emergency medicine specifically is a newer and more developing field. “They don’t have a lot of mentors for it there, because only so many people are trained,” noted Leslie Simon DO, who has instructed international courses with The Difficult Airway Course. “We had no concept of what they had. So we had to look at what was available to them, and work from there… airway management is the most high-risk thing we do, and the opportunity to share what we’ve learned and make other practices safer is amazing.”
In addition to getting to bring something new to other countries, the instructors who travel find the experience to be equally as eye-opening for them. “We go to teach just as much as we go to learn,” says Jamie Todd, European Course Director for The Difficult Airway Course: EMS. “We go to one country, find a new way of thinking, and bring it back to our country. It spreads good practice, and we can feed it back into the course. There’s a big value in being global.”
Simon adds, “Every time, I learn. Americans have a more narrow view of the world, and always think that what we do is right. It is so fascinating to see a new, and sometimes better way of doing things. We get to see new cultures and resources. It gives you a good perspective on the world and healthcare.”