Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Units: 2
Hours: 2 lecture per week (24 total per quarter)
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Non-GE
Transferable: CSU
Grade Type: Letter Grade Only
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Student will demonstrate a trauma assessment, and be able to discuss what would be appropriate findings
  • Student will achieve an 85% on the written exam


Prehospital Trauma Life Support (PHTLS) is recognized around the world as the leading continuing education program for prehospital emergency trauma care. 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 for the trauma patient. This course is scenario-based, with lectures and interactive skills station components to enhance knowledge and further develop the critical thinking skills required to effectively treat trauma patients in the field.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:
A. Describe their role in injury prevention.
B. Demonstrate assessment and management of the patient.
C. Discuss the physiology of life and death.
D. Demonstrate how kinematics affect trauma patients.
E. Demonstrate understanding of scene assessment.
F. Perform proper airway management and ventilations.
G. Discuss the various shocks and how to manage them.
H. Discuss head trauma and how to manage them.
I. Perform a spinal assessment on a trauma patient.
J. Demonstrate how to assess the thoracic for a trauma patient.
K. Demonstrate how to assess the abdominal on a trauma patient.
L. Discuss various musculoskeletal injuries and treatment.
M. Discuss burn injuries and how to manage them.
N. Discuss pediatric trauma.
O. Discuss geriatric trauma and the management of the geriatric patient.
P. Demonstrate an understanding of different mass casualty incidents.
Q. Discuss various environmental trauma patients.
R. Discuss wilderness trauma and how to manage the patient.
S. Discuss tactical emergency medical support and its differences.

Course Content

A. Injury prevention
1. Programs that provide prevention
2. Available resources for the community
3. Trauma center roles
B. Assessment and management of the patient
1. Trauma assessment for the adult, child, and infant
2. Managing the trauma patient
C. Physiology of life and death
1. Human anatomy
2. Human physiology
3. Multi systems and their relations to each other
D. Kinematics of trauma
1. Gun shot wounds
2. Vehicle crashes and various forces
3. Falls
E. Scene assessment
1. Situational awareness
2. Hazards of the scene
3. People hazards
F. Airway and ventilations
1. Anatomy of the respiratory system
2. Proper techniques to ventilate the patient
3. Trauma and ventilations techniques
G. Shock
1. Shock physiology
2. Various shock dynamics
3. Treatment of shock
H. Head trauma
1. Concussion and contusion
2. Subdural and epidural
4. Anatomy of the head
5. Treatment of head injuries
I. Spinal trauma
1. Anatomy of the spinal system
2. Treatment of spinal injuries
3. Packaging techniques
J. Thoracic trauma
1. Anatomy of the thorax
2. Cardiac injuries
3. Respiratory injuries
K. Abdominal trauma
1. Anatomy of the abdomen
2. Solid organ injuries
3. Hollow organ injuries
L. Musculoskeletal
1. Skeletal anatomy
2. Various fractures, sprains, and strains
3. Treatment of musculoskeletal injuries
M. Burn injuries
1. Types of burns
2. Rule of nines
3. Volume replacement
N. Pediatric trauma
1. Assessment of the pediatric patient
2. Mechanism affects on the pediatric patients
O. Geriatric trauma
1. Assessment of the geriatric patient
2. Morbidity affects on the geriatric patient
P. Mass casualty incidents
1. Explosions
2. Terrorist events
3. Triage
4. Weapons of mass destruction
Q. Environmental trauma
1. Cold and heat trauma
2. Envenomation
3. Lightning
4. Drowning
5. Diving
6. Altitude
R. Wilderness trauma
1. Environmental concerns
2. Access and patient removal
S. Tactical emergency medical support
1. Assistance with tactical teams
2. Tactical considerations
3. Team and patient safety concerns

Lab Content

Not applicable.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

A. Computer and AV equipment
B. Simulation manikins
C. Trauma equipment

Method(s) of Evaluation

Methods of evaluation will include:
A. Pre-course video and quiz
B. NAEMT certification exam
C. Scenario based testing

Method(s) of Instruction

A. Lectures, presentations and classroom discussion using clinical simulation scenarios
B. In class scenario stations

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Bartlett, Jones PHTLS: Prehospital Trauma Life Support. 8th ed. National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT), 2014. ISBN-10: 1284041735.


Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

A. Pre-course video

B. Pre-course quiz



Emergency Medical Technologies