Do cruise ships have doctors, nurses, medical centers or hospitals?

November 30, 2021

MSN/The Points Guy

The American College of Emergency Physicians, in conjunction with the Cruise Lines International Association, sets strict standards for who treats patients, as well as guidelines for medical facilities, on ships operating from the U.S. Similar authorities are involved for international cruises. All medical staff are both certified and experienced.

Under the ACEP standaards, physicians must have three years of post-graduate/post-registration experience in general and emergency medicine or be board certified in emergency medicine, family medicine or internal medicine. Staff also must be certified in advanced life support or have certification or physician specialist training in areas such as emergency medicine, anesthesiology or critical care.

Ships that carry children under age 12 are required to have at least one physician with training in pediatrics or with an equivalent emergency training that involves kids.

Training requirements for nurses also are quite detailed. Typically, one of the nurses is a trained paramedic and all nurses are experienced registered nurses.

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