Rattlesnake Bite - 18-GANN-F3-0113

Rattlesnake Bite

Treatment or Mistreatment?

by Dana Bartlett, MSN, MA, RN, CSPI
(4.7 / 44 ratings )

This course is credentialed for:
Emergency Medical Services (1.00 CEH)

Price: $5.00
CE-PRO Price: $2.50


Rattlesnake bites are uncommon in the United States. The incidence of rattlesnake bites is not known, and the published numbers are estimates and almost certainly low; many rattlesnake bites are not reported, poison control centers are not consulted for every case, and there are probably many people who are bitten who do not seek medical attention. Death from a rattlesnake bite is rare, but victims can suffer significant toxic effects, loss of function, disfigurement, or even amputation. Most of these consequences can be linked to inappropriate treatment, delay in seeking appropriate help, or inaccessible medical care. Misconceptions about the proper treatment of these emergencies abound. Healthcare professionals as a team need to monitor snakebite victims closely, even when they appear to be out of danger, and use the expertise available from local poison control centers.


The goal of this continuing education module is to update clinical knowledge of healthcare providers about the recognition, care, and treatment of patients who have snakebites. After studying the information presented here, you will be able to:
  • Recognize signs and symptoms of snakebites
  • Name four treatments that should not be used for rattlesnake bites
  • List three indications for antivenom administration and infusion precautions

Accreditation Information
This course is intended for multiple professions, including nurses, EMTs/paramedics, health educators, and physicians.
EMTs/paramedics: Take this version of the course to ensure you receive appropriate credit.
For the version accredited or approved for another profession, go to your specific profession at www.continuingeducation.com or Nurse.com. If you have a CE Direct login ID and password (generally provided by your employer), please log in as you normally would at CEDirect.ContinuingEducation.com and search for this topic title.
This CE activity is accredited for 1.0 Advanced CEH by OnCourse Learning, an organization accredited by Commission on Accreditation for Pre-Hospital Continuing Education (CAPCE).

Course Originally Released on: 2/9/1998
Date of Most Recent Review: 12/15/2017
Course Termination/Update Date: 10/30/2021

Unless stated above, the planners and authors of this course have declared no relevant conflicts of interest that relate to this educational activity. OnCourse Learning guarantees this educational activity is free from bias.

Please see CE Course Instructions to learn how to earn CE credit for this module.


For Florida professionals:

If this course is currently approved by the Florida Bureau of Emergency Medical Services, course completions will be electronically reported to CE Broker as required per Florida Statute 456.025(7). Click here to view your CE Broker transcript and check the status of your CE requirements with a FREE 7-day CE Broker trial subscription. It may take up to 24 hours for the course to appear on your CE Broker transcript.

It is now required that all CE is completed and reported to CE Broker before you renew your license. When you complete continuing education with us, OnCourse Learning will report your hours for you.

Read more about the new license renewal process at AreYouRenewalReady.com and claim your free Basic Account in CE Broker to see what has already been reported for you.

Please check the licenses/certifications section under my account (after logging in) to make sure you have entered a valid FL license number. This information is required for correct reporting of your course completions to CE Broker.

Reports to CE Broker

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Peter B - Surprise, AZ  ·  Mar 16, 2019
Very good information. Useful information for EMS in Arizona.
Was this review helpful?  0
DARRYL M - Westminster, CO  ·  Mar 11, 2019
I was disappointed in this courses direction to prehospital providers. I am a paramedic that works in remote areas. You say the 2 most important tools are car keys and a cell phone? Really? Although under hospital treatment you describe some procedures that I could do in the field. For example, #1 removing jewelry or constrictive clothing. This can be done pre-hospital. #2 Keep in neutral position - This can be done in field. #3 Mark the edges of swelling and tenderness - This can be done in field. Etc Etc. This class overall lacked substance and direction for Paramedics in remote areas, such as on wildland fire incidents, in treating and stabilizing Rattlesnake bite victims.
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Steven W - highland, CA  ·  Mar 10, 2019
very informative and simple. easy to understand
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Nathan O - Chino Hills, CA  ·  Mar 09, 2019
good course, I would recommend.
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Robert B - CAMARILLO, CA  ·  Feb 22, 2019
I would like to have more education on this subject.
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Price: $5.00
CE-PRO Price: $2.50