by Erik Ritschard, Administrator
|Miss Reese teaches EMH courses and English|
This past weekend I had the opportunity to take a class through the National Outdoor Leadership School on Wilderness First Aid. The course was taught by instructors from the Wilderness Medical Institute and included twenty hours of fast paced, hands-on training. Classroom lectures and demonstrations were combined with realistic scenarios in order to practice knowledge and skills. In two short days, we studied patient assessment techniques along with a wide range of treatments options geared towards wilderness settings. In addition, we learned how to make critical medical and evacuation decisions for remote locations. I found this course to be expressly applicable to working with EMH students as well as to my own lifestyle and outdoor pursuits.
The most challenging and helpful aspect of this course were the scenarios integrated throughout. These situations required quick analysis and creative critical thinking. Instructors would pull aside people from the class and give them incredibly realistic wounds using stage make-up. They would assign each “patient” a personal medical history, symptoms, levels of responsiveness, and a detailed rendering of the situation involving their injury. The patients would go outside and position themselves accordingly - sometimes crumpled on the ground moaning from a fall or hyperventilating from shock - each patient really committed to acting out the scene in order to make it as realistic as possible. Then, the instructors would prepare the rest of the class separately by describing the scenario in which we would come across the patient. The rescuers would go outside, sometimes to find fairly gory scenes, and begin to figure out how to connect with and care for the patients.
These situations felt very realistic and challenged me to immediately implement the things I was hearing, seeing, and writing down in class. They also tested each participant’s ability to remain calm, communicate clearly, act efficiently, and administer care accordingly. The variety and frequency of these scenarios continually reinforced skills taught in the classroom. This unique format was effective in solidifying skills and in building confidence. I found that I loved learning about the detailed medical aspects of patient care and, perhaps just as importantly, I discovered that my personality was very well suited to performing in high-pressure situations...
|Kate on winter mountaineering course winter 2015|
For more information (and great pictures!) about DPCA' EMH program, please visit www.emhweb.org.