Tuesday, February 10, 2009

You're in a world of trouble....

If I'm your only hope......
Last weekend a couple of friends and I took the Foster Calm Wilderness First Aid class.
According to their website….Classes are fun with lots of hands-on skills practice. The emphasis is on making good decisions by staying calm and safe, doing a good patient assessment, and having good communication and leadership.

And to be honest, this is pretty much what I was expecting. Fun and interesting. What they forget to mention is that if you’re even a little bit anal, don’t like tests or really hate failure…..then you might want to skip this class.

It starts off easy enough. She talks, you write notes, she has leaders do demonstrations and you pay attention. So far so good right? Wrong! Evidently you really ARE supposed to be paying attention because before you know it she breaks you up into groups and has you doing what she been demonstrating.

Basically, she lays out the scenario….you’re in Moab UT, its 3pm and 90 degrees. You’re on your way down the trail and come across someone sitting there holding their leg and it appears they fell down the hill…..

Now, for most people this really isn’t any big deal. But I have to be honest….it really stressed me out. What if I don’t get it right? What if I misdiagnose and they end up paralyzed…or dead?

Luckily, In the team setting it all works out since if you don’t know there are a couple of other people there that you can look to for help. But, on Sunday when we broke into groups for the final scenarios, I was appointed leader which means I was supposed to know everything and the others in the team were there as support people.
And to make matters worse, we had a guy that was non-responsive and couldn’t help out by answering questions. I think we did everything correct, the problem was, it took us too long to realize the issue was diabetes and at the rate we were working, he probably would have been in a diabetic seizure if not worse. (looking for and finding the medic alert necklace would have helped)

So, now that I’ve taken this 16 hour course and I’m supposedly “certified” for wilderness first aid, You though, my riding friends, fishing buddies and backpacking pals, had better hope and pray that if you’re ever hurt in the backcountry it’s someone else that comes down the trail. Chances are good you’ll have better odds with a group of 10 year old cub scouts than if I try to administer first aid.

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