This, the final and most demanding part of my wilderness first aid training, gave me new skills such as being qualified to operate community based AED’s (defibrillation units) and also built on the skills I had learned on previous courses.
Before the actual course we had to read the Wilderness First Responder manual and produce a home paper (which I have included below).
The 38 hours at Alfriston Youth Hostel, spread over three days, was predominantly based around medical emergency scenarios, most of them taking place in a nearby forest. Although we also had frequent written test papers to complete.
Actors, sometimes two per scenario, sporting disturbingly realistic injuries, took the part of victims/casualties.
On day one we were assessed on being able to use the defibrillator.
On the second day, in the forest, we had to deal with 10 separate incidents. These scenarios, even though one knows they are not real, do generate enough of a stressful environment to provide a realistic evaluation of how a student might cope with a real situation.
The injuries we had to cope with were often not straightforward and we had to demonstrate that we could deduce the history leading up to what the casualty was presenting with. For instance a woman who had fallen and had a piece of glass in her hand suddenly started to lapse into unconsciousness – we discovered she had eaten poisonous mushrooms.
The third day was mainly taken up with exams, both practical (we were assessed dealing with realistic emergencies) and written papers, which required essay answers to test the we had a certain depth of understanding of the subject.
The training, provided by Muir Walker Medics Co op has been of such a high standard that I passed the assessment with a good grade.
Thanks to Joe and Amy from Muir Walker and not forgetting the Oscar worthy performances by the two casualties Jess and Drew.