WMS Elective Day 1 & 2

Well, all finished with day 2 and it has been an interesting and fruitful experience so far.  Entering this elective I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.  I know several of the faculty from UT who teach for it but details were sketchy.  All I really know was what one of the faculty told me, “You’ll really enjoy it.”  When people would ask me what to expect all I could say, “Take a look at the website to see.”

So, for the first two days of the month, we have had two days full of lectures and practical survival skills.  A pleasant surprise, however, has been the camp.  Camp Wesley Woods has been a wonderful hosting facility and the staff has been excellent.  The introduction games and leadership games they have used are very thought provoking and great for learning names.  Normally, I have a horrible time learning names but now I feel much more confident after all these exercises.  

One specific leadership game they had us perform used a hula-hoop®.  Everyone stood in a circle and placed both index fingers pointing toward the center of the circle with the hula-hoop® resting on the index fingers.  The task was simple.  Lower the hoop to the ground.  Yes, a simple task but hard to execute.  It is a weird feeling to be standing with six other individuals wondering why the hoop is going up and not down.  We eventually got the hoop on the ground and advanced to two hoops, one on the right index fingers and one on the left above it.  These hoops couldn’t touch and both had to be lowered.  After the experience with the one we did a much better job with keeping these on a downward course.

Otherwise yesterday we learned about incline rescue and evacuation using ropes and how to setup a system.  Today we did navigation ending with a two-mile trek around the camp to specific points and the leadership exercises.   The rest of the week is going to be a full week with the days starting at 7:30am and lasting till about 7-7:30pm all the way through Saturday.  We won’t really have much other then didactics this week but the real fun will be starting next week when we start the “scenarios.”  What are the “scenarios?”  Well, maybe an example of what happened yesterday is better then me trying to explain.  

So, after all the introductions and just before dinner, one of the pre-hospital instructors asked Almost back to normal if anyone brought some through away cloths.  I as ever readily mentioned I had some and was instructed to go change into it.  We were going to learn the proper technique of removing the cloths in a wilderness emergency.  Yes, the “scenarios” I am mentioning have us (the students) as the victims and the rescuers.  In this case, I was just a “dummy” and my cloths were sacrificed Splayed open but in the real scenarios we will be given make-up and instructions as to the type of injuries.  We will be placed out in the woods and our team will have to come rescue us.  It is all live simulation and will require the exact same response.  There is no other way to simulate it and learn.

What does that mean, well if a student is an “unconscious” victim and during the primary survey our team forgets to cover us up in the cold or rain, we get really cold and wet.  It is to help teach us what it is like as a patient and learn invaluable lessons in patient care.  Some of the simulations we will be running will be a night.  Some will have victims in the cold water.  Who knows all they have dreamed up for us?  All I know, it will be an invaluable experience in my medical studies.

Well, that’s all for now.  Better get some reading done and ready for tomorrow.

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