More Than Medicine

The Wilderness First Aid training our group has been receiving over the past two days clearly displays transferable skill to all sorts of areas. I believe that education on leadership shares a similar goal. Just as Wilderness First Aid teaches many lessons that transcend the practices simply related to treating injuries and illnesses more than an hour outside of definitive medical care as the definition states. Leadership skills are transferable to life far beyond directly leading a group of people.

The fact that these are transferable skill sets is far from the only set of similarities between them, the courses that we have been educated in these different fields overlap tremendously. The hard skills of WFA are not quite applicable the soft skills learned in the course transfer almost directly. These overlapping soft skills consist of attributes such as calm collective ness, and confidence in the face of adversity.

Calmness in the field of Wilderness Medicine can change the tone of a situation from that of panic to one of productive problem solving. A tense high strung scene as we have seen in various scenarios can be made much worse by a lack of leadership, or lack of calm collected leadership. A scene such as this one can take a turn in a totally different direction. These situation can go from everyone perpetuating stress to problems being solved. The difference can be as simple as a focusing presence. Applying these soft skills of leadership and WFA can allow for the environment for technical skills to be executed effectively.

Confidence is another overlapping theme between our training in WFA and leadership. These confidences are first off backed up by competence. Otherwise this confidence would not be true confidence at all rather it would be misleading and even dangerous. I think a large function of the WFA class was to provide us with the competence we needed to be real leaders in the outdoors. In a scenario in the outdoors a real leader must be able to take care of their team rain or shine. This includes sick and healthy. Once there is a level of competence a leader must know that he or she is capable, and convey this belief. Scenarios in WFA were the first time in our course that I think real leadership needed to be displayed to do a good job, and because the scenarios were presented when students did not have competence we did not display confidence, and things fell apart. Even before the lack of competence was evident the confidence was already a deal breaker for success. I think that I learned a lot from seeing mistakes, and knowing what not to do it just as valuable as what to do.

I feel that my study abroad experience so far has not challenged my cultural prospective in the ways that I expected it to. My experience so far has been filled with my white peers and instructors that have an extremely good understanding of our culture, and have adapted extremely well to teaching and communicating in a style that I am accustomed to. I have a hard time believing that what I have experienced so far has been a true representation of Indian culture. I look forward to more of a challenge in this regard as the trip goes on, and we travel outside of the Hanifl Centre.