The 6 C’s: Calm, Compassion, Confidence, Competence, Control, Chai

            Wilderness First Aid is seemingly something with very specific application, but its processes and necessary qualities break that boundary. The quality I find most widely applicable is remaining cool, calm, and collected. The importance of this was especially highlighted in the first day when we learned the ABCDE’s, which is a process to check for potentially life-threatening injury or illness present in a patient. The stress of a potentially life or death situation is more than enough to make one flustered and forget crucial steps in determining and fixing life threats. Arguably just as important, a patient will reflect the caregiver’s mood. In a broader sense, a team will reflect their leader’s mood, so regardless of one’s actual feeling there is a need for controlling oneself. That control over the self, because of mood reflection, is actually a greater control over the situation. Calmness and control go together to prevent a situation from worsening solely from expectations. It is the case that expectations need nothing more than themselves to become reality. A lack of confidence in a caregiver can lead to increased heart rate and respiratory rate. A lack of confidence in a leader will likely lead to the failure of a group, and in a more real scenario, a loss of investors for a company. The specifics of Wilderness First Aid are about responding to medical situations, but in a general sense it is responding to crises or problems, so its principles can be applied to other arts that deal with that same thing, such as leadership.

            The personal experience of Wilderness First Aid was intimidating at first, especially because I’ve had issues with being squeamish. To my surprise, however, even with G’s realistic acting and makeup work, I haven’t felt even a slight dizziness. I was almost expecting one of the scenarios to turn into a real situation with me as the patient. Instead I began to feel comfortable in the role as caregiver. It’s exciting to have this tool to be able to do something, rather than feel helpless, and eliminate the guilt of negative responsibility.

           Culturally speaking, there seems to be a different relationship with time here. It does not seem to be considered as a resource, but rather just a medium in which things exist. It seems inappropriate to say that time is spent, wasted, used wisely, or made. Alongside less atmospheric pressure from the altitude, there is less pressure from a lack of urgency. This quality has the opposite effect on myself than one might expect, as I am prone to procrastinate. Somehow, this sort of conception of time has made me procrastinate less and be more motivated. Perhaps this is because it facilitates calmness like I had spoken about before, or maybe it’s the excess of chai tea in my system.