Lightning Strikes and My Adrenaline Spikes!!!

              Today, May 9, 2023, marks the day that our group has completed the Wilderness Advanced First Aid course. I often had a roller coaster of emotions throughout the course, as the concepts were intensive, and the scenarios were anxiety provoking. The course took us through a wide variety of illnesses and injuries. These issues ranged from a lighting strike hitting a group of people to allergies and abdominal pains. Now after having these class sessions, I feel much more prepared for our ten-day trek.

              My favorite scenario was one that I was the most unprepared for as the caregivers and I were caught extremely off guard. We were caught off guard for many reasons, so I’m going to walk through it. Vipul began by asking for the entire group to split into groups of two, which was unusual as we usually worked in teams of three. Initially it was a little different, but I did not think much of it in the moment. Next Vipul said we were going to make the caregivers walk a little bi further, so we took about a two-minute walk. This once again seemed a little off but not too unusual. The next part when Vipul began talking about random things we were looking at, such as the trees or a car he used to have, is when I realized we were the care givers. We began to walk back to the Hanifl Centre and that is when the caregivers and I heard loud screaming. As we approached the scene I was instantly filled with stress and anxiety, because there were more patients than care givers, as well as a multitude of different injuries. For example, one person was unresponsive and almost dead, while others had no injuries and were just there to distract us by screaming. I tried to assist the unresponsive, however I was not CPR certified, so I had to move to the next patient. This patient had a missing finger, so all I could do is apply pressure and evaluate her level of responsiveness or LOR. Then as I finished some of my questions another care giver came to assist me after helping another patient. In a split second the other patient that was left decided to run off. In one instance I decided to try and find the patient, but I could not by the time Vipul called off the scenario. Overall, this entire scenario I felt extreme stress and anxiety, but right after the scenario we were taught all the information. I now feel much more comfortable in extreme circumstances.

              One of the most, if not the most successful scenario was when the entire group had to work together to carry another patient that had a spinal injury. We had to move this patient inside the Hanifl Centre, then back out, then put her on a proper litter for evacuation. Since this was our first-time having consequences for mistake, we took it very carefully. Leadership was involved in many ways, such as self-leadership and communication. Self-leadership was used as everyone had to keep track of their individual movements and let the group know if they had any issues. This allowed the group to create an even stronger bond as we felt comfortable making our mistakes known, since there could be bad consequences.

              To conclude, the group feels much more prepared for the trek. Not only because we are all now trained and certified, but also since we have created such a strong bond between each other.