Wilderness First Aid, Minor Global Health Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, NL
Lessons in travel awareness, safety and security
Today I organised four Wilderness First Aid workshops to 86 third year medical students, supported by four medical doctors. It was commissioned by Prof. Jan Nouwen, MD, PhD, Internist-Infectious Diseases Specialist and Coordinator Global Health Education. This training is part of the annual Minor Global Health and took place in the vicinity of the Erasmus Medical Centre Rotterdam.
In about two weeks these students are going to start their hospital rotations in Cuba, Brazil, Zambia, South-Africa, Indonesia or Oman.
The goal is to inform the students about safety and security issues while on the road, running scenario-training and teaching practical, hands-on, first aid skills (carousel), such as bleed control, wound management, bandaging, splinting and immobilizing limbs and joints.
Travel safety and security
On the road, traffic is always risky, you need to be careful to spot danger signals and avoid potential attackers.
Anything can go wrong, which is why it is important to prepare well for your trip.
Where are you going, what is the purpose of your trip, what is the socio-economic and political situation in that area, what people are you going to meet, what equipment do you take with you, what is your back up plan in case of a calamity?
Pro-activity is an important condition to guarantee your own safety and that of your fellow travelers.
My domain is the outdoors: entrepreneurship, team performance, learning and work in nature. If you want to support people to increase their self-reliance, I think the best way to do that is by exposing them to the elements. This also applies to education in resilience. It challenges, relaxes the nervous system, provides space and a lot of oxygen to absorb and process. Today the weather was lovely, the sun was shining regularly and it was warm, much to the delight of the students present. They also had plenty of time to improvise, learn, absorb information and process it.