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  • #8796
    Profile photo of hydrix13
    hydrix13
    Survivalist
    member1

    I’m not sure if this is where this post should go- but I’d like to tell y’all about my experience taking the NOLS’ “WFR” class:

    First off – I just finished a 14-month RTW trip where I only had generic first aid, CPR/AED training. I did heaps of hiking, back-roading, hitchhiking, jungling, bush-wacking, etc over 30+ countries.

    With all this said- here is why this class was helpful (and why I wish I took it BEFORE my trip):
    1) Being in the tropics with all sorts of new bugs was…. interesting. There were many times that my body parts swelled up because I had landed in a fire-ant nest or some other insect hill and had to de-puss for a day or 2 before attempting to bend the joint.
    *In the class we learn about insect bites, how to reduce swelling, how to immobilize/RICE and other fun facts about insects.
    *Note: we did NOT learn anything about foreign insects that are not indigenous to the continental US.

    2) I was using a machete on a coconut and it came down on my thumb, instead. (spoiler: I still have a thumb). But it was bleeding a lot. I was also in BFE Guatemala where there was no running water and nothing was potable. I put a bunch of rum on it and wrapped it in tissues and duct tape.
    *In the class we learned the miracles of maxi pads (I didn’t have those), how to sanitize water (I didn’t have that option) and how to dress wounds properly to avoid giant ass scars (I’m proud of my scar, thankyouverymuch!)
    *Note: I probably should have gotten stitches. We learned the basics of stitches– but not ACTUALLY how to do it.

    3. I was in Quito and decided to go to a Crossfit Gym there. I’m pretty in-shape. I walked to the gym (2 miles or so) and was SO EFFIN TIRED that I had to wait an hour before joining the class. Then the class absolutely KILLED ME. Like…. couldn’t breathe killed me. That’s when I realized that I was in “the highest crossfit affiliate in the world” and I had altitude sickness. (derp.)
    *The class teaches you all sorts of things about altitude sickness, what to do, the signs, etc.
    (side note: I, later, went to Cusco to do the Machu-Pichu thing… and didn’t get it there. AMS is weird.)

    4. I was hiking in Ankot Wat with a friend and she twisted/sprained her ankle.
    *In the class we learn how to wrap and deal with sprained ankles and how to carry them out of wherever you are. They also teach a lot about patient care. (I didn’t do this. Instead, I cussed out my friend because she was being whiney). opps.

    5. I went to India and dealt with a lot of parasites. (yay! typhoid!)
    *While I ended up ok, some of my friends were not. The class teaches a lot about sanitary situations, how to be clean, how to sanitize, etc.
    *NOTE: they don’t teach you much about parasites that aren’t indigenous to the US. So this chapter was really limited.

    6. I got food poisoning a few times. I wish there was a class that taught you how to deal better with that. :-\ (How to spot poisoned food… either intentionally or unintentionally. I got both.)

    7. I ended up in the Philippines before/during/after the Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan. Here are the skills that would have been nice to know when I was there (that was all taught in the class):
    -How to deal with blood wounds. (gaping, slashes, abrasions, etc)
    -Upper respiratory issues (lots of flu, pneumonia, etc went around.)
    -dislocated shoulders
    -fish-hooks hooked on humans (opps!)
    -impaled objects in bodies
    -carrying a body to safety without a stretcher/gear (pro tip: use a chair or other people)
    -head/neck injuries
    -how to deal with mass casualties
    -teen pregnancy symptoms (patient care)
    -insect stings
    -setting bones
    -splinting! (femers, legs, arms, etc)
    -how to give a proper Head-to-toe examination
    -stomach issues
    -how to deal with hangovers (and drunk people)
    -how to disorient between drunk and head-trauma patients
    -when water is good vs bad. (signs of water intoxication)
    -when you’re not getting enough electrolytes (joint pain)

    *Things the class did not teach but would have come in handy:
    -how to deliver a baby
    -trans-gender issues/patient care
    -anything dealing with under-water. (jelly-fish stings, sharks, coral preservation and wounds, entanglement from fishing lines, etc)
    -how to bury people
    -bullet wounds.

    My blog is here: LNLurie.com and a lot of my stories from Yolanda/travels can be found there (under the “ADVENTURE!” tab.
    If anyone has any other questions about the class (I highly recommend taking it!) let me know and I’d be happy to answer any questions. :)

    #8800
    Profile photo of 74
    74
    Survivalist
    rnews

    Hi Hydix,
    Welcome to the site, funny stories it should be fun to hear more. I can teach you how to give yourself stitches. Use super glue/crazy glue. Dry it the best you can and squirt it in the cut then close. Apply a bandage of glue on top to hold it closed. Let it get hard and do not touch it to see if it is dry. You will glue your finger to the cut.

    #8844
    Selco
    Selco
    Survivalist
    member6

    Lot of good topics are covered there Hydrix13!
    I would pay particular attention to topics about maneuvering injured patients, and dealing with wounds (recognizing types of bleeding and dealing with it etc) also important topic would be prolonged care for wound (for example if medical facility is not available for weeks or not there at all).

    Proper bandaging-splinting injured limb can save you lot of pain, and lot of (dangerous complications.
    In real life for non medical personnel use of steri strips would be more “possible” then stitches, of course that does not mean that you do not have to learn how to do stitches.

    #8845
    Selco
    Selco
    Survivalist
    member6

    One question, how deep did class go about impaled objects (wounds)?

    #8877
    Profile photo of hydrix13
    hydrix13
    Survivalist
    member1

    Ah! Yes! I love superglue. I carried a lot of it on my trip for that specific reason :)

    #8888
    Profile photo of hydrix13
    hydrix13
    Survivalist
    member1

    re: impaled objects- the class just covered “what to do”.
    Here’s what I remember:
    1) cut the object down to as small as you can. (do NOT remove it).
    2) wrap a LOT of gauze/bandaging around the impaled object.
    3) secure it- so nothing is moving.
    4) evac immediately.

    #8893
    Jay
    Jay
    Survivalist
    member3

    Thanks for the detailed information!

    I have a couple of questions.

    1. The course was 9 days right? Did you go full time? How was the daily schedule?
    2. Did they give you stuff to read / work with at home? How was the theoretical part handled?
    3. You talk about drunk people, were there so many people getting wasted to escape the misery after the hurricane?

    I saw your posts on your blog about the typhoon Haiyan / Yolanda. Very interesting (and entertaining) read.

    Especially liked that part. :X Glad everything worked out. Intense experience.

    To be honest, this was the only time in all my time in the Philippines I was terrified for my safety. I always tend to have “an escape plan”. Whenever I sit in a restaurant I sit with my back against a wall so I can see the door (or escape route). I am constantly making escape plan routes- mostly for the Zombie Apocalypse. Even when drunk (which ends up being really creative and hilarious, actually. It’s probably all for nothing, but it entertains me and isn’t hurting you, so stop judging!) Anyway- when I got out of the truck, I was pinned against the back of the truck with hundreds of hungry people’s hands reaching towards me from all angles. All the while I was being interviewed by Channel 5.

    Arra wrote here in our lessons learned forum about this as well. She is from Tacloban.

    Alea iacta est ("The die has been cast")

    #8924
    Selco
    Selco
    Survivalist
    member6

    Yes, that is the basic about impaled objects, it can be tricky to cut down objects to the small size, I have seen lot of dangerous bleeding because people moved impaled object too much while they trying to cut it, so you need to be extra careful.
    Do not forget that that impaled object actually stops (by closing blood vessels) bleeding, so if you move it too much you actually further “damage wound”.

    And also it is not rare to see in the movies how as a part of first aid objects (arrows, knifes…) are being removed immediately from the wound, which is completely wrong.

    It may be removed (rarely) if it is directly putting victim in danger of losing life (for example of an impaled object in mouth- unable to breath)

    #9154
    Profile photo of hydrix13
    hydrix13
    Survivalist
    member1

    Hey Jay,
    Yea- it was 9 days with 1 day off. I took mine in Baltimore, MD- so it was at Johns Hopkins. I was staying with a friend who lived close by, so I just walked there everyday. The class was filled with other Hopkins students, which was cool and interesting (different perspectives).

    They give you 2 books- one is a workbook and one is a (slightly out of date) text book. I haven’t even cracked open the text book- but the workbook I used during class, it’s filled with notes and is my best friend.

    They divided the class into 3s and one person would be “the patient” while 2 other people worked as a pair to try to diagnose and fix the other person. The final exam was 100 multiple-choice questions (you need to get 80% correct to pass) and a practice patient (where the teacher was the patient).

    TL;DR: tons of hands-on experience and a really good teaching style that makes you remember everything really well.

    #9173
    Selco
    Selco
    Survivalist
    member6

    *Things the class did not teach but would have come in handy:
    -how to deliver a baby
    -trans-gender issues/patient care
    -anything dealing with under-water. (jelly-fish stings, sharks, coral preservation and wounds, entanglement from fishing lines, etc)
    -how to bury people
    -bullet wounds.

    Some of the topics from here can be easily covered somewhere else. What do you think needed to be covered more in the course? Anything you would have liked in more detail?

    #9194
    Jay
    Jay
    Survivalist
    member3

    TL;DR: tons of hands-on experience and a really good teaching style that makes you remember everything really well.

    Awesome, sounds great and thx for the tl;dr (too long, didnt read) I see a true redditor! :D

    Alea iacta est ("The die has been cast")

    #9201
    Profile photo of 74
    74
    Survivalist
    rnews

    Selco,
    How do surgeons close/treat a puncture wound after removing it from someone?

    #9235
    Selco
    Selco
    Survivalist
    member6

    It depends from the factors how deep is wound and how much damage is there. They would do tests and scans to determine that, and after that they would decide is there need for stitches, and repairing of soft tissue, bones.
    Also it is important how old is wound and is there already signs of infection.
    Smaller wounds without organ damage would left open for cleaning and continuous drainage, bigger and deeper wounds (for example abdomen) would require revision and repairing -stitches and more complicated work.

    Infection is always trouble there, so antibiotics would be considered, and tetanus shot.

    #20217
    Profile photo of Greywolf
    Greywolf
    Prepper
    rprepper

    Lots of great info i will have to see if I can find one of these classes.

    Wolf Credo:
    Respect the elders, Teach the young, Cooperate with the pack
    Play when you can, Hunt when you must, Rest in between
    Share your affections, Voice your feelings, Leave your mark.

    #26598
    Occam
    Occam
    Survivalist
    member2

    Is there a link or specific website for this class, and their locations?

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