I am taking a wilderness first responder (WFR) class this week. I have wanted to take one for a while now, but finding the time to get away is always a challenge. As we’re still in the shadow of the holidays, this seemed like a perfect opportunity. My first medical course was a wilderness emergency medical technician program in 1996. I’ve completed more medical training in a piecemeal fashion over the years, but I wanted to dust off the medical skills and see what has changed. We have been fortunate over the years to only have had a few medical incidents, but even so it is important to be prepared for anything.
Many skills are perishable. But I’m not in the WFR course because I feel my medical skills are lacking. Rather, I’m excited to learn more and get better. It is like I tell our students on our programs, If you want to be a high achiever, you don’t practice until you get it right. You practice until you can’t get it wrong. I think this is especially important in things like emergency medicine, where there can be enormous negative outcomes if you get it wrong. So that’s what I’m up to this week. What are you working on getting better at?
Photo is of a stuck canoe from a trip a few years back on Quebec’s Bonaventure River. We were able to pull it free with a team effort, and thankfully wilderness medical skills weren’t needed.