Sunday morning started early again with a great talk by Dr. Gordie from Cornell on Heat Illness and followed by an almost completely interactive dental lab that taught us all the basics of dental emergencies that we may expect to come across not just in the wilderness but in every day life. If there is one thing in medical school that I can confidently say we learn very little it is dental medicine, and this four hours taught me more about this topic than I learned over the last four years! We went through how to replace an erupted or avulsed tooth, how to apply local anesthetic or a regional block to the teeth or soft tissues, how to replace a loose bridge and how to handle broken teeth (which happens to be one of the most common dental emergencies that I have seen in the ER as well). After this workshop we took the party outside to do some comical, competitive and quite fun team building activities. These ended in everything from sprinting across the field acting out superheroes and fast food chains, walking a giant wooden structure across the lawn with rope, hitting each other with foam noodles while blindfolded, etc. Needless to say, they were all quite fun and ended in a belly shaking round of laughter.
Monday was the start of our Wilderness First Responder course, and although it was a bit intimidating as the instructors (Kirk, Fred and TK) recounted the expectations of being undressed outside in the 20 degree weather, performing a rescue under a waterfall and being pushed to our limits during a search and rescue operation in the dark...I think we could all feel the electricity and excitement at the idea of being comfortable with all these things by the end of the week. To start the course we did multiple interactive stations including oropharyngeal airways, nasopharyngeal airways, combitubes, king tubes, infant intubation, endotracheal intubations from the ground and cricothyroidotomies on pig tracheas. We ended the day with various spinal immobilization methods such as the Hartford Vacuum bag (blue) and KED (green). Great skills for the coming scenarios no doubt, and obviously great photo ops!