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Meeting the New Wilderness Medical Course Guidance: courses with Remote Area Risk International.

The updated guidance on Medical Provision for Wilderness Medicine only serve to emphasise the relevance of our carefully selected and internationally recognised courses. Updated guidance published today.

Brief summary of our thoughts at first read (we will edit, amend and expand at a later date as we digest the document). The comments need to be read in context of the document so they are not misunderstood. Apologies for the patchy editing of the comments below - they form our initial, undigested views with amends as we digest further.

There is a focus on a mix of appropriate training, knowledge, skills and experience - both medical and expeditionary - plus risk management.

The guidance continues to mirror our own views that training some way above and beyond a standard, basic 2 day outdoor first aid course (usually an Emergency First Aid at Work in an outdoor context plus an additional day of practice and content) is highly desirable/necessary for anything but the lowest risk expeditions within fairly short timescales to definitive treatment (well equipped ER, not an ambulance). In fact, the guidance refers to ‘Advanced First Aid’ at the lowest level. A standard outdoor first aid course is not ‘Advanced’.

The guidance for wilderness medical expertise band 1 (lowest) on the skills framework refers to a need for ‘Advanced First Aid Training’  - ‘A minimum of 16 hours is essential, 2-4 days course specific to wilderness environment.’ This is for the lowest risk expeditions. Our initial analysis is that this means a basic 16 hour of essentials plus 2-4 days on specific wilderness medical content. We will seek clarification but that interpretation would make sense given that most well regarded level D courses on the Pre Hospital Emergency Medicine framework take 4-5 days -  without wilderness content.  A 6-7 day training period to encompass all the content would fit with our delivery experience. There is only so much that can be taught in a day and a quality learning day can only last so long.

The guidance is simply that - guidance - but would be a document waived round in court to demonstrate what a panel of experts considered to be ‘good practice’. Medic provision should be guided by expedition specific risk assessment.

We have espoused our (widely supported) views for a number of years that many organisations are not equipping their medic role fulfilling leaders with training that meets good practice for the risk level and remoteness of the activities they are delivering.

We will be updating our Wilderness First Responder web page to refer to these new guidelines rather than the older 2016 guidelines.

Our (US and U.K. certified, medical school accredited) Wilderness First Responder course will very nicely cover all the wilderness medic competencies for non medics at level 1 in the skills framework. It’s clear a more urban based First Responder course simply delivered in an outdoor context isn’t a Wilderness First Responder course in the internationally accepted sense of the title and won’t cut the mustard for anything but the lowest risk expeditions near to definitive care. Wilderness, activity, risk and environment specific emphasis  medical training is necessary. The Wilderness First Responder course will nicely cover all the category 1 (non medic) competency subjects and will probably be even more relevant than previously for qualified medics to undertake to widen their skill base.

Our 3 day Advanced Wilderness Life Support course is an excellent foundation in Wilderness Medicine for those already qualified as medics. It carries credits towards the Wilderness Medical Society Fellowship in the Academy of Wilderness Medicine (as does our PHTLS course):

The AWLS course also complements our PHTLS course (below) and we have had numerous medics undertake both courses as preparation to operate as expedition medics (with many undertaking our risk management course as well).

Our uniquely remote area emphasis 2 day Pre Hospital Trauma Life Support course (which carries credits for the Wilderness Medical Society Fellowship in the Academy of Wilderness Medicine) will be even more relevant than ever given the emphasis on Trauma Courses  in addition to wilderness medical courses for grade  2 and 3 on the skills framework for wilderness medical expertise.

We also allow those who have gone through our 6/7 day Wilderness First Responder course to undertake PHTLS. To date, while PHTLS is a big step up, all have passed, with appropriate pre study.

PHTLS is delivered in 64 countries.

Risk Management knowledge and British Standard 8848 (which members of our team have been involved in the drafting committee or for many years) will be more relevant than ever and our uniquely delivered, 2 day Royal Geographical Society certified Off Site Safety Management courses will be more relevant than ever for remote area medics and expedition leaders.

Those who have undertaken AWLS/WFR, OSSM and PHTLS with us will be very well placed indeed, within their respective medic Levels.

Our new courses (which will also carry credits for the Wilderness Medical Society Fellowship in the Academy of Wilderness Medicine will also add towards this knowledge and skill base include Prolonged Field Care.

It’s more relevant than ever to undertake training with experienced, current and qualified medics for anything but the most low risk expeditions. Check out our Faculty page.

Our AWLS, PHTLS and WFR courses are up to date, current and maintained by large faculties of international medical experts - Doctors, Paramedics and more. Our in house courses are developed and maintained by academics and practitioners - all experts. This expertise and experience led expertise in depth  simply can’t be replicated. We have a stellar Faculty.

Simply the most up to date, internationally recognised, fit for purpose courses, delivered by those qualified, competent and experienced to credibly deliver the courses.


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