Day 5 – Course Update

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Several updates since the last news posting: one development is our launch of a ‘student access’ portal on atulado.net, a digital library where students can download all materials for our courses. We are also looking into building a drupel forum, which would help to assign and review pre-and post-course work, as well as sustain class conversations.

Day 4 of the course (Thursday) focused on patient vital signs. Some of the most popular stations covered pain (measurement scales and OPQRST) and using the oximeter and glucometer. Medics and doctors told us they often don’t ask their patients about pain levels, and they found the nemonic OPQ(C)RST for documenting pain very helpful. Likewise, oximeters and glucometers are not common equipment here, and our students enjoyed practicing with the equipment. Many asked if they could use it after the course, to which we responded, “of course, as long as you’re working with Mano a Mano’s air service.” We concluded Thursday with two scenarios – an internal hemorrhaging and an organophosphate poisoning – both scenarios where vital signs must be repeatedly tracked.

Saturday, day 5, was the course’s longest day, 6 hours. We covered trauma evaluation and arranged practice stations on fractures and dislocations, wounds and abrasions, burns, head trauma, improvised femur traction splints, and the Kendrick Extrication Device (KED). Coincidentally, a student in our course used a KED the following day during a real-life rescue.

Today (Sunday), was our day off. SAR hosted a competition of firefighters hailing across Bolivia and invited A Tu Lado to compete, just for fun. Terence, Ethan and Seth completed the course as a relay team. Having never practiced any of the firefighting obstacles and maneuvers, they managed to complete the course in a time that would have qualified them for third place overall — that is, if they weren’t disqualified for dropping the live hose and spraying the whole audience.

Tomorrow we begin a section on birth, an important topic for the air service. Guest lecturers include the president of the Gynecological Society of Cochabamba, dean of the medical school of Universidad Mayor de San Simón, and the Medical Director of the Gastroenterological Hospital of Cochambamba.

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Terence Steinberg with Students

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Blood Pressure Demonstation

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Scenario

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Kendrick Demonstration

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Student Jonatan leads a scenario

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Group of students ready for a scenario

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Post-scenario Will Chilton, covered in moulage