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gwd-scouter

Ideas for first aid requirements

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In another thread, Beavah asks at what level of proficiency our Scouts are signed off for rank requirements. In responding to his post, I thought about our Scouts and their rather dismal level of skill in first aid.

 

What do your troops do for first aid demonstrations during meetings or on campouts. Is this an area where you rely on your older Scouts' skill level to be good enough to teach the younger Scouts? Do you count on patrol leaders to make sure all their members learn the skills needed, or the Troop Guide to make sure the new guys get it? Do the adults do the teaching to make sure it's correct? Do you bring in doctors/nurses/EMTs, etc. to a few meetings? Do any of your guys work on first aid merit badge outside of summer camp offerings?

 

I've heard of some units putting together an emergency prep type weekend full of fake injuries to be treated and emergencies to be worked. Anyone here who has done this type of weekend, how did it go? Did the boys like it? Did they learn from it? Do they want to do it again? Do you think it gave them the knowledge and skills needed to handle themselves or others in an emergency or rendering first aid for an injury?

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Yes All of the Above!

 

I am a firefighter and and an EMT-I, my advancement chair is a nurse.

 

First aid has always been a good topic, both letting the scouts teach it and also being there to step in and stess the importatn stuff. we follow up the monthly first aid theme with a day hike that has emergencies pre-planned out. then we follow up with a weekend of peril with differnet scenarios that happen durring scout skills. pioneering accidents that could be a broken limb or object in the eye.

 

Simple moolage with wax works well.

 

come up with the things you want ot stress and come up with a scenario to put scouts in actions. utilize SIA out of boys life to help you. Coordinate with your local rescue squad or fire department or explorer post to help with instruction and practical.

 

This is a great way to teach utilizing hands on themes.

 

Re-inforce the issues on any outing. first aid drills can be put in place at any time! durring the troop game at the weekly meeting. cooking on a camp out, heat stroke on a hike. victim or 3x5 card with symptoms. If you have a drama club have them help woth props and make up. you can have a lot of fun with this theme.

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Knowledge of First Aid, like knots and just about any other skill/proficiency you can name, will fade for BOTH adults and youth if not used, practiced, or re-learned frequently. That is why the Red Cross First Aid certification is only good for 3 years and CPR is good for only 1 year.

 

I would have the older Scouts do the teaching of the younger Scouts for this. It will help keep their skills sharp. Make sure any adults monitoring the teaching are up to date on their first aid skills too.

 

My council has a First Aid Meet once every year or so. The meet is for the Boy Scouts with Webelos, in full moulage, acting as victims. The Boy Scouts get to sharpen their skills and the Webelos get to learn by having their "injuries" patched up. Half the fun for the Webelos is wearing all of the fake blood and gore!

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For the past couple of years we have been doing a simulated search and rescue weekend campout. The area is a large park and the teams are chosen and given map and compass and their first bearing and paces and then radio in for the next heading. We use a plane crash as the scenario and their is a victim for each team. The victims are made up with various injuries the first year we used sticks and colored syrup for blood the next year we visited the haloween store the day after and got more realistic looking props. The teams each had a backboard courtesy of county fire rescue. Once they had stabilized their victim they had to transport him back to camp. We had a rather steep grade at one point where in theory they were supposed to pull the backboard up with ropes however they all chose to walk around. The winners were treated to an adult cooked meal. All participants got a T-shirt commemorating the event they are cheap if you are not picky on color and go with one color print. The boys who were there brag about it to this day but look at all the skills they were learning on the sly while having the time of their life. We have talked about putting together a camporee around this same scheme and have all the district troops show their stuff. One of the other ASM's is a high ranking reserve officer that says that one of emergency response biggest challenges is getting all the different groups to actually work together and we are noodling putting together a big drill with Reserves, Fire rescue, nat guard and boy scouts together. Should be fun!

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See if you know someone with a good quality Moulage Kit. Some of them are designed to be worn under torn clothing and are equipped with little spigots that squirt blood.

 

Our Scouts like the one with the guts hanging out, and the bleeding stump that simulates a leg ripped off at the knee.

 

See:

 

http://tinyurl.com/3bo29c

 

I would not recommend buying one however, the plastic in my high-end kit began to deteriorate after a few years.

 

Kudu

 

 

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Yah, what ScoutNut said! It always seems to me that learnin' first aid is like learnin' cooking. Yeh got to have someone show you, and coach you a bit. Then you've got to practice, and figure out all da different ways to burn something. ;)

 

Kids (hopefully) get practice with cookin' every outing. I figure the best is to do the same for First Aid. A couple of scenarios per patrol per trip. Kinda like "Dinner and a Movie" except "Dinner and a Disaster."

 

Yeh can do this with a big deck of cards that yeh just keep addin' new scenarios to. Oldest boys have to manage the scene and do triage - they look things over and then delegate treatment to an appropriate lad. Thing is, you'd never really delegate to someone who doesn't know what they're doing, so don't allow it here. If it's a simple cut, it can be delegated to a Tenderfoot. He leads, someone not yet Tenderfoot may watch and help, eh? Or work under the TF's supervision. That way lads who already "have" the signoff keep refining their skills.

 

After each scenario, debrief and give an evaluation. If they really blew it, run the same thing again quickly from the beginning so that they finish on "getting it right" rather than on "gettin' it wrong."

 

Yeh can do it with or without moulage in most cases. With moulage is always more fun, but takes more time.

 

One big advantage to this approach is that the younger lads get to see "harder" first aid and begin to figure it out before it gets taught. So a 2nd Class Scout gets to watch a First Aid MB scout assisted by a 1st Class scout perform CPR, while da 2nd Class lad helps out by treatin' for shock and hypothermia. Older boys learn how to triage and manage scene safety and "bigger picture", and everyone learns how to split up roles and deal with the critical support functions that are also part of a real life first aid problem (those also serve who just boil water for hot drinks for da rescuers :) ).

 

Of course, this presupposes mixed-age patrols, where the younger lads are learnin' by watchin' the older lads. In same-age groups, the tendency is to get more class-like (have the TG teach a session on first aid for snakebite, etc.).

 

One thing to beware of is there's a tendency for adults to write bigger, badder scenarios all the time. Yeh gotta resist the temptation to do a MCI with 5 victims requirin' immediate chest tubes and central lines :). Best to keep 'em fairly simple so that success is likely and the scenario doesn't take 3 hours. Yeh want kids to "win" 85% of the time, and be close the remainin' 15%. Save da Kobayashi Marus for Venturing. ;)

 

Now, it might be tough to get this goin' if none of the lads has good First Aid skills to start. My solution to that is always to "jump start" the PL's through TLT. But yeh can also stay with simple scenarios to begin.

 

Beavah

 

 

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As an EMT myself, I have to say that first aid training can be the easiest, most flexible, and most fun training that can be conducted in a scouting setting. I think that this comes from the fact that most of the first aid we teach isn't that "hard", theoretically or practically. And, its easy to tailor the training to different age groups and experience levels - from teaching tiger cubs how to wash a cut and put on a bandaid, call an adult, or call 911, to teaching older scouts and adult leaders CPR, and advanced stabilization and treatment techniques - and everything in between.

 

One thing that seems to be under-emphasized in BSA first aid training is the proper use of body-substance isolation - aka gloves. Ask anyone whose received even a little EMS training - the first two questions you ask yourself are, "Do I have gloves on? Is the scene safe?" I'm surprised to see that the first aid MB doesn't have a requirement similar to "Discuss the importance of taking body-substance isolation procedures when performing first aid. Explain common items that should be used to protect yourself and the ill/injured patient when performing first aid." When I teach any kind of first aid, I make sure to include a discussion on this topic (without adding to the requirements, blah blah blah). HIV and Hep-C are both very common (moreso than you might imagine), and there's no sense in taking a chance infecting somebody.

 

Another facet that I think should be incorporated more into BSA training is the use of AEDs. Fact is, in a cardiac arrest situation, most "younger" scouts will not be able to do effective CPR for very long, or at all - they're just not strong enough. Contrary to what you see on TV, good CPR isn't just lightly pressing on someone's chest, and having them magically come back to life. Instead, if you're giving good CPR for anything longer than a couple minutes, you'll be TIRED, sore, sweating and aching. And, unfortunately, your patient probably won't spontaneously regain a pulse. AEDs, on the other hand, are mind-numbingly simple to use, after a little instruction. Most models found in public places have an electronic voice that will completely walk you through the procedure. And, the success rate of resuscitation when an AED is used far surpasses that when its not used. Granted, it can be hard to find a training AED to practice with, but good places to start would be a local hospital (see if they have a "community outreach" division), fire or police department, college offering EMS classes, or a Red Cross organization.

 

Along similar lines, if you have a scout in your troop who has an epi-pen, invite him to teach the troop how to use it. That another thing that is very simple to operate, but could quite literally save someone's life. Training epi-pens (the same thing as a real epi-pen, but without the medication and needle) are available - check with the same places as above.

 

One final comment regarding the "first aid meets" and such. I think they are great, if not the best, tools for teaching first aid. However, remember to keep your instruction age appropriate. I've seen 1st-year scouts taught how to pull traction on a broken femur (a potentially dangerous situation - I, as a trained EMT, would be very careful and deliberate about how I do that procedure). However, these scouts still couldn't correctly do simple first aid, like treating a 2nd degree burn, or bee sting.

 

Just my 2 cents.

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As a firefighter/EMT and den leader I am starting my BEARS on the american red cross Basic AID Training (BAT) workbook which is designed for kids ages 8-10 years. The workbooks were $2.00 each and the instructor manual was $7.00. as the kids get older either 2nd year Weblos or first year boy scout we will sponser an American red cross first aid class and CPR. this can be followed up with the 2 year recert classes for FA and CPR. Meeting the national standard for first aid should be nothing but the minimum for well prepared responsible scouts.

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As a former EMT/ERT I don't go to as elaborate levels as have been described by some of these posts. However, I do spontaneous training at different times in different settings.

 

While on a hike around the local camp with our new Webelos II boys who were visiting our troop, I had one of the Webelos boys "break" his ankle. I promised him a free ride back to camp if he did a good job. He sat down on the trail and I was surprised the rest of the hikers didn't notice. (I picked the last scout in the line) Of course it took a while, but his buddy finally spoke up that there was someone missing. After locating him, sent two runners back to camp to initiate further help, splinting his ankle, making a stretcher, they carried him back to camp.

 

My boys have come to expect an "emergency" at any time at any place.

 

Stosh

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