Is It For Me?
No prior experience is required and anyone without medical training is welcome to attend. FFH has been attended by well over 1000 teachers, leaders, travelers, explorers, overland drivers, climbers, divers, field researchers, university staff and many others. Where ever you are heading overseas or at sea where there is a risk of injury and illness and medical help is far away, Far From Help training is a essential investment.
This is not a first aid course – the syllabus goes beyond this. Crucially we discuss a range of illness conditions in addition to common injuries, which is the main shortfall of “first aid” courses. You will learn how to take a medical history and perform a physical examination before making a diagnosis and deciding what treatment would be appropriate.
You can read about using prescription antibiotics, Diamox (for high altitude) or strong pain killers in text books but the problem remains of how to obtain these supplies, how to use them appropriately and your legal position. FFH training eliminates all these concerns. We’ll tell you what medical supplies to take and enable you to obtain them two years post-course through Nomad Travel. Our comprehensive manual serves as an essential field aide memoire.
We discuss the use of a range of prescription-only medicines – pain killers, antibiotics and other drugs – and we’ll authorise you to buy these medicines for up to two years. We discuss a range of common medical problems likely to befall any group in any environment (various infections, diarrhoea, sprains/strains, breaks, burns, wounds etc.) and there are also lectures that focus on the unique medical problems posed by special environments such as high, hot and cold places and where malaria and other serious, common tropical infections and wildlife risks abound.
We aim to develop student’s judgement and their ability to discriminate between conditions that can be managed and resolved in the field, those that require a “watch and wait” approach and those that require evacuation. If you have the knowledge to confidently rule out a serious problem you might be able to salvage your expedition without resorting to an unnecessary evacuation.
The course combines lectures, small group practical sessions and discussion groups. It is a very full programme and there is a lot to learn. Do not be surprised at the pace of the programme. You will be given an excellent A5 size field book of notes as a reference (not available in advance – sorry). Please be prepared to give the course your undivided attention and to be in full attendance right up to the end. Our experiences of teaching since1991 are that non-medically training people – explorers – can learn an enormous amount in just a few days. This course is intense and rewarding.
Courses normally start no earlier than 9am and finish each day by 5.30. The running order and structure of courses may differ depending on the venue and group size but all content will be covered or included in the course manual. Tea/coffee/lunch breaks are taken as required. Lunches are not provided except on residential courses.
Day 1 – Theme – trauma Introductions & aims of the course Bench marking trauma scenario – practical Legal issues Measuring vital signs (blood pressure, pulse, breathing) – practical Practical sessions: • ABC approach to the injured casualty • Latest CPR guidelines Practical sessions: • moving / lifting / straightening an injured casualty • basic fracture & dislocation management Head and spine injuries Wound management Wound management – practical: • use of Steristrips • burns and dressings • use of glue & wound packing Expedition medical planning
Day 2 – Theme – medical problems Diagnosis – how to take a patient history Practical sessions: • history taking • examining ENT (ear, nose, throat) & eyes Pain management & nursing care Common medical conditions – diarrhoea, asthma, blisters, bites Case based discussions: • heat illness • cold and frostbite injuries • altitude sickness – use of Diamox/dexamethasone/nifedipine Anaphylactic shock and use of Epipen/Anapen Medical kits & supplies Written examination Final questions / certificates / feedback & farewell
Note: some of the skills taught, and the use of prescription-only-medicines (POMs) are not appropriate for use in the UK or anywhere if professional medical support is readily available. Professional medical advice should always be sought before using prescription medications. WMT reserves the right to amend course content without notice in keeping with the latest best clinical practice.
What Will I Need?
Comfortable clothing and sensible shoes are recommended. We might do some outdoor
based scenario teaching – please have appropriate outdoor clothes and suitable footwear
including a waterproof jacket and pants. The Lodge “stores” have waterproofs you can
borrow for free if you are travelling light. Please ignore the Lodge’s generic advice re:
outdoor kit – these are not outdoor activity courses.
Glenmore Lodge also has a pool, gym & climbing wall – so don’t forget your swimming/gym/climbing kit and a spare towel!