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September 5, 2019: Becoming a WEMT

WEMT stands for Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician. I am now taking the eight credit semester long EMT class, it is being taught by Dorothy Adler – last semester I took her semester long Wilderness First Responder class and sat in on her semester long Emergency Medical Technician class.

I got a message from Dorothy on the car ride home. I then carefully weighed the pros and cons about my taking this course. The pros were that the material from last semester was still somewhat fresh so my taking this class was now most opportune. I also realized that should I wait, that I would be at a disadvantage in that I would

Running Bird
Running Bird

have forgotten a lot of the material; therefore, I most likely would not take it. I’d then kick myself in thinking about how I’d bypassed this opportunity.

The cons were that this would cut into my writing and riding time. However, I determined that the pros did outweigh the cons, and upon arriving home, I signed up to take the course. My reasoning (finally) was that though this is going to be time consuming, it’ll all be behind me come December.

Ahead, gulp, in addition to a lot of studying – a practical exam and a written exam. I will then have national certification. And, as I learned last night, I will also have to take a 100 question exam in order to get the “W” designation.

Why are you doing this? I can hear my sister Eleanor asking me this very question. The answer is that I am interested in doing equine disaster relief. There are undoubtedly connections to be made between equine and human first aid. Also, it stands to reason that I might in such situations also have to give medical assistance to an equine’s human counterpart. Additionally, what I learn will be most useful when I again take up the semi-nomadic horse and human lifestyle.

Class meets on Wednesday evenings, from 6 to 9 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 to 4 p.m. I have now attended the first two Wednesday classes. In the first, we went over policies and procedures. And in the second, which was last night, we got into our new groups and sorted through the group medical kits, getting familiar with what was in them. We also had a lecture on vital signs, and after we took one another’s blood pressure and pulse. We also checked skin color and temperature and pupil reflexes.

There are 15 students in this class – it seems to me to that this group has more young people than the class I sat in on. Once again, it has come to mind that being around younger people is really good for me. It seems like those I’m around on a day-to-day basis are mainly what I call “gray hairs.”

Three of my group members seem very competent and self-assured. One, is a little less so. I think, like me, they all wondered if we’d get along and be able to work together. By the end of class, we seemed to think so.

This morning I practiced taking Pete’s blood pressure. I get it. I’m going to take my blood pressure cuff with me, and whenever I get the chance, practice. Doing hands on tasks well – this is going to be my greatest challenge.

Next: 246. 8/6/19: Land and Animal Stewardship

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