After completing a first aid course recently, I was frankly quite disappointed at the almost complete lack of content present. Granted it was only a two day plus one evening introductory course, however the entire course could have basically been done in about ten minutes by repeating this continuously:
- Check for danger
- Check for a response
- Cover your arse by asking for consent
- Call for an ambulance
- Cover your arse by not leaving till help arrives and documenting the patient condition
Sure, these things are important, but hardly worth the sacrificing a weekend and weeknight (thankfully someone else footed the several hundred dollars the course would have cost)
This got me thinking – I remember first aid courses used to actually give you some skills around treating minor ailments, and deciding when to go to a doctor. What I really want is the ability to treat minor illnesses/injuries, and know what is minor and treatable, and really does need further medical care. Like, if I’m out hiking/camping and I’m either too far away from civilization, or simply don’t want to have to go to a doctor if I can treat it myself.
After doing some searching and discussing this with some friends, I came across the following resources which seem to meet my need:
- Hesperian free books for download
- The Ship’s Medicine Chest And Medical Aid At Sea
- The ship captain’s medical guide
I haven’t studied these in great detail, however they seem to be what I’ve been looking for – basic medical care when there isn’t a doctor around. I’ve made sure I’ve got a copy on my various computers and memory sticks in case I need them.