Patriot Nurse Class
I took the Patriot Nurse Medical 101 class this past weekend. Both 101 and 201 were offered, but I only took the first day.
She did a pretty good job, given the constraints of running a class for only eight hours. You don't come out with a medical degree, but you do get some good information.
The class was realistically honest in explaining that you are not going to be some high speed medical operator. You can only do what you can do and that will probably be pretty limited given your total training and available equipment and supplies. However, there is still a lot you can accomplish if you keep your head, follow your training and get on top of things before they get out of hand.
As you might expect, after a disaster the main problem is lack of water (dehydration and not washing hands enough) and sanitation. One topic that I found extremely interesting was the relationship between being properly hydrated and the blood system. Dehydration reduces blood volume, makes the heart pump faster, lowers oxygen in blood and hurts your immune response.
You can only cover so much in a short class. Compared to other classes I have attended she did a good job of covering her topics and presented the material in a way that held the interest of the students.
We covered respiratory infections, digestive tract infection and wound care. We also got to use a stethoscope and pressure cuff to take blood pressure and to listen to chest and bowel sounds. Not extensive training but enough to point you to doing more on your own.
We also learned that some of the more complicated procedures like suturing and hanging IV fluids are probably outside of our skill set so we were shown some easier to do alternatives that would be more likely to work for a less skilled person.
Keeping with the theme of being honest in recognizing your skills, there was no focus on combat care. Patriout Nurse has background in pediatric nursing and third world missionary nursing. She said that combat care should be taught by one of the many people coming back with real world experience.
All said, I thought it was a good class and would recommend taking it.