Hands On

Our last day was spent in the field... we mean having the students get hands on practical experience! We split the class up into five groups; each group has two guides to facilitate scenarios and help us translate. We hike from the school to Rataquina, which is a lookout point over Huaraz. It was a really beautiful day and the hike was awesome. You walk past the cemetery and continue past the city limits until you reach the top of the lookout.

As we walk up to Rataquina, the guides have a “medical emergency” on the side of the road and the students have to diagnose and treat it. It’s really fun to see. Bystanders walking by give us crazy looks. It’s awesome to see the students taking the material and making it their own. Once we all reach the top of Rataquina, the groups start to go over the scenarios. The original list of scenarios that we want to emphasize is comprised of: altitude sickness, frostbite, hypothermia, broken ankle, and a head injury. Some of the more experienced guides make their groups treat more than one condition at a time and evacuate the patient from a difficult location. They create makeshift litters out of backpacks, ropes and sticks. They splint with sticks and scarves. It’s really cool to see them take what they’ve learned and find things in their environment to recreate it without specific medical equipment.

Once the individual scenarios are complete, we take a group photo from the summit of the hill. Our last scenario is triage. Nikki, Erkki and Emily are the triage victims. The students have to assess each of them and figure out what injuries they have and what color they would assign us. Once they do that, they have to make the decision about who to treat and evacuate first. Once the triage scenario is over, we head back to town for lunch around 1:00. A massive thunderstorm hits around 2:00. We return to the school at 3:00 pm to administer the written test and give the school the donations that people have given us throughout the year. 47 people take the test and all but five pass. 

Elevate Your Everyday, Elevate Peru