Barefoot Doctors by Michael Allen


This month, our West Coast Director taught the Barefoot doctor course of Wilderness Surfing First Aid to seven instructors preparing to teach the Surf Camp offered this year by the Stevenson Prep School in Pebble Beach, California.

The class consisted of 2 days, the first day was all indoor wilderness medicine review from a PowerPoint slideshow in the classroom, as well as hands-on wound management using medical supplies that Michael brought for the occasion. Over the entire course they  covered:

Part 1:  Preventative Medicine – Knowing How to Keep Safe
Part 2:  Medical Emergencies
Part 3:  Medical Kit hands-on Training
Part 4:  Mental Health and Fitness
Part 5:  Anaphylaxis
Part 6:  Marine Envenomation
Part 7:  Documentation  – An Absolute Necessity
Part 8:  Water Rescue Training

The 2nd day was water rescue training on the beach and in the water at the south end of Carmel Beach. We reviewed techniques for bringing in a conscious and unconoscious patient back to the beach safely, using a leash as a tourniquet, helping to paddle in a surfer who has lost their board, and examining recommended supplies to have on hand for the beach medical kit.

The group was a mix of backgrounds; some were solid surfers, some had very limited time in the ocean. Some had a little bit of wilderness medicine background. One of the instructors was an R.N. but needed the water and wilderness training. “In the end, the instructors were fun to work with and I think we accomplished our goal to help prepare them to assure safety for all of the children in the surf camp.”

It is always a pleasure to teach Wilderness Surfing First Aid and to assure the safety of our instructors and those that they end up helping out.

Big thanks to Sarah Howard who heads the Outdoor Education, and Core Leadership program at Stevenson. Working closely with Sarah made this a memorable and successful weekend of instruction.

Michael A. Allen
West Coast Director
Surfer’s Medical Association

Bixby Bridge in California – Pacific coast highway 1


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