On Thursday, September 20, Gabe Boisseau’s Anatomy and Physiology class took to the trails to put their new learning to practice. Class began promptly with a review of blood pressure. Students explained that the top number on a blood pressure reading is called systolic while the bottom number is diastolic, the lowest level your blood pressure reaches as your heart relaxes between beats.
But why is it important to know what a blood pressure reading really means and how to monitor it?
In addition to an extensive study of human anatomy and physiology, this course integrates backcountry first aid, evacuation and injury prevention. Students learn about the body, and then learn how to treat the body in the event of an emergency.
On Thursday, after completing their review of the major vital signs, students broke up into groups to gather ground pads and notebooks to conduct an “initial assessment” in a backcountry rescue scenario. In this scenario, two rescuers encountered an unconscious patient on the side of the trail that appeared to have been struck by a fallen tree branch.
Offered in partnership with Stonehearth Open Learning Opportunities (SOLO), the oldest continuously operating school for wilderness emergency medicine, this Anatomy and Physiology course examines the structure and function of organ systems and explores how to address injuries and problems with those systems in backcountry settings. In weekly role-playing scenarios, students assume the role of either patient or rescuer. By the end of the year, students are competent backcountry first responders and complete an exam to become certified as SOLO Wilderness First Responders.