Imagine yourself completely submerged in nearly freezing river water. Your toes are stinging as the water flows over them, your muscles are completely tensed up, and for a moment, you might have forgotten how to breathe. Imagine coming up from under and seeing that immediately to your left, right next to your face, is a branch of four or five icicles. Your clothes are soaked, your muscles are cramping, and the 40 degree weather isn't doing much to warm you up even as you get more of your body out of the creek's flow.
Now imagine the moment that you volunteered for this.
Given that my two least favorite words in the English language are "cold" and "wet," I was not what you would call an enthusiastic volunteer in this scenario. In fact, I thought it was downright cruel that I was expected to "simulate" hypothermia when I was convinced that I was a real candidate for the illness - I guess I'm a bit of a drama queen.
Yet even with my melodramatics and, honestly, fear leading up to our class's Submersion Scenario, I have never felt more safe or taken care of in a medical environment - which is a loaded statement considering a) I am horrifically accident prone and seriously injure myself once a year, b) I was in a creek, and not an actual medical environment, and c) I was being treated by technically uncertified WFRs.
While that sounds terrifying in its most basic description, Landmark Learning prepared both myself and my classmates for the situation in such a way that made me feel completely comfortable (once my nerves and self-pitying attitude quieted). I went from "hypothermic" to a happy little patient/tarp burrito in a matter of minutes, all in an environment that perfectly balanced student control and teacher (most importantly, professional) monitoring.
I really cannot speak enough to the knowledge, humor, professionalism, and enthusiasm of the Landmark staff. Whether they were creating gruesome fake wounds with stage makeup, or using a whiteboard to walk us through pages of notes on the Patient Assessment System, both John and Rob were passionate, open (and encouraging) to questions, and prepared. While High Altitude Pulmonary Edema is not the most cheerful of topics, the staff made learning fun, and I feel as though the education I've received has been top-notch.
Would I recommend this course? Absolutely. Would I do it again? As long as I'm not the one in the creek.
- Leigh Channell