On Saturday I drove to the old school of Capel Curig where the exam would be. I got a cup of coffee, and learned I would first do the 'moulages' (scenarios) in which you have to sort out one trauma patient and one medical one. Good! These can be a bit nerve-racking. The theoretical exam did not scare me.
When I was called into the kitchen for my first moulage I found a man on the floor, moaning. The had allegedly slipped an fallen some four meters, and his knee hurt like hell. Oh dear! But I went through the scenario I had been taught: I checked him all over, and then covered his wound, splinted his leg, and gave him pain relief. Other than the knee he was fine! Then I was sent out.
Soon one of the medics came out: I had passed this one! Excellent!
I had to wait for a bit and then I did my medical scenario. It concerned a man who was known to be an asthma sufferer, who had become terribly short of breath. He had just sat down and that is how I found him. He confirmed he had asthma, and when I asked him about his reliever he said he had run out. Well that explained things. As he had only sat down he would have no injuries. I just gave him oxygen and salbutamol; the reliever he had run out of. He was starting to feel better!
When I was called back in I heard I had to re-sit that one. I had not done any damage to this man; I had actually improved his situation. But I hadn't fully checked him over. And I think it is a bit weird to check people for neck wounds and laryngial trauma (among other things) if you know they are only short of breath and have not fallen or bumped into something or anything like that. Oh well! If that is what makes you pass an exam...
Now it was time for tea and biscuits. And then the theory exam! That started a bit difficult but got better. There were some six questions (of forty) that I wanted to get back to at the end. I decided on all of them, with varying levels of confidence, and handed it. More loitering with other candidates followed! And we loitered happily; after a while Glynne, the man in charge of this entire course, came out and said we had all passed the theoretical part. Good! Time for lunch.
After lunch the scary bit followed: re-doing my medical moulage. This time it was a man with a heart attack! He, too, had just sat down when he didn't feel so good. But I had learned my lesson and checked him over for the compulsory stuff. No wounds, no laryngial trauma, none of any of that, strangely enough. I gave him aspirin and oxygen and morphine. In hindsight I could have left the oxygen, but well, it doesn't do much damage. Then I handed him over to the paramedic who appeared.
When the lady who had lead this scenario came get me she gave me a hug. She told me I had passed! That meant I had passed all of it! Hurrah!
I went back in to check what I had had wrong in the theory exam; only three questions, and all of them had been ones I had been uncertain about. Two of them involving children! Oh dear.
I helped clean up, thanked the people who had taught and judged us, and said goodbye tot the rest. I would get my certificate later. I was glad I had passed! Now I will have to keep it up. Ogwen Mountain Rescue said I was welcome to train with them. That sounded good! They are a nice bunch. And let's just hope I can keep my head cool if I ever have to really use it!
Arbitrary image of a serious injury