Nurse -> WFR

Two women in KN95 masks perform a WFR mock disaster run

I’ve been retired from nursing for 12 years now, so I’m a bit rusty with all this stuff. For some reason I thought my nursing background would help my Wilderness First Responder (WFR) course feel easy. But since the WFR works on totally different algorithms than licensed clinical medical care, it was pretty challenging. I had to set aside everything I knew and do it a different way. Of course my understanding of physiology and pathophysiology was a leg-up, but I really had to back out of my nursie head and enter a new headspace. Ultimately this course was geared toward training anyone who wanted to be helpful in the outdoors in a way they wouldn’t get sued and have to sell a kidney in the end. I think it achieves that well.

What’s funny is only now am I learning (after learning the hard way) how to deal with a scorpion sting in the wild. Haha! People thought it was “cool” that I’d been stung by a bark scorpion. IT’S NOT COOL.

Another thing I learned is how much better nurses are at applying bandages than just about anyone else. This is true. The only doctors who can out-bandage a nurse would be a surgeon. Otherwise, it’s just really funny to watch people try to wrap other people’s bodies! You’ll get better at it. Keep practicing.

Do I think I’ll renew? I dunno, the WFR certification renewal requirements seem like a big racket. Once you certify you’re locked into bi-yearly renewals otherwise you have to pay more and start over. Like the BLS and ACLS certifications I used to have to maintain as a nurse, they cost money, but they cost a lot more money. Or maybe I’m stunned by inflation? Luckily I was sponsored by my workplace who sponsored the courseroom setting and setup, so it was free for me. But golly, I don’t know how people can afford to work in low-paying outdoorsy professions and help people. Cheers to all you folks with WFRs!