Last month, the Trinity School of Medicine chapter of the Society of Medicine and Surgery (SMS) conducted a first aid class for thirty-four of St. Vincent's Girl Guides.
The session took the young women through the principles and practices of first aid, enabling them to offer prudent assistance in the event of an emergency until first responders could arrive. SMS secretary and Trinity student Victor Charles Bruce gave a brief outline of the day, “We tried to cover a lot of the basics. Because hiking and camping is so popular with the attendees, we concentrated on assessing the scene of an emergency for safety; checking for response and breathing; calling for help; demonstration of infant and adult CPR; how and when to use the Automated External Defibrillator (AED); shoulder dislocations; treatment of minor cuts and abrasions; how to help a person who is choking, including infants; and treatment of hypothermia, heat exhaustion, and heat strokes."
The SMS members divided the Girl Guides into small groups, allowing for closer instruction and, where needed, one-on-one guidance. The young women took ample opportunity to ask questions and to give feedback to the trainers, giving the medical students another chance to sharpen their healthcare communication skills.
Secretary Bruce noted, “It was very well received, much better that we expected. You never know with a group that size, but they were very interested in the initial video and what we had to share with them. It was great!"
The SMS team agreed that in activities like these, the most important element for success is their ability to communicate effectively. As future physicians mastering skills like these, Secretary Bruce noted that the medical student must be assertive and confident, but also approachable, empathetic, and open.
Amoy Munroe, leader of the Girl Guides (and Trinity's own director of physical operations) added, “It is important that we prepare the girls to be able to respond safely and effectively in case of an emergency situation whether at home, at school, or at camp. We often find that persons who are not trained in first aid will panic when such a situation arises, are apprehensive to render assistance and defer the responsibility to someone else.” She further reported that the young ladies are looking forward to do follow-up training.