The Semester in Wilderness Medicine

 

 

Overall Semester Description

Spring 2013 Semester blog

Summer 2013 Semester blog

You will not find anything like Aerie's Semesters in Wilderness Medicine.  Our rigorous academic program employs realistic scenarios, interactive lectures, as well as clinical observations in a variety of settings (an urban American emergency room; an advanced life support ambulance service; a developing-world rural health clinic during the Spring Semester) to ensure a well-rounded, challenging and rewarding educational experience.  

Our goal is to provide not only professional-level certifications, but also a broad education in wilderness skills to ensure that our students are capable of preventing and responding to emergencies in any environment. Our Semester students receive the most comprehensive education in wilderness and emergency medical skills available anywhere.

Want to learn more?  Contact Semester Coordinator Andrea Stephens at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Check out Photos from past Semesters.

Applications Now Being Accepted

Spring Semester in Wilderness Medicine 2014

 

 

2014 Dates

Jan 13 - Jan 30: Online coursework

Jan 31 - Feb 27: Rancho Mastatal, Costa Rica

Feb 27 - Mar 3:  Rafiki Lodge, Costa Rica

Mar 3-Mar 11: program recess

Mar 12 - Apr 15: Northwest Montana

Certifications/Credits Earned (dependent upon successful program completion):

  • 15 upper division university semester credits
  • Aerie Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician (WEMT)
  • National Registry EMT-Basic  (EMT)
  • State of Montana EMT-Basic
  • American Heart Association Healthcare Provider CPR 
  • Level 1 Avalanche
  • Swiftwater Rescue Technician (SRT) 

Costa Rica Highlights

Rancho Mastatal is a perfect base of operations for this portion of our Spring Semester, situated on 500 acres of pristine tropical forest, and adjoining a newly established national park, La Cangreja.  The location enables us to practice wilderness medical care in the wilderness, taking advantage of miles of trails, streams and waterfalls for our scenarios.  

During their time at the Ranch, our students assist with making house calls and staffing a health clinic based in  the nearby indigenous community of Zapaton. The clinic is an outstanding opportunity to practice patient care skills under the direct instruction of Aerie's Medical Director, emergency room physician Dr. Greg Moore, aided by language translators for non-Spanish speaking students.

For the last 3-4 days of the Costa Rica section, we move our program to the gorgeous Rafiki Safari Lodge where the famed Savegre River is our classroom for the Swiftwater Rescue Technician course. The Whitewater Rescue Institute teaches the SRT in conjunction with our own instructors, ensuring that students are equipped both to manage swiftwater rescues as well as to respond to the medical emergencies encountered in submersion incidents.

Montana Highlights

Since March is still winter in Montana's high country, students gear up upon their return from Costa Rica for a five-day winter expedition to backcountry yurts for winter travel, survival and avalanche rescue training.

Back in Montana, students augment their EMT skills with formal search and rescue training, including helicopter rescue operations, as well as human anatomy instruction at the University of Montana cadaver lab and vehicle extrication training with local firefighters.  All of these experiences are made possible by Aerie's excellent network of community relationships.

Throughout the Semester, students hone skills in backcountry navigation, including regular practice in the field use of topographic maps, compass and GPS. Furthermore, students learn a broad range of survival techniques such as emergency fire building and improvised shelter construction in order to provide quality care in extended evacuation scenarios. In the final week of the Semester, students put their route-finding and wilderness medical treatment skills to the test in a day-long MedWAR-style adventure race.

FOLLOW THIS LINK TO GET MORE INFORMATION ABOUT AERIE'S SEMESTER PROGRAMS

2014 Dates

May 26-June 14Pre-Program Reading

June 15-August 15: Jack Creek Preserve near Big Sky, MT

Certifications/Credits Earned (dependent upon successful program completion):

  • 15 upper-division university semester credits
  • Aerie Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician (WEMT)
  • National Registry EMT-Basic  (EMT)
  • State of Montana EMT-Basic
  • American Heart Association Healthcare Provider CPR 
  • Rope Rescue Technician
  • Swiftwater Rescue Technician (SRT)
  • Search and Rescue Technician (SARTECH)

Program Highlights

Aerie's Summer Semester is a true immersion in wilderness medicine.  In addition to learning urban EMT skills, students will practice medical skills with 4+ weeks in and around wilderness areas.  The course takes place at the beautiful Jack Creek Preserve near Big Sky, MT.  Students will also travel to the Clark Fork River and Bitterroot Mountains near Missoula for several of the wilderness weeks. Each week focuses on a different skill essential to the wilderness medicine practitioner, and includes: wilderness survival; high-angle rescue; search and rescue; land navigation; swiftwater rescue.  Establishing several base camps in the area allows time to set up and practice extended rescue and evacuation scenarios.

Students learn to care for themselves and the injured with few supplies and little outside help. Throughout the Semester, students hone skills in backcountry navigation, including regular practice in the field use of topographic maps, compass and GPS. Furthermore, students learn a broad range of survival techniques such as emergency fire building and improvised shelter construction in order to provide quality care in extended evacuations.    While practicing high and low-angle rope rescue, students gain their Rope Rescue Technician certification . 

Instructors from the Whitewater Rescue Institute join us for a week of River Guide School, during which students earn their Swiftwater Rescue Technician (SRT) certification while managing complex rescues in a challenging whitewater environment in the backcountry.  WRI teaches the SRT in conjunction with our own instructors, ensuring that students are equipped both to manage swiftwater rescues as well as to respond to the medical emergencies encountered in submersion incidents.

While in the front-country, students augment their EMT skills with human anatomy instruction at the University of Montana cadaver lab, vehicle extrication training with local firefighters, and clinical hours both on an Advanced Life Support Ambulance and in an emergency room.  All of these experiences are made possible by Aerie's excellent network of community relationships.

The program culminates with a week of search and rescue training, where students earn their SARTECH certification while learning to navigate through the backcountry, finding, caring for and moving patients as they travel across challenging terrain.  In a final practical experience, students put their route-finding and wilderness medical treatment skills to the test in a day-long MedWAR-style adventure race.

FOLLOW THIS LINK TO GET MORE INFORMATION ABOUT AERIE'S SEMESTER PROGRAMS

Click the following links for more information:

You may also contact Aerie directly if you would like to speak with someone from the SWM Program.

Safety

No course is capable of operating without the risk of injury or illness. We encourage you to talk with our staff about risks inherent in our training programs before enrolling.

How to Register

You can download and mail in our registration form, call our office (406.542.9972), email us, or visit our office at 100 North Ave. West, Missoula, Montana, 59801. (Find us on Google Maps).

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