Students in the RVUCOM-CO Rural and Wilderness Medicine (R&WM) Track engaged in an annual Orienteering course at Castlewood Canyon State Park on October 8th. Supervised by David Ross, DO, FACEP, Director of the R&WM Track, the second-year students used a map and compass to search for patients while enhancing their navigation skills. After locating patients off the main hiking trail, students assessed and treated simulated injuries that included a woman in premature labor and a hiker with a fractured femur.
Students were assisted by the Franktown Fire Protection District, which showed students how to secure a patient to a rescue stretcher. Using manikins and other simulators, students also applied tourniquets, operated an EZ-IO® Intraosseous Vascular Access System—used in emergency situations to access the central vascular system with minimal trauma to the patient—and performed a chest intubation.
Through the course, students learned to transport patients from isolated areas, navigate rough terrain, and work as a team to coordinate treatment in a high-stress situation. For students planning on practicing medicine in rural or remote areas, these skills will prove to be invaluable.