Nursing care in remote areas

In the event of injury, illness or other circumstances which prevent a group member from caring totally for themselves, then the group, as directed by the leader, will need to assist. Care will be aimed at:

  • prevention of further injury or aggravation of existing injuries
  • protection from weather
  • providing maximum comfort possible, given the equipment and aids available
  • providing adequate food and nourishment
  • attending to all washing, toilet and personal needs, if the patient cannot care for himself/herself
  • providing companionship and reassurance.

Some aspects of nursing care are not easy (e.g. spoon feeding or cleaning the teeth of a person lying down) and some may be embarrassing (e.g. toiletting a person in splints in a tent). But in all cases a little planning and a confident, gentle and understanding approach will make your efforts both effective and appreciated with minimum difficulty or embarrassment. Many experienced first aiders say that accurate, but caring explanations of proposed actions help enormously in fostering the desired outcomes. The aim should always be to treat the whole person, not just the injury.