Whether it's a two-day Wilderness First Aid training or a month-long Wilderness EMT, courses with NOLS Wilderness Medicine are life-changing. That’s the point, right—to increase your awareness and preparedness for emergencies to happen?
But they can change your life in unexpected ways. Here are some the signs that you're a NOLS graduate or instructor:
1. You pocket nitrile gloves when you’re at the doctor’s office (and not to make hand balloons).
2. You find yourself sneakily taking your significant other’s and kids’ radial and pedal pulses.
3. You’ve bought a cow femur from your local butcher to make moulage bones ...
4. ... and your Halloween makeup skills are the envy of everyone.
5. You know that SOAP is not just something you find in the average household bathroom.
6. You’re constantly in “What if” mode.
7. You’ve been assured at one time or another that yogurt can be applied to every part of the human body to cure absolutely anything and everything.
8. You profile every person you see in the backcountry (and grocery store checkout line) for their potential to engage you in a medical emergency.
9. You then make a bet with your like-minded friend on if and when they will do so.
10. You ask for a portable white board for Christmas ...
11. ... and get wayyy too excited about dry erase markers.
12. Your important documents (passport, birth certificate, etc.) are now waterproofed in the heavy-duty plastic bags that wound closure kits come in.
13. Your friends volunteer you when a flight attendant asks for anyone with medical training ... they get bumped to first class while you work in a confined space.
14. When someone approaches you and you can’t remember how you know each other, starting the conversation with “So what have you been up to since your course?!” always works.
15. But most importantly, you kick into action whenever someone is in need ...
... because that’s what being a NOLS Wilderness Medicine grad is all about.
Editor's note: Post updated June 9, 2017
Sarah is a Wyoming native, Wilderness First Responder graduate, and former marketing coordinator for NOLS Wilderness Medicine. When she’s offline she enjoys running, singing and playing guitar, and playing in the mountains