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First Aid Lessons Featured at Medical Museum's Third Annual "Scout Day"

By Lauren Bigge
NMHM Public Affairs Coordinator

Nearly 300 children from troops in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan region enjoyed a variety of interactive learning experiences about first aid and handling emergencies at the National Museum of Health and Medicine’s Scout Day on Oct. 14. Scout Day is part of the museum's effort to share the value of military medicine with the public, especially how lessons learned on the battlefield inform everyday activities such as life-saving first aid techniques.

Volunteers from the Venture Scouts, the U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps, and Fort Detrick-Forest Glen Annex's Emergency Services used displays and demonstrations to teach Scouts about medical shock, splinting, applying a makeshift tourniquet, wound and bleeding control, automated external defibrillator (AED) use, performing CPR, triage, prevention and treatment of burns, as well as insect bites, and animal care. The Scouts used this knowledge to complete requirements toward first aid and emergency preparedness badges.

Individual Venture Scouts focused on teaching a specific aspect of first aid to the younger Scouts. "They come here and get to teach about it," said Nona Mapes, co-leader of the 14-20-year-old age group of Venture Scouts Crew 27, as she explained that they are required to learn first aid and engage in public service. "They learn how to use less technical terms, so that the kids understand, and engage their audience."

Venture Scout Amy Germer agreed that volunteering for Scout Day helps her learn. She talked about wound cleaning during Scout Day 2016; this year, she talked about makeshift tourniquets, and how to keep one in place using tape and a pen. "The kids learn a lot, but you also learn a lot as the teacher," Germer said. "We all went through an 8-hour first aid, AED, and CPR course. Being the teacher lets you reinforce [the knowledge] in your own mind. There are a lot of techniques I’ve learned while teaching today."

"You want to learn about CPR? Come on, it’s fun!" Venture Scout Angelina Gagliardi told young Scouts enthusiastically. She showed them how to assess the condition of a person on the ground, how to take charge of an emergency scene, and then demonstrated chest compressions on a mannequin.

Venture Scout Keegan Dant showed the children what it means when the human body goes into shock. "The hand turns white because there is no blood flow," Dant said. "Shock is the loss of blood flow to your body because of some traumatic accident; [for example] a really bad burn, a really bad cut, a spine injury, dehydration, allergic reaction."

Scout parents appreciated seeing all of the volunteers engaging with the children. Brenda Bubonic brought her Girl Scout Brownie daughter, Addison, 7, who is part of a multi-level troop from Joint Base Andrews. "They seem to like the outside, interactive stations the best," she said, noting that Scout Day allows the children to learn more than what the adults in their lives can teach as volunteers with time constraints. "It's good to have the outsourcing for teaching. It's nice when places [i.e., the museum] do these kinds of events for us."

At the triage tent, Scouts heard about packing a wound with combat gauze because the hemostatic agent will help stop the bleeding. U.S. Navy HM1 Clifton Gauthreaux explained that "triage" is about dividing up the injured, and focusing on aid for the most severely wounded people first. "It's your job to calm them down," he said.

Troop 166 leader Toni Smith of Severn brought her Boy Scout son, Dylan, 8, and six Girl Scout Brownies for their first Scout Day experience. She observed them enjoying learning how to take care of outdoor injuries. "It was kind of cool to see how to make and use an improvised tourniquet," she said.

Navy Corpsman Jared Reiber enjoyed talking to the Scouts. "It's great that we're able to give back," he said. "I remember going to one of these when I was in Cub Scouts. We had paramedics and EMTs come out and teach us hands-on first aid. Now, being able to come here and be on the opposite side of that table is definitely a humbling moment. I do enjoy that we’re able to teach everything from the basics to [treating] heatstroke and frostbite for Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, and Boy Scouts. I can see the kids are learning."

"The Scouts gained knowledge about being prepared to help others from the hospital corpsmen, Army Veterinary Corps and Venture Scouts," said Andrea Schierkolk, NMHM public programs manager. "These same skills are ones that are the foundation for care administered on the battlefield. We hope that the Scouts will take away a battery of skills as well as a better understanding of the value of military medicine."

NMHM's public programs connect the mission of the Department of Defense museum with the public. NMHM was founded as the Army Medical Museum in 1862 and moved to its location in Silver Spring, MD in 2012. Information on upcoming events can be found at www.medicalmuseum.mil. For additional questions or information, call 301-319-3300.

 
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Caption: A young Scout learns how to improvise making a tourniquet in a life-saving situation from a Venture Scouts Crew 27 volunteer during Scout Day on Oct. 14, 2017 at the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Silver Spring, Md. (National Museum of Health and Medicine photo by Matthew Breitbart / Released)
Caption: Scouts learned about splinting an arm from a Venture Scouts Crew 27 volunteer during Scout Day on Oct. 14, 2017 at the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Silver Spring, Md. (National Museum of Health and Medicine photo by Matthew Breitbart / Released)
Caption: Scouts and their parents heard about comparative anatomy specimens from NMHM volunteer Miranda Armour-Chelu during Scout Day on Oct.14, 2017 at the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Silver Spring, Md. (National Museum of Health and Medicine photo by Matthew Breitbart / Released)
Caption: Scouts visit the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps station during Scout Day on Oct.14, 2017 at the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Silver Spring, Md. (National Museum of Health and Medicine photo by Matthew Breitbart / Released)
Caption: Scouts learned about triage from HM1 Clifton Gauthreaux, U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, during Scout Day on Oct.14, 2017 at the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Silver Spring, Md. (National Museum of Health and Medicine photo by Matthew Breitbart / Released)
Caption: A Scout participates in a hands-on learning experience with a Venture Scouts Crew 27 volunteer, improvising a sling for an injured arm, during Scout Day on Oct. 14, 2017 at the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Silver Spring, Md. (National Museum of Health and Medicine photo by Matthew Breitbart / Released)
Caption: An emergency responder from the Fort Detrick Department of Emergency Services discuss Fire Prevention Week and other fire safety topics during Scout Day on Oct. 14, 2017 at the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Silver Spring, Md. (National Museum of Health and Medicine photo by Matthew Breitbart / Released)