During his lifetime Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the worldwide Scouting movement, wrote many books and articles directed to Scouters.
Each Sunday I’ll publish a selection from his writings in the hope that you’ll draw inspiration and understanding from his timeless ideas.
“WHAT is the matter with your patient?” I ask the Ambulance Scout who has just bandaged up another in most approved fashion.
“Please, sir — broken clavicle.”
“Yes. Now what bone is this?”
“The femur, sir. No — it’s — it’s the tibi — it’s the —- ”
” Well, what would you call it, if you got a kick on it, and were telling your pal about it? ”
When I asked the instructor why it is considered necessary to confuse the boys’ minds with the Latin names for ordinary bones, he said that it was necessary in order to pass the doctor’s examination for badges or certificates.
I hope that all Commissioners and Scoutmasters will explain to their First-aid instructors that we want to teach the boys how to deal practically with accidents, not how to pass examinations.
I attach very little value to the smartly done bandaging where each boy is told beforehand what injury he is to tie up, and has all the appliances ready, and has merely to fold and tie neatly and know the Latin names of the bones he is dealing with. No, I very much prefer the more practical demonstration, which I am glad to see is now becoming so prevalent with the Scouts, and that is the closest possible imitation of an accident. A patient is found covered with mud and blood, which has to be gently sponged or squirted away before the card is found giving the nature of the injury (fixed face downwards to prevent obliteration) The first Scout to reach him, or one selected by the inspector or audience, takes charge of the case, does the work and directs the others — and does not use Latin words. It is all the better if improvised materials are used and the wound really dealt with properly, instead of merely superficially bandaged over. For instance, the motions should be gone through of slitting the clothes, plugging a wound, or whatever may be the detail in the case.
From B.P.’s Outlook