There has been a recent thread on learning medical skills. Studying the disasters like the recent Chinese earthquake, Myanmar storm and Tsunami teach us that in mass casualty situations like these, you can go a long way knowing how to deal with broken bones, lacerations and infections.
Imagine the help you could be if you could:
Apply a cast
Run an IV
Clean and dress a wound
Do minor suturing
Administer antibiotics from your medical kit
These skills can each be learned in a weekend. Sure, knowing how to manage an airway, insert a chest tube, decompress a pneumothorax and manually deliver a breech [presentation] baby are great to know but the basics will go a long way. My advice? Start with the Medical Corps [field medic] course and then follow up with National Procedures Institute for the suturing, Casting Workshop for casting and a phlebotomy course for IVs – SF in Hawaii
JWR Adds: The Medical Corps classes are excellent. I also recommend the Practical Medical Course taught by the Western Rifle Shooters Association. (This course is subtitled: “Field Expedient Medical Care for Outdoorsmen in Austere Environments.”) Check their web site regularly, for announcements of course dates and locations. This modestly-priced training is led by an Emergency Room doctor with 35 years of experience.