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Free online medical training worth your time

Mountain Man Medical offers a refresher on initial patient assessment and management in under two hours

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By Daniel Martin

Mountain Man Medical is a retailer specializing in emergency medical supplies. The company stocks a wide range of major brands and provides an assortment of preparedness kits suitable for personal, home and travel use. Additionally, they offer a couple of online training courses.

The first, entitled “Emergency Trauma Response,” is available free to anyone who registers with an email. The course is completed entirely online. It takes a little under two hours to complete, and is led by Brian McLaughlin, a prior service Navy Corpsman and Mountain Man Medical’s chief instructor.

The course was developed in conjunction with as a comprehensive training program for any civilian who wishes to be prepared for trauma-based medical emergencies. For police officers who might already have completed a course with a live component, such as the National Association of EMTs’ “First On The Scene” course or “STOP THE BLEED,” the Mountain Man Medical course is a great refresher on initial patient assessment and management.

Course design

The course is broken into 14 lessons covering mentality, gear and the MARCH system of patient evaluation, as well as an overview of other major injury types and practical exercises for cementing the skills taught in the course. (MARCH stands for Massive Hemorrhage, Airway, Respiration, Circulation, Hypothermia Prevention.)

The segments are reasonable in length and the content is well-articulated and digestible for the layperson approaching the topic afresh. Quizzes at the end of each segment must be passed with a 100% score, but the questions are multiple choice and formulated clearly. The learning management system is user-friendly and functions well.

Battling bleeding control myths

As a physician assistant, paramedic and educator who offers training to the general public, law enforcement and security officers, I regularly fight with bad information being shared online concerning emergency medical and trauma care. Persistent myths about the utility of tampons to manage serious bleeding from gunshot wounds (they have none whatsoever) and thoroughly antiquated advice that tourniquets should not be applied to the forearm or calf (they definitely can be) are kept alive on social media and in low-information echo chambers.

The “Emergency Trauma Response” course is quality information reflective of current, evidence-based practice. It will not turn you into a tactical paramedic, nor is it a perfect replacement for courses that involve a live component and supervised demonstration of skills. For what it is — a $0 online course available to anyone to complete on their laptop in their spare time — the value received is tremendous.

Mountain Man Medical does offer a DVD version of this course for sale, but you can check out and register for the free, online version here.

About the author

Daniel Martin is an emergency medicine physician assistant, tactical paramedic, educator, author and consultant in Texas. He holds instructor credentials and provides handgun proficiency and tactical medicine instruction to law enforcement, private security officers and civilians alike.

No incentives, discounts, or reimbursement was received for this written review.