Costa Rica Wilderness Medicine Courses

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Tropical Paradise + Medical Training

Courses include all transport to and from San Jose, meals, Eco Camp lodging, and certification with Wilderness Medical Associates.

Get wilderness medical training and certification in Costa Rica. Enjoy living and learning surrounded by the rich beauty of tropical nature. Stay at an Eco Camp in the rainforest on the banks of the Pacuare River.

All of our Costa Rica courses are taught in English and Spanish.

To Register:

Step 1 – Call Boreal River toll free at 1 866 242 9383 or download the Costa Rica Course – Reservation Request Form and follow the instructions to pay online, by fax, or by mail. If registering more than 60 days from the course start date, a deposit of $75 will hold your spot.

Step 2 – Receive a confirmation e-mail along with a ‘student information package’ and a course receipt.

Step 3 – Full balance of your tuition is due 60 days before the course/trip start date.

Courses & Dates

Wilderness Advanced First Aid (WAFA) – 40 hours
October 1st to 6th, 2014 – $945
Prerequisites: 18 years of age (or 16 accompanied by parent / guardian)
Includes: rafting a section of the spectacular Pacuare River into the camp + a canopy zip-line adventure on the last day.
See WAFA course description, topics, curriculum, etc.

Wilderness First Responder (WFR) – 80 hours
October 1st to 10th, 2014 – $1,595
Prerequisites: 18 years of age (or 16 accompanied by parent / guardian)
Includes: rafting a section of the spectacular Pacuare River into the camp + a canopy zip-line adventure on our day off.
See WFR course description, topics, curriculum, etc.

WFR-Bridge (upgrade from WAFA to WFR) – 40 hours
October 6th to 10th, 2014 – $845
Prerequisites: • 18 years of age (or 16 accompanied by parent / guardian) • Current WAFA certification from WMA or another approved provider • Completion of pre-course written assignment
See WFR-Bridge course description, topics, curriculum, etc.

WFR-Recert – 40 hours
October 6th to 10th, 2014 – $845
Prerequisites: • 18 years of age (or 16 accompanied by parent / guardian) • Current WFR certification from WMA or another approved provider • Completion of pre-course written assignment
See WFR-Recert course description, topics, curriculum, etc.

All Courses

Pick-up and Drop-off location: Gran Hotel, San Jose, Costa Rica. Central & Second Ave.

Pick up time: First day of your program at 8:30am (0830hrs)

Drop-off time: Last day of your program at 7:30pm (1930hrs)

What’s included?

  • Transport from San Jose to Pacuare River Camp and return to San Jose on last day
  • Jungle Camp lodging in a tent (includes bedding and pillow)
  • All delicious meals from first day lunch to last day lunch.  Feast on tropical fruit and local dishes like ‘Casados’ and ‘Gallo Pinto’
  • Professional guide and camp staff always available
  • Certification from Wilderness Medical Associates valid for 3 years
  • CPR certification (Level A for WAFA, Level C for WFR) valid for 3 years
  • WMA curriculum materials including Text Book, Lecture Notes, SOAP notes, and Waterproof Field Guide
  • Medical and rescue training equipment

What’s not included?

  • Flights to and from Costa Rica
  • Travel and medical insurance
  • Personal items such as outdoor clothing and day pack

Cancellation:

For cancellations more than 60 days from course start: full refund minus $75 registration fee.

For cancellations less than 60 days but more than 2 weeks from course start: 50% refund.

For cancellations less than 2 weeks from course start date: no refund.

Add Swiftwater Rescue Training

Extend your learning and your stay in the jungle with swiftwater rescue training.  Come earlier for the fun and intensive 4-day Whitewater Rescue Technician (WRT) levels I, II, & III course from September 27th – October 1st.

 

Pacuare River Camp

Staying at the Pacuare River Camp – “El Nido Del Tigre” – is sure to be one of the highlights of your experience in Costa Rica.

From your comfortable tent, you can listen to the river and see the morning mist rising through lush tropical greenery. Outside of class time, enjoy relaxing in the ‘Rancho’ or lying in a hammock.

Watch toucans glide between rain forest trees and spot giant blue butterflies, sloths, and a myriad of beautiful flowers.

Camp Facilities

  • Riverside locations
  • Delicious home-cooked meals
  • 14 hectares of Rainforest
  • Spacious platformed tents
  • Ropes course
  • Rainforest trails
  • Lawned recreation area
  • Nearby waterfalls and natural swimming holes
  • Fully managed by local staff

Camp description From Coast To Coast Adventures Website:

“El Nido del Tigre or The Tiger’s Nest, is an evolving dream for Coast to Coast Adventures. Its name comes from the giant patches of ginger plants which fall
and create the shape of a tiger’s nest. From the center of the nest, trails radiate throughout the rainforest and along the river.

Our camp has a dual personality. At times it is a hive of activity perhaps with a soccer or Frisbee game, or teams frantically hurrying into the camp to record their finish time in a racing challenge. While at other times it is a peaceful, tranquil and relaxing environment following a day on the rapids.

Sustainability is a key word at El Nido del Tigre as we strive to achieve the perfect harmony between rainforest and tourism. The camp has captured the imagination of the local people, many of whom we thank for their assistance and patience in building this unusual environment and a number of them who remain with us on our continuing journey to develop the dream.

Spacious tents on fixed platforms co-mingle with the forest and border the river. Our team love to welcome clients – a stay at El Nido del Tigre promises a unique experience - so come and join us!” – Description from Coast to Coast Adventures website.

Itineraries

WAFA Itinerary – October 1st to 6th

October 1st - San Jose Pick-up, scenic drive, and raft into Pacuare River Camp

  • 8:30am (0830hrs) pick up at the Gran Hotel in central San Jose by our professional driver in a passenger van.
  • Beautiful 2.5 hour drive past volcanoes, coffee and sugar cane plantations, and small towns.
  • Drive down a dirt road in to Pacuare River valley
  • Safety briefing and whitewater raft (class II – III) a section of the spectacular Pacuare River and have a riverside lunch along the way.
  • Arrive at camp and get shown around by staff and explore your lodgings.
  • Depending on timing, a group can go for an optional hike to swimming hole or just relax, enjoy the surroundings, and settle in for your first night in the jungle.
  • Welcome dinner and introductions

October 2nd to 5th – Wilderness Medical Training

  • Sleep until breakfast or get up early to watch the birdlife and the river valley awake.
  • Coffee, Tea, and hearty breakfast
  • Class will generally start at 8:00am
  • Combination of practical drills, presentations, discussions, review exercises, and simulations
  • Lunch
  • More course content
  • Finish class by 5pm
  • Supper

October 6th – Canopy Zip-Lines & Return Drive to San Jose

  • Finish class with ‘graduation’ and goodbyes.
  • Hike 20 minutes to canopy zip-line and rapelling adventure
  • Lunch at camp
  • Walk up path to passenger van.
  • Drive 2.5 hours back to San Jose – we can make a quick stop for some ‘bocas’ (appetizers) on the way.
  • Drop-off at Gran Hotel in San Jose
  • Continue with your adventure

WFR Itinerary – October 1 to 10th

October 1st - San Jose Pick-up, scenic drive, and raft into Pacuare River Camp

  • 8:30am (0830hrs) pick up at the Gran Hotel in central San Jose by our professional driver in a passenger van.
  • Beautiful 2.5 hour drive past volcanoes, coffee and sugar cane plantations, and small towns.
  • Drive down a dirt road in to Pacuare River valley
  • Safety briefing and whitewater raft (class II – III) a section of the spectacular Pacuare River and have a riverside lunch along the way.
  • Arrive at camp and get shown around by staff and explore your lodgings.
  • Depending on timing, a group can go for an optional hike to swimming hole or just relax, enjoy the surroundings, and settle in for your first night in the jungle.
  • Welcome dinner and introductions

October 2nd to 9th – Wilderness Medical Training

  • Sleep until breakfast or get up early to watch the birdlife and the river valley awake.
  • Coffee, Tea, and hearty breakfast
  • Class will generally start at 8:00am
  • Combination of practical drills, presentations, discussions, review exercises, and simulations
  • Lunch
  • More course content
  • Finish class by 5pm
  • Supper

October 6th – Zipline canopy adventure and a day off from the course to enjoy the jungle, the camp, the river, and surroundings. 

October 10th – Continue with WFR training and return drive to San Jose – or stay for Adventure Race Medical Support

  • Finish class at 4pm with ‘graduation’ and goodbyes.
  • Snack
  • (Those staying for Adventure Race Medical Support have supper at camp)
  • Walk up path to passenger van.
  • Drive 2.5 hours back to San Jose – we can make a quick stop for some ‘bocas’ (appetizers) on the way.
  • Drop-off at Gran Hotel in San Jose
  • Continue with your adventure

WFR-Bridge and WFR-Recert Itinerary – October 6th to 9th

October 6th - San Jose Pick-up, scenic drive, and walk in to Pacuare River Camp

  • 8:30am (0830hrs) pick up at the Gran Hotel in central San Jose by our professional driver in a passenger van.
  • Beautiful 2.5 hour drive past volcanoes, coffee and sugar cane plantations, and small towns.
  • Drive down a dirt road in to Pacuare River valley
  • The camp is accessible by a 4 x 4-only ‘road’, hiking trails, or the river.  The 45-minute walk is beautiful and not technical.  Your luggage will be brought in by 4 x 4, horseback, or raft.
  • Arrive at camp in time for a delicious homemade lunch.
  • Get shown around by staff and explore your lodgings.
  • Depending on timing, a group can go for an optional hike to swimming hole or just relax, enjoy the surroundings, and settle in for your first night in the jungle.
  • Welcome dinner and introductions

October 7th to 9th – Wilderness First Responder Training

  • Sleep until breakfast or get up early to watch the birdlife and the river valley awake.
  • Coffee, Tea, and hearty breakfast
  • Class will generally start at 8:00am
  • Combination of practical drills, presentations, discussions, review exercises, and simulations
  • Lunch
  • More course content
  • Finish class by 5pm
  • Supper

October 10th – Wilderness First Responder Training & Return Drive to San Jose

  • Finish class at 4pm with ‘graduation’ and goodbyes.
  • Snack
  • (Those staying for Adventure Race Medical Support have supper and an evening at camp)
  • Walk up path to passenger van.
  • Drive 2.5 hours back to San Jose – we can make a quick stop for some ‘bocas’ (appetizers) on the way.
  • Drop-off at Gran Hotel in San Jose.
  • Continue with your adventure.

Packing List

Note: A packing list is included with your ‘Student Information Package’

The Pacuare River Camp is in the tropical rain forest on the Caribbean side of the continental divide. Being so close to the equator, temperatures don’t fluctuate too much throughout the year.  In September and October, average daily high is 28°C / 82.4°F and average nightly low is 19°C / 66.2°F.

Synthetic materials such as polyester, nylon, and fleece are great as they dry quickly – a must for Costa Rica. Remember to avoid cotton as it dries very slowly and doesn’t insulate.

Clothing :

  • Undergarments and sports bra
  • Socks
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Shirts: short sleeve and long sleeve quick drying
  • Lightweight comfortable pants
  • Shorts
  • Medium weight wool or fleece over-sweater
  • Lightweight rain jacket and rain pants
  • Sun hat, visor, or baseball cap
  • Swimwear – Great swimming holes nearby
  • A set of clothing that can be stained and cut during simulations (expect to throw these away)
  • Optional: Sandals
  • Optional: Sarong

Course Items

  • A backpack that you can carry during simulations to carry extra food, water, clothing, equipment, etc.
  • A stuff sac, book bag, or drybag for you to store your books
  • Something to sit and lie on outside such as an insulate pad or crazy creek chair
  • Watch (for taking vital signs)
  • Water bottle
  • Snacks
  • Sunscreen, 30+ SPF
  • Lip protection
  • Bug repellent
  • Sunglasses (UVA and UVB resistant) with ‘keeper’ strap
  • Optional: Any outdoor equipment that you normally have with you in the backcountry that you would like to practice with or try out for improvised splinting, patient packaging, patient carries, shelter, etc.
  • Optional: Waterproof paper and ‘space pen’ or grease pencil

Personal and Travel Items

  • Passport and travel documents
  • Duffel bag
  • Camp towel (quick drying)
  • Personal hygiene products
  • Personal medications
  • Prescription glasses or contacts (bring an extra pair of
  • Glasses & a copy of your eyeglass prescription)
  • Headlamp
  • Extra batteries for headlamp, camera, etc.
  • Large ziploc bags
  • Optional: Binoculars / journal / books
  • Optional: Camera

We will provide you with

  • Tent
  • Mattress
  • Bedding
  • Pillow

FAQ’s

Combining Wilderness Medical and Whitewater Rescue

Q. If I join both the Wilderness Medical and Whitewater Rescue Courses in Costa Rica, is there a discount?
A. Yes. You will receive $75 off if you combine Wilderness First Responder (WFR) or Wilderness Advanced First Aid (WAFA) with Whitewater Rescue Technician (WRT).

Q. What if I am currently certified in Swiftwater or Whitewater Rescue?
A. If you are currently certified by Boreal River Rescue or another approved provider, you will be recertified by taking the 4-day course.  We run 2-day Whitewater Rescue Technician-Recertification courses at other times and locations throughout the year, but this course in Costa Rica is a comprehensive, 4-day program.

Wilderness First Responder(WFR) + Whitewater Rescue Technician (14 days – all inclusive)
September 27th to October 10th – $2,365

Wilderness Advanced First Aid +  Whitewater Rescue Technician (10 days – all inclusive)
September 27th to October 6th – $1,615

FAQ’s – WMA Training

Q. What is the daily schedule like on a WMA course in Costa Rica?
A. Typically class starts at 8:00am and goes to 5:00pm. Evenings are reserved for homework assignments and practicing skills with other students. Courses that are 4-days or longer usually include an evening session that will be scheduled by the instructor on the first day.

Q. What is a typical day on a WMA course like?
A. Mornings usually begin with review as we take up questions from homework, go over case studies, or write a quiz. Days include a mixture of classroom sessions, skill workshops, and small group drills and scenarios.

We will have large simulations with makeup and stage blood that are video taped for enhanced learning.

You can expect intense days and you will need evenings to focus on course material and rest. Don’t plan on being involved with other work or school during the duration of your WMA program.

Q. Are there any prerequisites?
A. For Costa Rica courses, students must be 18 years of age. 16 and 17 year olds can join if accompanied by a parent or guardian.

There are no prerequisites for Wilderness First Responder (WFR), Wilderness Advanced First Aid (WAFA)

For Wilderness First Responder-Bridge (WFR-Bridge) courses students need valid Wilderness Advanced First Aid (WAFA) certification from WMA or another approved provider. You will also need to complete a pre-course reading and assignment package that will be due on the morning of day 1 of the WFR-Bridge course.

For Wilderness First Responder Recertification (WFR Re-Cert) courses students need valid Wilderness First Responder (WFR) certification from WMA or another approved provider. You will also need to complete a pre-course reading and assignment package that will be due on the morning of day 1 of the WFR Re-Cert course.

Q. How are students assessed and evaluated for certification?
A. Practical assessment is ongoing. There will be a written test on the last day of the course on which students must receive a grade of 80% or higher.

Instructors will do everything they can to accommodate students with different learning styles and needs. Please let us know what we can do to help you succeed.

Q. Is Attendance Mandatory?
A. Attendance for 100% of class time is mandatory. If you cannot make a session you must get permission from the instructor in advance. Students who miss a section of the course without pre-approval may be asked to leave the course for the sake and safety of the other students.

Q. How long is certification valid for?
A. Your certification is valid for three years from the date of issue.

Q. Is CPR certification included in the course?
A. Yes, students on all courses will receive CPR-A (adult) certification from WMA. Students on WFR, WFR-Bridge, and WFR Re-Cert courses receive CPR-C (adult, child, infant) certification from WMA.

Q. How do I recertify my Wilderness First Responder (WFR)
A. You can recertify your Wilderness First Responder (WFR) by taking a 3-day WFR Re-Cert or 4-day WFR Re-Cert course within three years of your last certification.

You must complete a pre-course reading and assignment package that you will hand in on the first morning of your WFR Re-Cert course. Please bring your current certification card with you to your course.

Q. How do I recertify my Wilderness Advanced First Aid (WAFA)
A. You should consider upgrading from WAFA to WFR by taking the WFR-Bridge course (40 hours) within three years of your WAFA course

You can recertify your WAFA by retaking the course or by attending a 3-day Recertification course within three years of your original certification.

Q. Can I take the WFR Bridge course or the WFR Recertification course if my current certification is through another provider and not WMA?
A. Yes. Please contact the office for approval.

About WMA

Wilderness Medical Associates logo

Wilderness Medical Associates® has been setting the highest standard for medical training in wilderness and rescue medicine since 1981. We are the only company in this field with a practicing emergency room physician, Dr. David Johnson, as Owner and Medical Director. Dr. David Johnson’s nearly 30 years of emergency medical and backcountry experience provide a depth of expertise that translates into a cutting edge curriculum and on-going quality assurance.

A faculty committee of practicing medical professionals regularly reviews and updates all course curriculum based on the current medical literature, established standards of care, and field experience.

The essential element in our quality training is our exceptional team of instructors. They have significant patient care experience as well as substantial backcountry resumes. Only the best make it through our rigorous selection and training process. Even an emergency physician with backcountry experience must take a minimum of 100 hours of training just to become an assistant instructor. Our courses are preferred by such organizations as Outward Bound, The National Park Service, and the FBI. As Canoe Magazine stated, “Wilderness Medical Associates® has become the de facto standard in wilderness medical training.”

2014

2015

May

May 23 – 24, 2015 – Whitewater Rescue (WWR) – Magnetawan River, Ontario (45 mins. from Parry Sound and Burk’s Falls) – $259

May 23 – 26, 2015 – Whitewater Rescue Technician (WRT) – Magnetawan River, ON (45 mins. from Parry Sound and Burk’s Falls) – $479

May 23 – 26, 2015 – Whitewater Rescue Technician (WRT) – Squamish, British Columbia, Canada – $475

May 23 – 24, 2015 – Whitewater Rescue (WWR) – Squamish, British Columbia, Canada – $265

May 25 – 26, 2015 – Whitewater Rescue Technician Recert – Magnetawan River, ON (45 mins. from Parry Sound and Burk’s Falls) – $259

May 25 – 26, 2015 – Whitewater Rescue Technician Bridge – Magnetawan River, ON (45 mins. from Parry Sound and Burk’s Falls) – $259

May 25 – 26, 2015 – Whitewater Rescue Technician – Recertification (WRT-Recert) – Squamish, British Columbia, Canada – $265

May 25 – 26, 2015 – Whitewater Rescue Technician – Bridge (WRT-Bridge) – Squamish, BC – $265

May 28 – 31, 2015 – Whitewater Rescue Technician (WRT) – Upper Gatineau River, QC (1 hour 30 mins from Ottawa, Ontario) – $479

May 28 – 29, 2015 – Whitewater Rescue (WWR) – Upper Gatineau River, QC (1 hour 30 mins from Ottawa, Ontario) – $259

May 28 – 31, 2015 – Whitewater Rescue Technician (WRT) – Squamish, British Columbia, Canada – $475

May 28 – 29, 2015 – Whitewater Rescue (WWR) – Squamish, British Columbia, Canada – $265

May 30 – 31, 2015 – Whitewater Rescue Technician – Bridge – Upper Gatineau River, QC (1 hour 30 mins from Ottawa, ON) – $259

May 30 – 31, 2015 – Whitewater Rescue Technician Recertification – Upper Gatineau River, QC (1 hour 30 mins north of Ottawa) – $259

May 30 – 31, 2015 – Whitewater Rescue Technician – Recertification (WRT-Recert) – Squamish, British Columbia, Canada – $265

May 30 – 31, 2015 – Whitewater Rescue Technician – Bridge (WRT-Bridge) – Squamish, BC – $265