A medical advisor who is an active member of your organization's risk management team can help prevent and reduce the severity of program-related injuries and illnesses. We recommend working with a medical advisor who is familiar with your program and an experienced outdoor person. A medical advisor can:
Standing Orders & Protocols
Medical advisors use standing orders to authorize treatment and evacuation guidelines to meet an individual program's needs.
For the purposes of this document, standing orders are written treatment and evacuation protocols—often in the form of algorithms—that authorize a wilderness medicine provider to complete specific clinical tasks usually reserved by law for licensed physicians (MD, DO, NP), physician assistants (PA), or nurse practitioners (NP) while in the backcountry. Standing orders may be specific to a patient or a condition and take two forms:
Standing orders and protocols should:
Examples of standing orders written for an outdoor program or guide service by their medical advisor include:
Interested in learnig more about wilderness medicine? Take one of our wilderness medicine courses. Guides and expedition leaders should consider taking our Wilderness First Responder course.
Looking for a reliable field reference? Consider consider purchasing one of our print or digital handbooks; our digital handbook apps are available in English, Spanish, and Japanese. Updates are free for life. A digital SOAP note app is also available.
Our public YouTube channel has educational and reference videos for many of the skills taught during our courses. Check it out!