The Chirurgeonate is the first-aid arm of the Society for Creative Anachronism. It is a group of volunteers who provide first-aid at SCA activities, such as tournaments, feasts, and camping events. Membership includes real world first-aiders, nurses, physicians, and Emergency Medical Technicians of all levels. Together, they make up the Chirurgeonate, or Chirurgeon’s Guild.
In the early days of the Society, someone usually kept a first-aid kit around for the occasional injury. Over the years the Society has grown and the need for organized first aid has grown with it. There are several events each year which draw more than a thousand participants for up to two weeks at a time. The main thrust of Chirurgery has become organizational in an effort to coordinate the Chirurgeons at an event along with the supplies they will need and coordination with the other functionaries (marshals, autocrats, heralds, and water-bearers) they will be working with.
The good chirurgeon focuses on the most basic issues: being supportive and doing no harm medically while stabilizing immediate problems with breathing, bleeding, and shock. The chirurgeon then ensures that a patient obtains the most appropriate level of care as quickly as possible.
Doing no harm requires that a chirurgeon be able to recognize what may be wrong with a patient, provide basic supportive care (such as band-aids) and immediate care in the event of life-threatening situations that require assistance with breathing and circulation, and how to recognize and control bleeding and certain other medical emergencies.
One multimedia first aid course, in and of itself, cannot adequately equip a person with no previous interest or experience, but most people who enroll in such a course bring significant interest and life experience with them so that course content is largely a means of organizing, formalizing and reviewing material with which they are already familiar as caregivers.

Based on introductory articles in The Compleat Anachronist #42, Issues in Chirurgery

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