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Moulage for Minors

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Amanda Wilford
28 March 2018


Amanda Wilford


I was approached by a friend who asked if I could design a simulated first aid drill with a group of young cadets aged 10 – 18. I was also asked to teach them how to create fake burns, bruises and wounds or moulage.  My friend is the group’s first aid lead and wanted to encourage the young people to complete their first aid training and thought this would make the topic more exciting. As I have never taught young people before I asked if I could meet the cadet staff prior to the potential date to clarify and talk through what was they required and if I was able to help. My fears were that I would become too medical or shock minors with the fake injuries.  

Following the preliminary meeting, I agreed that 10 days later ‘Joe “(name changed to preserve confidentiality) the cadet coordinating this would lead the planned drill. I would deliver the moulage workshop. There would be up to 18 young people involved so I asked if I could bring an additional help, a friend who works in the same field.


  1. Pre- visit cadets to discuss what they wanted and meet Joe
  2. Discuss and address any concerns of working with young people and if any psychological / physical harm could come to them when creating fake casualties, fake wounds etc
  3. Safeguard myself and Joe by agreeing a communication strategy cc in cadet leader at all times.

There were 2 main tasks once I had agreed

  1. Drill
    1. From the meeting notes, design a storyboard for 4 casualties as discussed with Joe
    2. Plan with Joe how to run the drill including pre -brief and debrief  
    3. Brief my colleague on their role in the drill
    4. Workshop
      1. Design the Moulage workshop with colleague  
      2. Facilitate the Moulage workshop with colleague
      3. Run a mini competition of worst wound with best story


  1. Pre- Drill
    1. Write the draft storyboard, email Joe as per agreed strategy and refine
    2. Plan what props and materials were needed and email shopping list to cadet leader
    3. Pre- Workshop
      1. Create a small PowerPoint presentation of fake casualties and moulage (6 – 8 mins)
      2. Plan how to demonstrate bruises/ burns/ wounds with fake blood
      3. Plan the competition (points and prizes)  
      4. Actual Drill
        1. One hour before, make up casualties and assist with the acting of the 4 casualties (scalds  patient  , electrocuted patient , head injury patient and a fainting person   as per storyboard ) in relation to how they would speak , talk about their pain etc
        2. Answer and clarify Joe’s questions / ideas as he was running the drill
        3. Post Drill
          1. Deliver Presentation
          2. Demonstrate with colleagues 3 techniques
          3. Run competition and award prizes


By the end of the evening all cadets will have

  • Taken part in drill as casualties or first aiders
  • Recognise why they need to take first aid
  • Know how to create simple bruises/burns/ wounds
  • Taken part in the c competition
  • Have fun and have no lasting physical and psychological issues

My colleague  and I fulfil  the original plan as discussed with Joe and the first aid lead


My colleague and I were very nervous, although we have done this with adults never with young people. The four casualties were enthusiastic and were keen to show off their acting skills. Joe ran the drill very well and the cadets who were acting as the first aiders managed well and applied bandages and reassured their patients – it was organised chaos!   Joe’s debrief went well and all the cadets wanted to do more first aid training. The small presentation was received well although   I was told my pictures were not gory enough.

 The element that surprised me was how good the cadets were in creating their own wounds and acting out their injuries with embedded objects in faces, legs with fake blood everywhere and they really enjoyed doing it.  One additional stress for me was that another group had heard about this so sent their leaders over to ‘assess” and they arrived just as we were about to start the drill. This made me more nervous and I would have said no to visitors if I had of known.

My take home messages were that it did work there was high engagement of the cadets, the pre- visit was essential for me and them.  I think the debrief could have been used to revise some of the first aid for those injuries portrayed so I would add that into the evening plan.  The first aid leader and I agreed on this.   The other cadet group have asked us to help with a similar exercise in the future so I will amend the plan to include first aid revision.

 I was surprised how much I enjoyed the experience of working with the young people and the strategies I use for adults can be adapted for this  age range  to.

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