Academic emphasis in academic fields has gained for Harvard a nationwide reputation, but when this emphasis is carried into the University's first aid courses unfortunate results are to be expected. The setting of a broken arm requires more practical experience than the bookish knowledge of an "absent-minded professor," and the use of a text written before the war will hardly help the training of a group which aims to aid civilians in the event of air-raids.
Revised most recently in 1937 the present Red Cross text contains little information applicable to war injuries and war conditions, while the shortage of instructors with practical experience combines with unnecessary emphasis on non-war injuries, like snake-bite, to give the course an irrelevant turn not conducive to student interest.
Lack of practical experience and drill handicap those planning to treat emergency ailments. Bi-weekly bandaging practice is hardly a substitute for contact with the injuries involved such as might be gained by periodic visits to Boston hospitals. Work in a hospital is an essential part of the training of every nurse or interne, and a first-aid training course which never shows a real wound is not likely to breed men who can recognize the injury with which they have to deal and can attack it with efficient objectivity.