Sunday, April 20, 2008

A Slight Return

Sorry I've been away from the Sanctuary.

I've been pretty distracted this week, between swatting up for my First Aid at Work course and trying to prepare a sermon for the preaching course I'm on. My brain has pretty much been mashed.

Well I can confirm that there was no human to human resuscitation demonstration at the First Aid course (run by St. John Ambulance).

The course was a lot of fun and I learned a lot... I just hope it sticks somewhere in the back of my mind. On the morning of the final day, the lady running the course (Michelle, who had a great personality and sense of humour), put us through some hair raising first aid scenarios that tested the skills we had picked up to the max in order to demonstrate that we didn't need to worry about the assessment itself. Of course my psychology doesn't work like that. It's not what I'm doing... it's when people are scrutinising me, that I am most likely to get petrified.

One scenario I was given was someone with a cut to the arm and a fractured hip... standing. My biggest problem was getting them to transfer their weight onto their good leg so I could get them into the correct treatment position. Once I had done this, they decided to have an asthma attack. Apparently I was a lot quicker in the room at picking up what was going on with my patient (all the volunteers of that round were having asthma attacks). I got them to take their medication and then proceeded to complete treatment of the wound.
The second scenario I got was a total nightmare. Truth be told... those of us who had gone out the room for this round were anticipating something pretty nasty because as patients in the previous round, we had been told to lose consciousness within 10 seconds of the first aider arriving.

We were not to be disappointed.

As we were called in by our "helpful" bystander, I was shown over to someone with a fractured jaw and stab wound to the leg. Not so bad so far... except my "helpful" bystander was being anything but helpful and running around like a headless chicken, screaming her head off. I genuinely surprised myself with an authoritative command to her to calm down as I needed her help. She calmed down immediately (I must have sounded uncharacteristically scary). As I proceeded to treat my casualty, I was waiting for my patient to deteriorate and be magically transformed into a plastic "Little Annie" manikin... but that didn't happen. What did happen was my bystander pointed to a spot behind the table where poor "Little Annie" had keeled over (always likely when you don't have legs, arms, lower torso, or any real internal organs), she was a separate casualty.

I switched priorities and checked vitals... called for help and got an ambulance called while I commenced CPR. It was all rather bizarrely automatic to me. However when my bystander returned I was stuck because I needed to get the other patient stabilised. It was pointed out to me that my bystander could do CPR if I showed them how. That is an interesting one though isn't it? The thought had crossed my mind... but I had been reluctant to because as I was playing the person with responsibility and training, I was acutely aware that I held this plastic doll's fragile life in my hands... and if she was going to "die", I didn't want someone else to have to live with the onus of that responsibility.

It's strange what goes through your kind at times like that.

I was told I did really well....but I was still feeling like going into shock before the assessment.

As it turned out, the assessment was nowhere near as harsh as those scenarios... but having less to think about coupled with a constant scrutiny of my actions, I found I was severely pumped with nervous energy.

However... I made it through and am now the proud owner of a resuscitation face shield keyring.

I'm proud of my new skills, but if anyone dares collapse in the office on Monday I shall not be impressed with them!

I'm hoping to incorporate my first aid training into my sermon for tomorrow, which I hope to republish here for your perusal in some form.

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