A question of being ready

Sitting in our rather large dining room at our workplace after work yesterday, I found I was the first to arrive for a four hour CPR/AED certification class offered by the American Red Cross and sponsored by our workplace. Soon the rest of the group arrived. A grand total of 7 students and one instructor. The instructor was a bundle of energy arriving with seven mannequins for us to practice on and a bunch of videos for us to watch. He did not insult our intelligence by walking over things that were already in the handout. Instead he focused on the practical aspects of handling an emergency.

The four hour session was condensed to less than 3 hours and I walked out with sore knees and wrists thanks to having performed chest compressions on an uncomplaining mannequin. The little wallet size card now proclaimed I was ready to act in an emergency. Only I hoped I would never have to use these skills anywhere.

There were a multitude of thoughts crossing my brain as we partnered up and learnt how to safely position an unconscious person or help someone who was choking. For one, when choosing partners I by default partnered up with the other lone Desi in the room. Not sure if it was a conscious decision because it was not just me, the other girl gravitated towards me and the non-desis away from us. So, as we practiced on each other, I was uncomfortable with the invasion of my personal space and a little hesitant to perform the navel thrusts on the other girl. In each of these ‘uncomfortable’ situations I was reminded of how many behaviors I have imbibed in my short life that I need to unlearn and change.

As I performed compressions and CPR on a dummy, I found myself freaking out at the thought of actually having to use this on a real human in an emergency. I imagined my dad lying unconscious and I found within myself a wellspring of energy and readiness to act. It is amazing what the power of imagination can do.

I guess I will never know if am really ready but if I do at least I am equipped to deal with it.

5 comments

  1. It is amazing what the subconscious takes in, I have never done a first aid course but from what I have picked up from the TV, I actually was able to help someone who was hyper ventilating when at university. The main thing in such situations is to stay calm and search deep within to remember what you have seen or learnt. I am so glad that you have done such a course. 🙂

  2. Great that you are trained now. I was also smiling to read ‘gravitating towards the other desi’ and invasion of personal space.
    I would have felt the same way! Could relate to you.

  3. I did this class and you bring a great perspective that I was not even aware of when I attended the full day session. I attended one out of my own inkling and felt it natural to pair with the guy sitting next to me. Now that you write it this way was the first time I thought of it this way….It did not feel uncomfortable to me to perform chest compressions on my partner who I did not know….who was a 23 yr old camp counselor for teenagers. Maybe something for you to think of!

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