Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Nope. Not a Joke.

Did my CPR re-cert this morning.
My day job requires it every year- specifically every year, even though both the ARC and AHA certify for two years now.
I like that. I was disappointed when ARC followed AHA's lead in extending certification time to two years. No way does the average person retain the information for that long.

In preparation for the written and practical exams this morning, I was sent a link to the ARC Refresher site. Nice. Went there and went through all of the short refresh sections. Most of it is meant for the layperson, but they also have a section for Professional Rescuers.

The test this morning was interesting.
Not challenging, particularly. I really do know how to do CPR. Somehow, it's much easier to remember when you've done it on real people.

The examiner was a little surprised to find out that although I'm an EMT, I'm still required by my non-EMS job to re-cert every year in CPR. I told her it's no big deal, I need to re-cert anyway, so might as well do it through them. She suggested that the whole testing process was probably "a joke" to me, since I know what I'm doing.  Au contraire. An opportunity to practice my skills is an opportunity to practice my skills, and I'm good with that.

Especially this particular skill.

Most things that people do, they have some warning, some advanced notice.  They can bone up on whatever it is before having to do it For example, if your faucet is leaky, you can look up information on how to fix a faucet, go get the parts, watch a video or two, and THEN shut off the water and fix the faucet.

CPR doesn't work that way so much.
If you're lucky, you get from the time the pager goes off until the time you arrive on scene.
If you're a bystander (a far better opportunity to help, really) you get approximately no warning at all. You have to know the skill, and be able to perform it on the spot.

In order to do that effectively, you need not to be trying to remember numbers of compressions to breaths or which one you start with.

Like any skill you need in what is effectively a combat situation, you need to have practiced it to the point where it feels a little silly to practice it any more. It is SO there, that practice takes no effort at all. That's a good sign. Practice anyway.

So this morning, going through the scenarios took no mental effort.
It doesn't make it a joke.
It just means that for this particular part of my required skill set, I may not have fallen behind.

Probably helps that I go through cardiac arrest scenarios in my head when I'm driving. Yeah, I'm weird that way.

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