Monday, February 13, 2012

I Am Trained in First Aid, Can I Help You?

I am officially certified in CPR/First Aid :) Woohoo!! The last time I took a class I was 19 and it was required for a class I was taking in college. I've always meant to go back over the years and re-certify but I haven't.

A friend from the dojo was telling me about a first aid class coming up at her son's preschool and I jokingly said something about doing it too and she jumped on it and encouraged me to come. At first I was very wishy washy about it but then that same day Meredith started choking on something she was eating and there was that awful panicky feeling I get when then that happens because I couldn't remember how to help her. Fortunately she's pretty good about coughing it out but that totally made up my mind. It was already going to a really busy day but I was determined to go and get trained. Rob assured me he'd take care of everything else and the baby. It helped that my dad was willing to get one of the boys to where he needed to be too.

It was yesterday, February 11. It took place at Kate's son's preschool in Hillsboro. Ok, I was secretly hoping I'd get a call from Kate saying it was cancelled. It was more from the fact that I was REALLY nervous about leaving my little girl that long. I haven't been separated from her but for a few hours and this thing was from 9 to 4. I was sure she was going to be totally mad at me by the time I got home. Anyway, I got to the church where the preschool was located and I couldn't find an open door! Kate was no where to be seen either so I started getting a little worried. I walked about the church trying to find someone and on my way back to my car Kate pulled in, phew! I followed her in the one door I didn't try, duh. There were only a few of us, 5 moms when the trainer started the class, and then a dad and I think his older son joined us later.

The trainer proceeded to get to business. He showed us a video and between every section would pause it and explain more or quiz us on what we'd learned. The most interesting thing was how CPR/First Aid has changed over the years. It's been 18 years for me (gag, I can't even believe I can say that) so naturally methods will change but a few of them surprised me. The guy training us, Jeff Woodin, leads the whole Heart Association group up here in Oregon so he's very into what he does. He's also a paramedic. Jeff liked to talk. We probably could have been done 2 hours earlier but oh well, his stories were interesting :) The coolest thing I learned was about the AED, Automated External Defibrillator.
You know, those things with the pads that paramedics can hook up to you to shock your heart. The Association has really been pushing to get one of these in every business, school, and church in Oregon. I think they finally made it mandatory, schools and churches have until 2015 to get one. They just are so cool because you grab it, follow the pictures to place the pads and then the thing talks you through the whole process! It would be really hard to screw it up. I just thought it was such a nifty device and for sure, every place where people gather should have one. A 12 year old could figure out how to use one. I think Jeff said that if you can start CPR AND have the use of an AED in the first few minutes of an emergency the odds of survival go up like 75%. It was a big number. Anyway, I got to pretend to shock my dummy. Other than feeling like a dork because I couldn't get the backing off the pads and the machine kept telling me to place the pads, it really was very easy to use. Technology is amazing!

The things I really wanted to learn, child/infant CPR/choking, were at the very end, the last 1/2 hour. I had to laugh when we went over how to help a choking baby. You hold them semi upside-down in one arm and use back slaps on the child. I asked the instructor what I would do because my baby is such a chunk. I don't think I could hold her on one arm without dropping her. He said to treat her like a child and stand her up and kneel behind her. Or hold her in real close to my body on my one arm while doing it. I just hope I never have to find out. Good to know and remember how to do it but I don't ever want to have to use it.

We got done right at 4 pm and I rushed out to get home to Meredith. I was hoping that since I hadn't heard from Rob all was well, and it was. She didn't even seem to miss me! Though she did snuggle up and nurse a bit longer than usual :) It is good to know that if I had to I can leave her for much longer periods of time now. I'm just glad the whole day worked out. It was fun taking the class with Kate, I'm glad she said something. I told her if anything happened at the dojo we would probably start giggling if one of us ran up and said "I'm trained in first aid, can I help you?". You are supposed to ask when you approach someone so of course in every single situation in the movie someone was conveniently close by and would say that, and there were a LOT of situations covered. Just got to be a joke :)