Around 8:35am I was surrounded by seventeen other members of a class that was about to embark on the day long course of occupational first-aid, level one, recognized in the Province of British Columbia, and we were all tried, spending our Saturday morning there, to learn the art of saving lives at the most basic level. I took the course for many reasons, but mainly to enhance my skill level and add more to my growing arsenal of qualifications needed for my career. With my eyes barely fully awake, I was writing notes on how to do risk assessments on a patient in need of first-aid, and begin the procedures needed to aid that person in distress. Then before I knew it I was standing in a open area with all these people as I was asked to lay on the ground, plant my elbows on the hard ground, and hold the head of the perfect stranger and apply something called C-Spine. At that point of the day, all of this was overwhelming, but mostly because I was still half a sleep.
Half the course was in the classroom, taking notes from the lecture, and other other half was in the open area, doing the practical. Everything from how to the roll the person over, to proper techniques in making sure the patient does not suffer from further injury when the first-aid is being administered, was drilled into us. Then back into the classroom, more lecture, then back out in the open area for more practical, more drills, and so on. During the last half of the class, the training got more gruelling as we got into CPR, dealing with a choking victim who had passed out and now was not breathing and his heart stopped beating. We did the CPR manually, and with a defibrillator, which was a totally new experience. That was the first time I ever used one of these devices. The machine talks to you, and also monitors the patient as you perform the CPR! That is cool!
At the end of the class came the little mini exam of twenty questions. Yes, I passed, with a score of one-hundred percent, but surprisingly the class average was about seventy-eight percent. No one failed, but the questions were simple, so I can only figure that people must have rushed through it and got careless as some questions were set up like trick questions. Anyway, before we all knew it, is was dark outside and the whole day had gone by, it was time to leave.
I am happy that I did it. I was reluctant when I first signed up for the course, but now I see this as something that will benefit me, even if I do not use it in my new career. So there, another feather in my cap of work-related merits. Monday I tackle food!