Thoughts for Friday – 12th June 2015

My resuscitation dolls arrived while I was mid-migraine and so I didn’t really do anything with them until the unbearable banging in my head had abated somewhat. I had only been expecting three dolls and so therefore I was surprised to find another doll stuffed inside one of the bags.

wipes-lMy first job was to thoroughly sanitise said dolls, after all, you never know who’s had their lips round them before I got them…

I gave all four of my Annie dolls a good wiping down and then pumped their chest several times for good measure. Lord knows what my downstairs neighbour thought of the sound of springs repeatedly being put under pressure.

Each of the dolls has a removable face (they are clipped on at the ears), presumably this is so you can remove them, give them a quick spin in the washing machine and then hang them out in your back yard to dry so that you can scare the life out of your unsuspecting neighbours.

I’ll give it a whirl and let you know…

It just so happens that one of my dolls has an issue with its face clipping on to one of its ears and after an hour or so of battling with it, I decided to give up on the latex facelift and left it as it was. I have christened the doll Vincent, for obvious reasons…

301475779664_1It just so happens that my cousin’s young daughter, Molly, is working hard getting her Brownie badges and one of them is for First Aid. I took Vincent, along with assorted bandages and slings, and gave Molly her very own one-to-one First Aid course. I have to say that, for an eight year old, she did incredibly well to remember everything, though her first attempt at chest compressions looked more like she was using Vincent as a trampoline, rather than trying to resuscitate him.

Molly, and her parents, were appreciative of the time I spent teaching her the basics of First Aid, but the truth was that I was glad to have some practice before heading to Nottingham for what would be my very first solo First Aid session. I wouldn’t have felt quite so nervous had I been shadowing my colleagues repeatedly during the last couple of months, but as luck (or not) would have it, I’d only shadowed once during that time.

So it was with some trepidation that I packed my bags (and my dolls) and headed to Nottingham in my car. The venue was 200 miles away from where I live and so I drove up the day before and checked myself into the hotel (which was also the venue that my session would be held at). I left just after midday, expecting to miss most of the traffic. It turns out that every man and his dog must have been coming back/going on their holidays as the traffic on the M25 by Heathrow and the M1 by Luton Airport were horrendous.

It took me nearly six hours to arrive in Nottingham and by that time I was in desperate need of a drink, something to eat, and a wee – but not necessarily in that order.

coffe-nervousI didn’t sleep much that night either, the alcoholic drinks that I’d consumed only served to keep me awake as I went back and forth to the bathroom for most of the night. I woke the next morning feeling tired and nervous and I was quite honestly crapping myself about what was to come.

The first of my delegates began turning up when I was mid-way through trying to tie a sling for my left arm with only my right and I must have looked like a right idiot chasing the end of a triangular bandage around my back like a dog chasing its own tail.

I was hoping that all of my delegates would be new to social and care and First Aid so that I could potentially wing bits of the course that I wasn’t overly familiar with, but it turns out that two of them had already had a great deal of experience in working with paramedics and the Fire service. Rather than letting this bother me, I actually got one of them to show the group how to apply a sling, thus getting out of doing it myself. Who says a trainer has to do all the teaching in the session?

It’s always difficult to take on a group that one of your colleagues has already delivered to as they have certain expectations of what you’ll be like, but I have to say my Nottingham group were good fun, if a little rowdy for my liking.

The group seemed to enjoy my renditions of ‘Staying Alive’, ‘Nellie the Elephant’ and ‘Another One Bites the Dust’ as I showed the group how to perform chest compressions at the correct speed, although it’s fair to say that I won’t be starring on Broadway any time soon.

Considering that I was flying by the seat of my pants for the entirety of the day, the session went better than I was expecting it too and I received some good feedback from my learners. I think they particularly enjoyed my anecdote about how the resuscitation dolls got their face and I also remembered that I’d agreed to share it with my readers too, so here goes:

L'inconnue_de_la_Seine_(masque_mortuaire)The face that is used for Resusci Annie dolls is taken from a mould of a young woman who had been found drowned in the Seine in the late 1880’s who was known as ‘L’Inconnue de la Seine’ or ‘ The unknown woman of the Seine’. Apparently, the pathologist in the Paris morgue who performed the autopsy was so taken with her beauty that he took a mould of it (otherwise known as a death mask) and it is the very same mould used by Peter Safar and Asmund Laerdal who created the Resusci Annie doll in 1958.

I tend to only share this nugget of information after my delegates have performed the CPR routine well enough to pass the course as it tends to freak them out a bit otherwise and I suppose it brings a whole new meaning to the term ‘French kiss’…

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to disinfect an unknown French woman’s face…



Filed under Thoughts for Friday

14 responses to “Thoughts for Friday – 12th June 2015

  1. Always a good idea to involve such a participant in the way you did. I must admit to being slightly nervous about what you might be doing with the dolls 🙂

    • Some of my colleagues may accuse me of cheating slightly by getting one of my delegates to demonstrate slings, I like to think of it more as a stroke of genius and a chance for me to sit down and catch my breath for a few minutes 🙂

      As for the dolls, my intentions are pure, it’s Kate Loveton that you need to watch out for, she has some rather worrying ideas about how I could use the dolls in my spare time… 🙂

  2. Wow. I have to snog an Annie once a year. That part about the death mask is really interesting… and a touch disturbing too.

  3. I must say, Annie looks significantly better in the photograph than the dummy you showed me during Skype today. Yes, folks, Kate Loveton was privileged to witness Heather B singing ‘Stayin’ Alive’ while vigorously pumping air into poor Annie’s inflatable lungs and grinding the heel of her hand into her chest. Watch out for those dummies, Heather. I’ve seen a lot of old Twilight Zone episodes… if Rod Serling had anything to say about this, he’d have those dummies crawling out of their bags in the middle of the night to exact Dummy Vengeance!

    I really enjoyed this post! The ‘French kiss’ remark made me laugh. Just the sort of thing I would have said!

    I’m not sure why, but I find the thought of fifteen or more delegates earnestly grinding and pumping in time to ‘Stayin’ Alive’ a very intriguing thought! Ah, to be a fly on the wall… 😀 😀

    • Hey, not everyone is privileged enough to see me giving Annie a good old pumping! 🙂

      I know that you were a bit disconcerted to see the sightless, topless and faceless dummy during our Skype chat, but I can assure that they make great room-mates and also fill a side of the bed quite well…

      The best part of a First Aid session is when you get all the learners synchronising their pumping. Ah, what a sound… 🙂

  4. Oh my, yes the whole french kissing thing seems to take on a whole new (morbid) meaning eh. Hahaha.
    Wow, you’re just traveling all over the country, aren’t ya?
    So this new training job isn’t related to autism at all? What does your new job entail?

    • My new job is still with the same organisation and I am working as a trainer developing new members of staff and giving them an introduction into social care and learning disability.

      I’m still enjoying the travelling aspect so far and the novelty of staying in hotels hasn’t worn off yet. It’s great not having to make my bed in the mornings!

      You’ll never look at French kissing in quite the same way ever again… 😆

      • Oh, I would love to not have to make my bed in the mornings, or breakfast. Hehehe.
        Good for you Heather. I’m glad you’re enjoying your new position.
        Hmmmm, the french kissing thing. Uh, er, yes you’re right.

      • I’ve just had quite a hectic and horrible week in London to contend with but it’s still not taken the gloss off of my enjoyment of my new role 🙂

        I hope you and your family are well, Staci ❤

      • Ohhhhh, so sorry to hear about your horrible week Heather. I guess that’s part of life and its ups and downs eh. I’m glad it hasn’t spoiled your view and feelings of your new role though.
        We are all well, and currently traveling. We’re in the North-east of the country until next Tuesday. It’s a bit difficult because I don’t have a regular internet connection where we’re staying. Ohhhhh, how internet seems to be so much a part of life now. Hahahaha. How did we ever live without it?
        🙂 ❤

      • We have a theory in our team that we are all due a bad week from time to time and I have to say that I’ve had a good run of wonderful groups and so I was due an iffy week.

        When I choose hotels to stay in while away from home the two things I insist upon are a free breakfast and free WiFi. I simply cannot survive without an internet connection! 😆

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