Tag Archives: first aid

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…

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Thoughts for Friday – 29th May 2015

I left last week’s Thoughts post on a bit of a cliff-hanger didn’t I?

I know, that was terribly mean of me, but I needed to give you at least some small reason to come back this week!

waitingI believe I left the story at the beginning of what was meant to be a three-day training course that would see me become a qualified First Aid instructor. There we were, my two colleagues and I, patiently waiting in a hotel conference room, wondering why we had gotten to the venue before our trainer (it’s always considered bad etiquette if your learners turn up before you do). We sat and waited.

And waited.

Finally, there was a knock on the door and a very apologetic member of the hotel staff informed us that our trainer would not be turning up today. At first we worried that they’d had an accident on the way to the venue and were concerned for his safety. Our concern for his well-being was reduced quite dramatically when we learned that he was somewhere in Essex and had no idea that he was meant to be delivering a session to us in Birmingham.

phone-call-fearsAfter many apologetic phone calls later, my colleagues and I were told to sit tight and make use of the conference room, even though our instructor would not arrive until the following day. Left to our own devices, we could have got up to all sorts of things, but like the good employees we are, we actually spent the day working on course presentations (and filling our boots at the lunch buffet which had already been paid for).

Cadbury%20Webstory1Sadly, our manager had vetoed my suggestion of visiting Cadbury World which was only a few miles away from the training venue. She seemed to think that we were far too well-paid to spend a work day getting our jollies at Britain’s most famous chocolate factory. I used my innate charm and yet still our manager held firm. I even offered to buy her a mound of chocolate but it was no use, she wasn’t budging.

So what do three people who don’t know each other very well do when placed in a conference suite and left to their own devices? Well, we all work in social care and so it wasn’t very long until the conversation turned toward vomit, bowel movements and that kind of thing. No high-end conversations for us, no-siree…

I have to admit to being slightly annoyed when I was informed that my colleagues and I would all have to return to Birmingham on Sunday night to complete our course. We were told that the trainer definitely would turn up on Thursday and Friday but that we would have to come back the following week to complete the last day.

This doesn’t sound too bad until you factor in that it would see me driving 450 miles in three days, which, even for me, is a little excessive. There wasn’t much I could do about it anyway and so I consoled myself with the fact that my mileage expenses would look pretty rosy after all that traveling.

Puppy-LoveAfter a week of staying in the same hotel, I was running the risk of becoming part of the furniture and greeting many of the staff on a first name basis. However, there was one member of the hotel staff that both myself and one of my colleagues had our eye on: a gorgeous hunk of a man called Jermaine. This guy was an Adonis and on our return to the hotel on Sunday, I bet my colleague that Jermaine would remember me. Sensing a challenge, my colleague aimed to do everything he could to get Jermaine to notice him on our last night at the hotel. This may or may not have included both of us gawping at his perfectly-formed derriere as he leant over the bar on the Thursday night…

I ended up the victor when we reconvened on Sunday night as I gleefully told my colleague that Jermaine had personally shown me to my room.

“How in the ‘ell did ya swing tha?” my colleague said in his deep Yorkshire accent.

I would have loved to say that it was by natural beauty and feminine charms, but it was actually a case of my room key not working. Still, I made the most of the opportunity to rub my colleague’s nose in it a little….

nothing-takes-the-taste-out-of-peanut-butter-quite-like-unrequited-loveTo be honest, I think I might have scared Jermaine off with the conversation we had while I was checking in. Jermaine asked me if I would mind an adjoining room and I replied by saying that I would only agree if the door remained locked and no one could get into my room. Jermaine assured me that this was the case and I was happy with that until a thought crossed my mind…

“Actually,” I said. “It depends on who is in the next room. If they’re cute then they can come right in!”

I wiggled my eyebrows salaciously at Jermaine and it was probably at this point that I lost my chance with him.

Still, I will be back at the very same hotel next month and have another chance at getting Jermaine’s number. I just hope he hasn’t gone running scared and quit…

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