Every year in school paramedics come on campus and teach every student and staff how to perform CPR following along to the song, “Stayin’ Alive” by Bee Gees. With every, “Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive” I was convinced I was saving the dummies life with no further instructions, but only pushing into the dummies chest to the beat of the song. Of course none of the students would get certified after, but we did get a “great job!”, but was it really great? No, it wasn’t. It’s a great idea to get an idea on how to perform CPR just not quite properly, but when I got home of course I had to but my new skills to the test. Obviously no one would let me, so I used my dog and no I didn’t push onto his chest I’m not an idiot, I wouldn’t harm him. I just did it in the air over him. So there I am on the living room floor with my dog singing to the Bee Gees, thinking this is exactly and properly how I’d save someone. Boy was I wrong.
In the start of 2019, I decided to take an EMT class. The course is divided of one main class and smaller two day classes. One of the two day classes was CPR. I walk in having “Stayin’ alive on my mind excited. But it was two days, and in high school it was only thirty minutes. We were taught through a video and watching scenarios, taking down notes and being told how many compressions should be given at a certain pace. First, it was just slides and understanding the different ways to perform CPR. Then it was the scenarios, after we were given dummies and followed along to the follow pushing in a certain speed and pushing down to a certain point, because if you pushed down too hard or deep you can facture the rib cage. It wasn’t just simply just going up to someone and given them CPR because they seem to not be breathing, but there is a process of things to do before you even get to start doing compressions on someone. Something, such as; seeing if the patient is alert, has a pulse and breathing. Along with the certain depth of pressure to the chest I had to perform mouth-to-mouth after thirty sets of compressions.
Not only were we taught how to properly perform CPR on an adult, we were taught how to perform on babies, and that is completely different from an adult. For babies, instead of doing compressions with both hands, you use one hand and only two fingers. Compared to adults that’s both hands locked with each other. I was also shown how to perform CPR with a partner, it isn’t any different from doing it alot, but while one is doing compressions after the thirty set the other person bags air into them and same goes for a baby. This was basically what I was being taught on the first day. Towards the end of day, oh forget to mention it was from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM on both days, but at the end I got tested on performing CPR on both an adult and baby to be able to be certified. I did good when it came to the adult, did everything we were taught and step by step, but when it came to the baby I forgot to tell my partner to “call 911 and get the AED!” so I didn’t pass and had to redo it, but passed the second time and was certified.
I wasn’t so sure what was going to happen on day two because everything else was taught on the first day and even got certified, so what more are they going to show me. When day two came, everyone was divided into groups and each group was sent to an area around the building with a scenarios and each area there would be a different leader for each group. For the scenarios I was the leader for, I killed not only myself but my whole team. No, not actually killed it was more of a “you’re dead, you’re dead, everyone on the team is dead”. Well, the scenario I was given was a house party, the instructor made the room pitch dark with fog machines and DJ lights and extremely loud music. What I have failed to do was to check if the place was safe to let my team in, I looked around and everything seemed fine though, but apparently not, an instructor was in that I didn’t see when I was looking around and he was playing as a killer and killed everyone. I was given another chance to try again, so there I went in again and made sure everything was safe to let my team in. Then we found the dummies that were unconscious to do CPR on but it was hard to communicate with the rest of my team because it was extremely loud in there.
Overall, the experience was insane and I was put in real life scenarios I didn’t even think of before. It was very stressful and felt very pressured too, but at the end I did learn how to properly perform CPR and possibly save someone’s life, instead of a dummy. You should always learn the proper way of doing something instead of taking shortcuts.