Breathe

I am reminded of a class I had to take prior to working in an inpatient rehab………yep, the dreaded CPR class.  I had successfully managed nOT to take it for the entire year of my internship but now that a real job position was imminent I simply had no choice. It was after all a requirement for licensure and working…….so I started looking for a weekend class to take…..I checked online and at all the hospital sites to see if I couldn’t locate a large class where I could just sink into the shadows and somehow pass without having to actually do anything….and of course, there was nothing available before my deadline.  So I called to local red cross office……….nothing…….I finally called the fire department too see if they were offering a class. YEP……Oh joy. These were the guys who laughed their respective asses of at me during the “washing the library with a power washer incident”.  But, seeing that this class had to be taken and it was available, I took a deep breath and signed up.

The day of the class I showed up a bit early………and tried to get my mind around the fact that it was just me and one other person taking the class….no where to hide, Suze……I finally got up my courage and walked into the building…there to find the teacher and the other student…both firemen that had laughed at me….great.  The “teacher” started out by saying “you both will need to go get a “fred” and bring him into this room before we start.  “Fred?”  who in tarnation is Fred?

It seems Fred was a dummy…not just any dummy but a crash test dummy……..now I had (silly me) thought we’d be using a resuscitation dummy.Saab-Crash-Test-Dummie-624x400

So anyway, I tried to get a “fred” and put him on a dolly to take back to the classroom……do you have any idea how HEAVY a crash test dummy is?  Yea……way heavier than I could pick up…….so I sort of dragged him by a foot out of the room, down the stairs ….thumping poor fred’s head down each and every step and into the classroom. The fireman that was attending the class with me simply slung his “fred’ over his shoulder and went downstairs……and HE had the real fred……….HE had a resuscitation dummy! that wasn’t fair!fireman dummy

I somehow managed to drag my fred into the classroom where I was told “just put him on the table here…………..I just looked at the fireman for a second…took a deep breath and HEAVED………………..and got my fred’s foot on the table. That was it for me…I couldn’t move any other part of that thing. The fireman took pity on me finally, and picked up my fred with nary a twinge and slung him up on the table.

In the meantime I sat down and prayed to get my heart beating normally and my breath back before I fainted from exhaustion……….I had only been in the class for five minutes and was already wasted. I couldn’t imagine how in hades I would be expected to push this things chest as it was solid, but what did I know? We had about 45 minutes of bookwork to do, then the actual practice of saving lives was to begin…….hoo boy.

Fred was lying on a table that was almost as tall as I was and somehow I had to “straddle him and shove against the sternum three times, then breathe for him”……….okayyy. I had to actually climb onto a chair to get to the tabletop but managed….then climbed up onto the table…….straddled the dummy and pushed. Nothing happened of course since it was a FREAKING CRASH TEST DUMMY!

The fireman was pumping and breathing away and getting rave reviews from the teacher….I, on the other hand, couldn’t even get the chest compressions done. The fireman student, BLESS HIS HEART, kept up a chatter of encouragement to me the entire time he was pushing and breathing….”come on Suze, try harder…….just push Suze…………just BREATHE Suze”

After a good fifteen minutes of my ineffectual shoving I stood up and jumped onto the dummy’s chest……….that sucker compressed all right……it sort of flattened out………. I think I killed it.

The teacher turned to me and said “Just what were you thinking? Damn Suze, way to screw up a good joke!”

I never did get my certification……and went to work in an outpatient place instead.

 

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