This morning had me off to an early start! Today I had my American Heart Association CPR/AED training course.
Although the class was scheduled to last for over four hours, it ended up being quite a bit shorter than that and the time actually flew by!
(DISCLAIMER: I am NOT a certified CPR-instructor, nor have I ever taken anything beyond this course for lay responders. The following overview is simply my experience with the course and the take-home messages that I found to be especially important. Take this post as nothing more than my interpretation of the information that was presented to me today!)
Finding a Course: Now depending on how long you’ve been reading, you may recall that a few weeks ago, I had signed up for a CPR/AED course at a local training facility, but the class was cancelled due to low enrollment numbers. Since I still wanted to find a course, I looked elsewhere. I ended up calling my town’s ambulance base to find out whether or not they offered the class. Much to my delight, the had offerings once a month and the class was free for residents! I signed up right then and there.
If you are interested in taking a CPR class for any reason at all, I highly suggest investigating what’s available to you through your community’s resources! I suspect that my little ‘ole town isn’t the only one that has this course available to residents. The exact same certification could have cost me anywhere between $55 and $90 depending on how I took it, but a little sleuthing saved me a small fortune.
The Class: The class ran for several hours and covered both child and adult CPR and AED-administration. There was a ton of information. At first, it seems a little overwhelming, but I eventually realized that if you don’t over-think and over-analyze it, it’s really pretty intuitive. The AED machine seems a little intimidating, but even those have automatic prompts that take you through the procedure.
I was surprised at how much more sensical all of this seemed to me this time around compared to those middle and high school health classes. Perhaps it’s because all of the information was provided in one sitting, or maybe it was just because I’m older now, but after this class, I actually feel confident that I would be able to respond effectively in an emergency situation. Some things, I think were a little difficult to imagine as a teenager (like stepping up to the plate in an emergency, or even administering the life-saving techniques for fear of causing more harm).
Some of the major take-home messages from today’s course were:
- Remain calm, no one is going to benefit if they responder is in a panicked frenzy.
- If someone is in need of CPR, they are already at “worst.” If someone is unresponsive and trained professionals are not immediately available, you will NOT make things worse, but could potentially save a life.
- CPR can break bones and cause some damage, but that damage will heal and a life may be saved in the process. You must get past that fear of “hurting” the victim.
There was also some interesting information regarding The Good Samaritan law and other random facts.
The class was very small (four people!). Naturally, there was the one who argued with just about every point that the instructor made and she frequently interrupted or even spoke over him. Oy, there’s always one, eh? 😉 Other than that, it was a pretty pleasant experience.
My nifty new certification card should be in the mail soon!
My original motivation for taking this class was so that I could proceed with the process of becoming a group fitness instructor. (CPR/AED training is a pre-requisite for taking the certification exam.) I quickly decided that regardless of whether or not I pursue that goal in the foreseeable future, having this training could be a very good thing. Naturally, we hope and pray that we will never be put in a situation where this type of know-how is needed, but being prepared is never a bad thing. (Just ask the ‘scouts!) I can’t recommend it enough– get trained! It’s just a couple of hours of your life and knowledge is power!
On a random side note, I laughed at myself as I walked out of the door this morning with my shirt that matched my coffee mug perfectly, which also happened to match my water bottle. Matchy Matchy Goes to CRP!
Hope you had a great morning. Enjoy the rest of your day!