About Me

undergrad RN
I'm a twenty-something Canadian student. After stumbling through a few years of college, I finally managed to get into the nursing school of my dreams, where I hope to graduate in 2012 with a nursing baccalaureate degree. I want to offer an honest look into how a modern nurse is educated, both good and bad. Eventually I hope to compare my education to my day-to-day career and see how it holds up. Whatever happens, it should be somewhat entertaining. Find me on allnurses.com!
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Monday, August 25, 2008

First Aid, complete

I am now certified in HCP BLS and standard first aid! The second day, yesterday, was MIND NUMBLINGLY boring. There was a video doing all the instruction, complete with hilariously tacky acting:

Pert First Aider: Whew! What a day. I'm so glad we're all alone in this huge warehouse without appropriate safety gear on. Hurry up, so we can go for a siesta on company time!
Klutz: Just a minute, while I get this copper wire cut by jabbing towards my aorta with this utility knife.
PFA: Um, what ever. I'll busy myself with adjusting these knobs on the wall.

Precious seconds go by.

Klutz: Why won't you just- OW! Dammit!
PFA: [Calmness exaggerated for effect] Why, Klutz! Seems like you've nicked yourself! I know first aid, perhaps I can be of some assistance to you? [Radios for ambulance without waiting for response]
Klutz: Um, so it appears. [Red-colored water comes shooting out of his "arm"]
PFA: Here, why don't you put this clean towel I found in my back pocket on your arm to control the bleeding? Just apply pressure.
Klutz: Gee, thanks, PFA. I'd be f*cked without you.

Fade to black.

Yes, that about assesses the quality of instruction found. I've taken first aid several times with St. John's Ambulance, and in comparison, this course was dismal. We didn't splint, we didn't bandage, and we were briefly shown how to manage a sucking chest wound. Then we wrote a 50 question, true-false/MCQ exam on our 'knowledge'.

To be honest, I was more relying on what I'd learned in previous first aid courses than what I'd just been taught in order to answer the questions on the exam. It was completely ridiculous. I mean, I don't especially mind because going over the differences between diabetic coma and insulin shock (or what ever it's called) can be a little tedious, but come on. SOME education could be useful. I feel bad for the folks who hadn't taken first aid before and were just run through the very, very basics. Pressure to control bleeding. Taking histories. Memorizing a plethora of acronyms. The focus of the course was: are they hurting in any way? Call 9-1-1 and then keep them calm. Yes, this was for a healthcare provider-level course.

What we didn't cover that I would have appreciated going over again: backwoods first aid! Compound fractures! Evisceration! Full amputation! The cool shit that you learn BECAUSE you might not get an ammalance out for an hour or more.

That's my beef.

Regardless, I'm now certified to, um, call 9-1-1 at the drop of a hat. Awesome.



MKS said...

I'm appalled that this course was taught via video... that's pathetic! Was it Red Cross or Heart and Stroke? I'd be sending an angry email if I were you. Yikes, sounds awful. HCP - sounds like Red Cross... I'd definitely contact someone because I know Red Cross is very strict about the amount of time that has to be spent on skills.

At least you're done!

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