Friday, 17 February 2012

Rolling around on the floor with strangers

There is nothing like a First Aid course for completely destroying all notions of personal space. I’m not a hug-er. I tend not to touch people if I have the option so having someone  rest their hand on my backside ten minutes after I’ve met them in a botched attempt to put me in the recovery position (likely story, eh…) is NOT my idea of fun. The course, run by The Red Cross, was a different matter however and made all the uncomfortably close contact worthwhile.

I’m always amazed when I do a first aid course how simple, and yet vital, it is. It always leaves me screaming internally, why don’t more people know about this?! Saving someone’s life can be as simple as turning them on their side when unconscious or noticing a few strange symptoms that add up to a Stroke. Last night I dreamt about the Recovery Position and giving CPR. I’m taking that as a good sign that I’m internalizing all the information from the course. I’m also carrying a Face Shield for CPR and a cue card for emergency situations. I’ll hopefully never use it but as it replaced yet another coffee shop loyalty card in my wallet I’m thinking it’s a good trade!

 A lot of people I speak to say that they can’t cope with blood or wouldn’t be good in a crisis and so avoid learning any First Aid. I learnt fairly quickly when working as a Nursing Assistant that when faced with a person bleeding profusely you just react. You don’t have time to panic. You instinct to save kicks in and you do whatever it takes to help them. My theory is that it is much better for that instinct to be educated seeing as you will do what you can in that situation anyway. A little knowledge can go a long way. Anyone who is often in contact with the public should be on one of these courses particularly all you Church leaders out there. The congregation will look to you to respond in a crisis, even a medical one. I think there should be defibrillators (for use when someone’s heart stops) in every Vestry and all Clergy should be trained to use them. 

Even if you’ve never had any training or have some training that is getting rusty then I would massively encourage you to get this app from the Red Cross which gives you instant First Aid answers. It’s brilliant. As their promo tag line reads, ‘There is no greater act of humanity than saving someone’s life’. Can’t argue with that.


  1. Do they still have the plastic lady you have to practise mouth-to-mouth on? I seem to recall this helping us break down the barriers of small-talk..

  2. Yep, Annie! Yes, there were some worrying comments about poor Annie, some course participants were sad to say farewell to her!!