It has only taken me 26 years to figure out why I hate CPR re-certification. It’s so simple and yet I just put two and two together. It’s the skills check out. I know it’s because of skills check-out in nursing school. They were always anxiety ridden nightmares for me. We had to do things in the right order, mess one thing up and you flunk. Flunk the same checkout twice and you were out of the program. No pressure or anything. I have shared my first clinical check out with a lot of people so feel free to skip if you heard it. My first check outs were temperature, blood pressure and pulse. I had never read a glass thermometer. (I am sure you youngsters are thinking whats a glass thermometer. Do they even make those anymore? Considering they had mercury in them and if you broke it the little mercury balls would roll all over the floor. Not that I ever did that! We use to use glass in isolation rooms, we use throw away digitals now.) I was a nervous wreck. Just knew I was going to do something wrong and be kicked out forever. It didn’t help my instructor was the toughest one which just made it even worse. Well I couldn’t find the pulse and I couldn’t hear the B/P (oh the instructor and a two earphone so she could hear too. If we were off by more than 2 we failed) and I was just a mess. Well Gena (my best friend that I visit in Edwardsville) started cracking up and I was crying. We ended up getting sent out of the room until we could control ourselves. So we went to the bathroom and she gave me a pep talk. I did pass the clincials but I was given a thermometer to put into different water temps to practice reading.
So flash forward to CPR and today the girl says I’m going to time you during one of your cycles. My anxiety had to be off the chain because I was instructed to slow down because I was going way too fast. Imagine that with my anxiety off the chain. I’m not sure anyone has ever failed CPR re-certification but I would really hate to be the first. I use to also be ACLS certified so for about ten years I did CPR every year because it was included in ACLS. I am so glad to ditch that certification. Running a code is not in my DNA. I can record what is going on but I hope I’m never the one calling the shots.
I’m working day shift tomorrow. It should be fun. Hopefully I won’t have any need to put my new skills to use.