This May I will have been a nurse for thirty years. I can still remember taking CPR for my first job. That year they had these fancy mannequins that recorded rate and depth on a strip. You had to get so many right to pass. I managed to pass it just fine, but many others did not. They didn’t have to retake it or anything either. Two years later when it was time to recertify they had changed it and no longer required a passing strip. So it was much easier and way less stressful. Two years ago I took one of the last old style classes in which there were instructors and real live people who checked you off. This year it was online with learning modules and then you go into a room and perform on a mannequin that is hooked to a computer that will only pass you if you do it perfectly.
Please keep in mind that I am old school. When I went to nursing school, computers did not exist. I mean there were some a frame type computers but personal computers were not around and everything was typed on a typewriter. I went to class every day and listened to lectures and took notes. So this online stuff is not really my way of learning. I have had numerous people ask me why I don’t go back to school and become a nurse practitioner. One, I have no interest in leaving bedside nursing and two, I do not want to write papers and do group projects to earn a degree. So back to CPR. I did the online stuff without any issues. It only took about two hours to get through all the modules and the simulation stuff. I managed to forget to turn the AED on every single time before applying the pads. Yesterday I went to the lab for the manequin portion.
I did just fine on ventilating the adult and the baby. I also had no issues with the check off for the chest compressions on both. CPR on the baby was ridiculous. I had to push so hard I swore I was going to break both of my fingers. Then the adult came and no matter what I did, I could not pass the three cycles. In the middle of my attempts I posted on Facebook and someone asked if I was having trouble with the ventilation. My response was “I can blow like a porn star!”, it’s the chest compressions I cannot manage to do effectively. Someone else said you have to do it hard, fast, and deep. My first thought was do I look like a dude? Maybe my husband could give me some pointers! I finally asked for help and the gal came over and gave me pointers but by this time I was so exhausted I was told I had to come back the next day or day after depending on how sore I am. She also gave me the you need to work on upper body strength to which I replied I am a runner and that’s what I enjoyed. When she continued to annoy me about upper body strength until I threw out there that I just ran fifty miles. That pretty much shut her up. Yes lady I am in the best physical shape of my life, this computerized mannequin is stupid.
On the way home I started thinking about one of my many bus rides to Big Stuf camp. Jack Riley was on my bus for my very first camp and he was a freshman that year. Fast forward to the year he was an Obtern and an EMT. We were talking about CPR across the aisle from each other. I said to him “the person is dead so if you screw it up, it’s not like you killed the person.” He started cracking up and knew what I said was true. However the other kids sitting around us about lost it. But I speak the truth, if your heart isn’t beating, you are dead and your chances of CPR working is not the greatest. Now if you heart is in an arrhythmia and you have an AED available then your odds have greatly increased. So here I am all worked up over ineffective CPR on a plastic mannequin. I went up to the floor afterwards and burst into tears. My good friend Amy said what is really going on, there is no way you are crying over CPR. I was like seriously my life is cool for a change. It was only this morning I realized what the issue is. I had forgotten to take my crazy pills for over a week, so I took two right away.
I cannot even think about attempting it today. I forgot to take my Fitbit watch off and it put a nice red mark and bruise on the top of my wrist. My arms are killing me and the palms of my hands are bruised as well. Hopefully I can perform tomorrow or I won’t be working until I can pass. Once you expire, Mercy will not let you work. Now had I been taking my medication properly I would look at it like this “I can’t pass, cool I get a day off work.” But since I am unmedicated I look at like this “Oh look Rachel is such a loser and horrible nurse she can’t even pass CPR.” The second statement is beyond false but the voices in my head like to shout at me and without Zoloft they are louder than my God voice that tells me I am a treasured child and a really cool person. Work has just called me to come in so I will sign off.
Mole Moral ~ If you are CR, never attempt CPR unmedicated!