All the Posts

Chest Compressions and New “Friends”

First of all, thank you all for the amazing outpouring of friendship after my mental meltdown yesterday. Clearly, I am not alone–and now I know that–so thank you.  I love this Army.

So today started out even more interesting than yesterday.

I had my CPR training for my USAT coaching certification this morning. I showed up 15 minutes early, with my notepad and pen, like a good schoolgirl.  (Such a Teacher’s Pet.) Only to learn that there was an online portion of the test that had to be completed before the course.

Strike 1

photo 2

I called the 1-800-number for the American Red Cross, and had a few options presented to me. One of which was to reschedule. I did not like that option. I already was there.

Then they said I could take the test, a written test, after the course. And if I passed then I would be certified.  That sounded perfect… until they caveated that it was “virtually impossible” to pass the test without having taken the online courses for the test.”  Oh.

Strike 2

It seemed like I was in some sort of dilemma.

I really wanted to wrap up my USAT certification–this is the last part (assuming I passed the USAT test, which is in-progress)–then I am done with the certification.  It’s been a total process of probably 100 hours, at least, when it’s all said and done (counting travel and time away), so I’m ready!  Also, I have some interest in taking the youth and Junior certification in May, which Level 1 is required before. Regardless, I need to get this rolling.

Anyway.  I decided that it could not possibly be “virtually impossible” to pass the CPR training with the written test.  I mean, I had taken and passed the bar exam without studying.  (Just kidding, no I didn’t).

So, I was going for it.  (Such a nerd.  Teacher’s pet.)  I listened intently, because well, I had no proir online training and knew nothing. I have no medical background.  So I learned a lot during the certification, and can’t believe that I had not taken CPR before now. It almost feels negligent to have children and not have taken CPR.  Anyway (there’s my public service announcement.)  It was a great experience.

Except… my poor, sweet training partner for the course.

Bless her heart.  The attendees were paired up in groups of two.

My New Friend was at a disadvantage from the get-go, speaking almost no English. Then she was a tiny ole thing wearing Michael Kors boots, so she couldn’t seem to get the chest compression to happen very effectively without throwing her entire body onto the dummy.

She was headed to non-certification on a fast track choo-choo train.

photo 1

I was seeing where this was headed, so I, of course, decided that she was my project.  (Being Teacher’s Pet and all…).  So I helped her along, until the instructor was like, “She has to learn on her own.”  And I’m like, “Oh right. Right. Makes sense.”

She still could not seem to follow the steps.  I was getting nervous, because she was also my partner for the choking portion of the clinic.

Strike 3. 

So during the choking-instruction portion, the  instructor said to make sure that our partner did not actualy administer the back blows or the abdominal compressions (Heimlich) –that we should only simulate this.

Simulation, yes.

So I looked over at my New Friend.  She’s nodding.  Oh, so maybe she understands. Good.

However, again the language barrier.

Slowly, I could see the instructions were lost on my New Friend.

And it was my time. I was the choking victim.

Strike 4

Annnnnd she proceeded to treat me as if I was really choking, which was not a great thing.

Because suddenly, she managed a LOT of strength on the back blows and abdonminal compressions.  Instructor was all, “NO!! No no!” and me, I’m trying to save New Friend from automatic failure…  whispering and gesturing to her, “No no no, pretend! Pretend!! Ouch!!”

I tried to help. And the instructor is all, “You CANNOT help her.” Crap, I don’t want to fail… So I stopped.


[Though I really should have taken her picture… that way, if you are ever in a crisis, you would know not to accept help from her… just kidding. Sort of.]

After some AED training (where my New Friend really made a muddle of things), it was time for my written test. I was nervous. I answered 15 questions and then realized that she gave me the wrong test.

photo 5

Strike 5

So I proceeded to take the correct test, and felt pretty good about it except for one question about frostbite. Which I needed to learn the way the weather has been around here.

And the good news is that I accomplished the “virtually impossible” and passed the CPR test.  Yay!  One step closer.


photo 4

Just a reminder that the February group for Swim Bike Food is filling up. A few more slots open – we’re kicking off on Thursday night with a webinar (will be recorded for those who can’t attend), with an official Feb. 1 start date. Looking forward to sharing SUCCESS with you!  Go here to learn more:


  • Dee

    January 25, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    the Red Cross must have changed things then because I never had pre-tests to do and honestly your instructor sounds like they sucked – from someone who went through the instructor course a couple of years ago…they really don’t teach people who to instruct…it was kind of a joke

  • Jeanne

    January 25, 2014 at 7:20 pm

    As an RN who has taken this course and actually done CPR more times than I care to count, you definitely sound like you had an instructor who takes themselves a little too seriously. How about a “hey, thank goodness you are here to learn to save lives,” kind of attitude. And wasn’t it a class…which is meant for learning. Why wasn’t she trying to help your New Friend? As for the written test, they do make it difficult, but as usual, you rocked it! Way to go Meredith!


Leave a Reply