13 March 2010

resume builder: adult cpr and first aid at seattle area american red cross

This week, I did one of the best things I’ve done for myself (and my community) in quite some time. I got certified in Adult CPR and First Aid at my local Seattle Area American Red Cross. Sure, I travel like a girl scout with a well-stocked first aid kit, but I hadn’t taken CPR since high school (hello, 1991 graduate!) and what did I really know about first aid beyond bug bites, blisters and Bandaids? Thankfully, I’ve never had a major medical emergency while traveling. Home has been a different story, as I’ve faced everything from a head-on collision and E.coli, Edwardsiella Tarda and Plesiomonas Shigelloides to a bevy of broken bones – but nothing that modern medicine couldn’t (eventually) fix. The intestinal critters were pretty gnarly, but I’ll spare you the details.

Friday morning, I woke up at an hour rarely seen by this late-night gal and schlepped to the American Red Cross facility that serves both King and Kitsap Counties in South Seattle. Of the 11 students, I was the only one not taking the class as a work requirement. I was semi-surprised and kind of wished there had been more people taking the course on their volition. (I’m all about the unofficial, non-college credit earning world of continuing education.) My Adult CPR and First Aid class was taught by the deft duo of Ryan and Tracy, both of whom volunteered their time to teach the all-day class. You couldn’t ask for better teachers, and their enthusiasm and ability of convey information clearly was not lost on me. I’m gonna defy everything you probably think about such courses and dare say, that I actually had a lot of fun. We spent the day learning the almighty Emergency Action Steps (Check, Call, Care), how to perform chest compressions and CPR, how to respond to conscious and unconscious choking, telltale signs of stroke, heart attacks, as well as a ton of practical first aid information, including how to splint and sling an injury and treat heat and cold-related injuries.

Originally, I signed up for this class thinking it may come in handy while traveling in places far from modern medical facilities, but walked out feeling like my newfound knowledge could come in handy at anytime, in any place. I cannot recommend this course enough and feel confident that I picked up enough skills in this one-day course to help save someone’s life in a wide variety of emergency scenarios. As soon as I got home, I hopped online to see what other courses my local American Red Cross offered and admit, I’m seriously considering upping my training education. The whole point of The Global Citizen Project is to give back and help others, and the more health and safety skills I have in my personal toolbox, the better equipped I’ll be as a global citizen – both near and far. Thank you American Red Cross, for offering such courses to the community, for making them accessible at a reasonable price, and for offering flexible schedules.

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