One thing I love about the group I volunteer with is, I don’t just get to do First Aid. I spent most of today being a casualty, paperwork bitch and general dogsbody for a training course for our ambulance crews. I’ve done this loads of times before, during which I’ve been extracted from minibuses, strapped to spinal boards so many times I can now release myself relatively easily, and been on the receiving end of a standing take-down (a method of moving someone with a suspected spinal injury from the standing position to lying down on a spinal board – it can be a very unnerving experience) several times in one day.
Despite all this, I go back to help out at all the courses I can get to. Why? Because it’s fun! I love playing casualty, being made up to have various injuries (if we’re feeling keen), and experiencing first hand the sort of things these members of ours can do.
Oh, and I have my own motives as well. Hopefully, early in the new year, I should be starting this training myself. While I have never seen an entire course, hopefully this will give me a little bit of a head start. There’s a lot to learn, and I suspect anything to help out will be very useful.
One of the early things to be covered was the Secondary Survey, where the treating person has examine the patient from top to toe to find any injuries. This involves ‘getting down to skin level’, which basically means they can’t do all of the survey through my clothes. I don’t really have a problem with this, in reality it only really means my trousers get rolled up and my top gets lifted, and if they’re feeling brave, my shoes and socks get removed. Nothing to worry or be particularly shy about. In my experience, many First Aiders (particularly the more empathetic ones) are quite touchy-feely anyway, and while it’s not something I do very much myself, I don’t have a problem with it (provided it’s kept ‘appropriate’). (I was very surprised, however, when BigPara, who runs the course, seemed to be idly playing with my hair!)
Unfortunately for me and my reputation as a casualty, I am particularly ticklish, something which a couple of people have discovered and use to their advantage. At first it was just a case of grit my teeth and get on with it. This was fine over my clothes. When, however, BigPara was examining my sides under my T shirt, I couldn’t stop wriggling and laughing. I was supposed to be unconscious, this didn’t exactly do much for my credibility.
Things only got worse when Mrs BigPara took over the examination. To give you a hint, she had just spent quite a bit of time outside.
She put her hands on my bare stomach to examine for abdominal problems. They were cold. In fact, they were freezing. My reflexes instantly took over, trying to move me away from them. I might have yelled a little bit. Needless to say, everyone but me thought it was very funny.
After this lovely little incident, the next thing I had to do was blood pressures. This wasn’t too bad, though my low blood pressure surprised everyone who measured mine. I even got to have a go, which I really didn’t expect. I managed to get quite close to what LittlePara got, which, considering I’m still a long way from doing this course myself, I’m quite pleased about.
That was about it for today. I then got to escape early while everyone else was doing a lot of the not particularly interesting but very important theory. I have the same again tomorrow, which means I really should be going to bed. I wonder what they’ll be doing then…
About The WalkingPlasterDispenserSo who is the Walking Plaster Dispenser? Well, I'm a volunteer First Aider, working with a well-known First Aid charity to help out random people I've never met before (or, more usually, when) they hurt themselves. This typically involves walking briskly (never run...) around after people who are silly enough to do sports or some other suitably daft activity in their free time. In my spare time, I am a graduate engineer, working my way through a graduate scheme with a big engineering company.