Monday, February 25, 2008

sometimes I joke about my aspirations to be a hermit. other times, I'm totally serious. today, for instance. today I'm totally serious.

I've spent the last two weekends doing first aid training, and this afternoon we were supposed to do our assessments. unfortunately, due to some manevolent blessing from the powers that be, we were cursed with a pair of nazi spawn for examiners. after lunch, the eight of us were confident and ready to save some lives. by the time the examiners finally meandered in, though, an hour an a half late and looking like they had something large and unwieldy lodged in their hind quarters, we'd worked ourselves up a bit.

the first few people to be assessed, in fact, were so nervous they flunked CPR. when it was my turn, the guy made a big show of trying to deceipher my name on the paper I handed him in a vain attempt to make me smile. I gave him what he must have interpreted as a look of sheer terror, because he delved into a long lecture about how nerves make you panic and panic makes you kill people, so don't get worked up about it, ok? passed that part, though I lost points for letting go of the casualty's head while rolling him over into the recovery position. inability to move a 300 lb. male with one hand is no excuse for sloppiness.

the next bit was where the fun began. chief nazi spawn was assessing our ability to deal with an emergency situation (dude with broken ankle and glass sticking out of hand). after a few people tried and failed their first attempts (we get two), she declared that the group standard was too low and refused to test anyone else. two people had forgotten to elevate the uninjured leg as a preventative measure for shock and one had raised the victim's head a bit too high. quel horreur. cause that would kill a person. it took two of our university first aid leaders and half an hour of heated arguments before she agreed to let the rest of us have a go.

I was her lucky next victim. I walked in the room and did exactly what I was supposed to do - introduced myself to the victim, asked him what was wrong, and applied pressure around the bit of glass with my left hand. then I used my right hand to steady my left as I raised his arm above his head and asked the trainer for the first aid kit. "no," she said, "and I'll stop you there. you failed when you put pressure on the shard of glass." "no no, see," I explained, "I put my fingers around the glass, like this... then used my other hand to hold it steady when I lifted his arm up." I said it politely because I honestly thought she'd not seen correctly what I'd done.

then she told me to leave the room. she's the examiner and that means she's right and I'm wrong, no matter what really happened. the uni. leaders tried to argue with her, with both the examiners, and tell them that even if she thought I'd done it wrong, the fact that I'd explained what I'd done - and given the correct explanation - means I should pass. nazi spawn kept saying about me "of course she's going to say she did it right" and rolling her devil-eyes. she doesn't even know me! if I'd done something wrong, then I'd be disappointed and call myself a tool, but I'd agree that I deserved a fail. I don't lie. I'm the kid who used to bring tests back to the teacher and point out the wrong answers they'd accidently marked right.

the two examiners met with the two uni. leaders while I sat on the floor in the corner and wished I could disappear into the wallpaper. one of the uni. leaders is an examiner himself and they were ready to argue with him, but when the other one tried to speak, devil spawn had a go at her and told her she had no business even being in the room. she insisted she was there to support her group member and had every right to do so, as I sat in my corner hoping to god they wouldn't leave me there to fight it out on my own - which would most likely have ended in me agreeing to whatever devil spawn said and fleeing in tears within about 60 seconds.

I'm so confused. this sort of thing never happens to me. I don't get into disagreements with people. ever. and people don't treat me like that. this is perhaps the third time in my life I've attempted to stand up for myself and I don't think I'll make that mistake again. now I'm going to disappear into my cave and never come out again. stupid people. stupid stupid people.


Kelly said...

Devil spawn, also known as nurses especially in the UK, are always right (according to them) even when they are wrong. You have felt the pain my friend that I have long felt for the last couple of years, and will continue to feel until the day I change professions. I think that it was good on you for sticking up for yourself. The best sticking up ever. I think that you should do it more often, because once you go up against a nurse, you can pretty much handle anything. Trust me nurses are scary and they are always right, and they do not like being challenged because it means that they have to actually think about an intelligent response.

Kelly said...

Oh and one more thing, not all nurses are like that. I'd say about 99% of them are devil spawn and the rest are not. The rest are actually human beings. Seriously, you did the right thing. It's not like you said you'd slap your client on the back if they were choking. LOL...

bishi said...

let's make it our life goal to round up all the devil spawn, tie them to a toboggan, and give 'em a good shove down a double black diamond.