Saturday, November 9, 2013
So what does this have to do with CPR and First Aid?
Okay, so to start off with, I'm not terribly religious, although I do try to attend Mass somewhat regularly. And I don't usually write about things that have to do with religion. But last Sunday I took home a message that I've been thinking about all week. Good and positive words encourage and inspire people and generally make them happy. Bad words don't. This isn't a religious thing, it's a caring human nature and psychological thing.
So again, what does this have to do with CPR and First Aid?
This past week I taught a class as a child care center I've been providing courses to for the past few years. Every time I teach there I hear some of the same story, of one of the previous CPR & First Aid Instructors they had provide a course for them. Apparently this person was a former military drill sergeant who basically told them that every child in their care would die if they didn't perform CPR perfectly in her class. Those are the words I hear from the staff, many of whom I see each time I visit.
What a way to instill confidence in your students.
I was shocked, totally shocked that someone would say something to them like that.
Here they are, one of the highest rated child care centers in our state; a group of wonderful and caring individuals, and they were practically threatened by their last CPR instructor! Those few bad words were enough to have them all question their abilities and desire to do well in their job caring for children.
I have a few words for that instructor, but I won't type them here.
The words we use and say in our classes mean more than may realize. I try hard to be positive when providing corrective feedback to install confidence in my students. My job is to teach them how to provide CPR and First Aid correctly, not frighten them to the point that they can't practice in a class.
Our job as CPR AED, First Aid & Safety Instructors is to teach the knowledge and skills so that each student learns and is comfortable enough with skills practice to be able to perform the skills when needed in an emergency. Bad words and a threatening posture will not inspire learning. Rather positive corrective feedback will. This lesson also applies to many other situations in life, but I'm focusing in this post on just how it applies to teaching life saving skills.
Have you had a scary or intimidating instructor, in any class? How well did you learn from them?
There were several other really good points I was reminded of last Sunday, but this was the one that really caused me to think about what I say or how I speak in each class I teach. How well each of us learns from an instructor, in any class, really depends upon their attitude and presentation of the material. You can't learn from someone who does not inspire you to try to learn and do better.
The passage that was read was Luke 19:1-10 if you want to look it up. Sometimes I hear or read something that generally applies to what I do or how I interact with others. And the message from last Sunday really seemed to resonate with me over the past week. Think about your choice of words when interacting or instructing others or how someone has spoken to you. Our choice of words and how we express them has a larger impact than we may realize.
Sunday, November 3, 2013
So in that extra hour we all gained today that we might not have spent sleeping we can do a few things to make our homes safer.
We're familiar with "Change your Clocks, Change your Batteries". This is an excellent time to replace all the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. For those of us in the northern part of the US we've already had some really cool temps and frost. Heating season is here and good working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are a must.
Many medications change their composition over time. They can be less effective or be used to treat different symptoms during their chemical life. Will that 2 year old bottle of ibuprofen be safe to use? I'm not a pharmacist, so I can't answer that. But generally expiration dates are on products and medications for a reason, they should not be used after they have expired. Same goes for the antibiotic ointment and other things in your first aid kit as well.
So in your extra hour today check your medicine cabinet and first aid kit. If you're uncomfortable throwing expired medications in the household trash check with your local police department. Many have a drug drop off system and will accept unused medications to safely dispose of them.
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
In case you're wondering why, read on for a tale of "I-don't-care-or-think-about-my-job-performance" and "Great-customer-service".
We'll start with "I-don't-care-or-think-about-my-job-performance".
I'm at the store, okay let's be really upfront... I was in Market Basket. Not my usual store, but the other one. The bagger, an older gentleman, said "How heavy do you want these bags?". My reply ..."they can be heavy, but no heavier than what the bag can handle". I have a large collection of reusable bags in all different materials, shapes & sizes. He says "What?" and I repeat myself. He either really couldn't hear me, although I can be really loud, or he really didn't care. So he puts 4 2-liter bottles in 1 reusable bag. It was a bag like the blue reusable bags they sell at Market Basket, but it was my newest black American Heart Association bag. Since it was raining out (ugh), mixed with a little snow later on (double ugh) I just repacked my bread when I got to my car (because no one likes squished bread!) and drove to my next stop and then home.
When I get home I take the bag out, put it on my shoulder, and the whole bottom rips out. All 4 bottles land in my dirt driveway. I go to pick up the first bottle of ginger ale and discover it has a hole in the bottle, a small hole, near the bottom. And the bottle sprays me with ginger ale. My pants, my pullover, my vest, my hat, my face and my glasses. Yup, all got sprayed with ginger ale. I pick up 2 bottles and reach for the last one to discover that it also has a hole, and sprays all over my hand. I'm now sticky with ginger ale. Oh, and it's still raining.
So I carry all the groceries in. Put things in the fridge & freezer and wash my hands, face and glasses. The clothes will all go in the laundry. The sun comes out now
So here is where "Great-customer-service" comes in. I call the store.
I reached a really wonderful woman named Julie on the phone. Julie works in Customer Service. And you know what? I think she's really good at her job. She listened to me vent, offered to replace my ginger ale AND replace my damaged bag. She wasn't snarky or rude. She was nice, listened to me vent and offered a solution to make things better. I told her I don't shop at that particular store every week and she said she was putting my story in their little book and I just needed to go to customer service to get my bottles of ginger ale replaced. She said she'd mention it to the supervisor so that they can review with the baggers how many 2-liter bottles of soda should safely go in a reusable shopping bag.
I think she is awesome.
Because quite frankly we all tend to know the cashiers or baggers to avoid when we shop. It's hard when you go in a store that you don't visit often. You just don't know which employee to avoid. I obviously will NOT forget this guy for a long time, and will have to make a special trip over to the other store to get my ginger ale replaced, but Julie at Customer Service totally turned a rather unhappy situation into a tolerable one. That's great customer service.
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
It was exciting and overwhelming all rolled into one. And it’s been a blast! I love having my own space to hold classes, scheduling has been so easy and I can accommodate last minute one-on-one classes. But I was also so nervous, I had monthly rent to pay and needed to make sure my finances were on track. I was so fortunate to be able to join forces with a colleague who is an Athletic Trainer and we co-share a double office in a small office building. We are both part-time businesses and were able to work out a great schedule that met both of our needs. I was so nervous at first that I might disappoint him if things didn’t work out for me. It has been so rewarding to discover that my classes have been popular and I’ve been busy teaching and using our classroom space.
But sadly sometimes things don’t often work out as we hope.
My business is flourishing. I am so happy to be able to type that!
Despite needing to reduce my class schedule this fall due to transportation issues. Transportation issues really means I spend my late afternoons and early evenings driving my children to their myriad activities. Because of that I found I wasn’t able to continue offering weeknight classes. Which I was hoping to put back on the calendar now that soccer and marching band seasons will soon be over. But overall I’m teaching more and really enjoying being able to offer more classes.
As successful as I feel I’m becoming, it has not been the same for my office partner. He still teaches, coaches and works with clients; but he’s gotten busy with family as well. His business is not flourishing, and he needs to step back to regroup. I feel so badly for him. He has been in business a long time and does some amazing work to help children with physical disabilities.
So what does that mean for Coastal CPR & First Aid? It means that I’ll be moving out of my Greenland, NH classroom as of the end of November. I will be looking for a temporary location for my December classes, rescheduling them, or cancelling them. I will be looking for a new permanent home to move into in January. It means my open-enrollment class schedule is on hold until I have arranged a location to hold classes. I am still booking on-site classes and am happy to come to your school, business or organization to provide CPR AED and First Aid classes.
I also need your help!
What I need help with is finding a new home. Preferably within a 20 min drive of the Portsmouth area. I love teaching, but don’t like spending a lot of time driving. I drive enough shuttling my children around and don’t want to add a long office commute to my day. I’m looking to co-share another space or find one on my own with a reasonable rent. I only need about 400 sq. feet, larger is nicer but I’m looking to stay within a budget. An expensive office means I have to raise the cost of my classes and I’m not sure I want to consider doing that just yet. It has to have parking for my students and it would be nice to be in a building with other businesses. Conversely, if someone wants to join me in my current office at Cornerstone Commons in Greenland, NH please email me ASAP!
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
In tonight's news I saw this story and I'm not sure if I'm really really angry or really really sad. Maybe I'm a mix of both.
4 children left in hot car taken to hospital http://www.wmur.com/news/nh-news/4-children-in-hot-car-taken-to-hospital/-/9857858/21019918/-/itme1a/-/index.html.
4 children between the ages of 9 months and 9 years old were left in a car, in a parking lot, with the windows rolled up, for up to 15 minutes. Thank goodness someone saw them and called 911.
So often people passing by are quick to call 911 or the local police department when they see a dog left in a car in the summer. Not as often do people call when they see a person or child sitting in a car in the warmer, or really hot, summer temperatures. Thank goodness someone saw these kids and called.
Temperatures rise quickly in a vehicle when it's warm outside. It doesn't matter if the vehicle is parked in the sun or in the shade. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke can occur quickly. I've blogged about heat emergencies here and here. The most important thing to know about heat emergencies is how to prevent them. Keeping kids out of hot parked vehicles is critical.
According to a study published in the July 2005 issue of the journal Pediatrics, showed that a car's interior can heat up by an average of 40 degrees F within an hour, regardless of ambient temperature. Eighty percent of the temperature rise occurred within the first half-hour. (http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2005/car_heat.html).
Kids don't often know that they can't sit in a hot car and wait for their grown up or parent. It's our job as grown ups to know that kids (or pets, or older relatives, or friends or ANYONE) should not be left in hot cars. I am feeling so thankful that someone saw these kids and called for help. This is a tragedy that could have been even worse if someone had not taken action. Huge kudos and thanks to the person who called for help! NEVER leave a person, pet, or living creature in a vehicle in hot weather. If you don't want to bring your kids or pet into the store, then don't bring them with you.
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Most bloggers get spam, totally off-topic comments. We all deal with it. We just delete and carry on.
What gets irritating a nice valuable comments that contain links to someone else's website. When I post a comment on someone else's blog I don't put in links to my blog, website or business. It makes me come across as only posting to promote my own site. And when others folks do that on my blog it makes their perfectly good comment look like spam. And then that really nice comment never gets published.
Most blog sites have a box to input your website or blog when submitting a comment. That's where your website or blog should be posted. Adding relevant on-topic links to a different website, like www.heart.org for the American Heart Association website are okay as sometimes we want to share something that ties in to the post. However several hyperlinks back to the website or blog of the person making the post just screams SPAM.
So I just delete and carry on.
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Can a rescuer with a pacemaker or ICD (Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator) safely operate an AED?
And the answer is .... Yes!
When I'm short on time my go-to source for answers to questions I'm not 100% sure on is one of the online instructor forums I belong to. There are a lot of really smart and knowledgeable folks in the group. One member even did a bit of research for me and provided this great link to Daily Living with an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator. She even called Medtronic to ask. I'll be updating this post when I have a chance to call them myself later today.
But AED's are safe and easy to use, even if the rescuer has a pacemaker or ICD.
5/17 update: I called Medtronic, the folks who make the Lifepack 1000 AED. AED's are safe to use by rescuers with a pacemaker or ICD. They don't have anything in writing on it, but the rep on the phone confirmed the safety of the rescuer.
Sunday, May 5, 2013
Here's the 2013 line up for $1 Summer Movies at Regal Cinemas. All films are on Tuesday & Wednesday beginning at 10am. I added the dates for the Newington Regal Cinema
|2013 Regal Summer Movie Express
|6/19||The Three Stooges||PG||10am|
|6/19||Ice Age: Continental Drift||PG||10am|
|6/25 - 6/26||Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days||PG||10am|
|6/25 - 6/26||Parental Guidance||PG||10am|
|7/2 - 7/3||Mr. Poppers' Penguins||PG||10am|
|7/2 - 7/3||Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked||G||10am|
|7/9 - 7/10||Monte Carlo||PG||10am|
|7/9 - 7/10||Rio||G||10am|
|7/16 - 7/17||Coraline||PG||10am|
|7/16 - 7/17||ParaNorman||PG||10am|
|7/23 - 7/24||Dr. Seuss' The Lorax||PG||10am|
|7/23 - 7/24||Big Miracle||PG||10am|
|7/30 - 7/31||Yogi Bear||PG||10am|
|7/30 - 7/31||Journey 2: The Mysterious Island||PG||10am|
|8/6 - 8/7||Racing Stripes||PG||10am|
|8/6 - 8/7||Happy Feet Too||PG||10am|
|8/13 - 8/14||African Cats||G||10am|
|8/13 - 8/14||Chimpanzee||G||10am|
Monday, April 8, 2013
A few weeks ago I received an email from someone needing CPR AED certification quickly. This happens a lot for me. Sometimes deadlines or card expiration dates creep up quickly and suddenly folks realize that their certification card has expired and they either can't work or turn in their re-licensing paperwork without a valid card.
The challenge was - all my upcoming classes before the date she needed it by were full.
I also don't have a lot of available time. sigh
My business is feast or famine, ... seriously. I'm either popular or I'm not. Since the courses lead to 2 year certification people only come looking for me once every 2 years. Right now I'm super popular. It's exciting and its overwhelming. Because not only do I run my small business; I have 4 children, a part-time job I love and a small content/writing business. Oh and I volunteer WAAAAYYYYYY too much. So suddenly I find I have no available time to fit in a class when I don't need to worry about childcare or how each child is getting to and from where they need to be.
Since my oldest just made the softball team I waited a few days to get the softball schedule first so I didn't overbook myself again.
So by the time I did get back to her she had found another class somewhere else.
I was so relieved.
I should have felt sad that I lost her business. But I could only feel relief. I'm so glad she was able to find a class to renew her certification. The stress of trying to fit in another class into my schedule was overwhelming as I just couldn't figure out when we could match up our schedules.
But I'm slso realizing I need to set better limits on myself to keep caught up on all the paperwork, projects and the business of actually running a business. I love teaching, but sometimes I forget to plan for and schedule all the things that need to happen to make sure the classes are successful, including making sure I get time with my family. And that needs to be my priority.
Thursday, April 4, 2013
Except mine has scratches and dings in it. And a pretty
I don't always answer my phone. As a business I should try to answer it every time it rings. If you're in business and reading this you're thinking.... "she's
But sometimes I'm not in a good spot to answer my phone.
I could be in the car driving (a not-so-secret secret: I have 4 kids, I do a lot of driving in the afternoons & evening shuttling my kids to their various activities). I can't look up information about an upcoming class, take a course registration, or take information if I'm driving.
I could be in a class. I can't talk on the phone if I'm teaching.
I could be at home. I do answer the phone when I'm home, but I don't always have it in my hand or pocket. If I'm in my basement folding laundry while wearing clothes with no pockets I won't have my phone nearby. Even if I dropped everything and ran up the stairs there is a slim to none chance I'll get to the phone before it goes to voicemail anyway. Oh and I don't answer my phone during meal times. We have a no electronics at the table rule in our house.
I could be the supermarket (my home away from home some weeks!) or other store. Or the doctor's office (remember.... 4 kids.... ), out walking or some other place where it is not polite, appropriate or safe for me to be talking on the phone. It's not that I don't want to take your call, I'm just not in a good spot to give you my undivided attention.
So I love voice mail. Don't hang up, leave me a message! I will call you back.
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
A while back I wrote a post about my new Road ID. As I begin training for this year's race season I made sure I had my Road ID and am doing my best to remember to where it.
Why do I feel that I need to wear ID when I work out?
If you follow the link in my previous blog post you'll read about the bicyclist who was found unresponsive on the side of the road, with no ID. No one knew who he was for at least a day. That was a wake up call for me. I walk pretty regularly. I'm not a runner, but I began competitive race walking last year. I enjoy it and it's good exercise. Yesterday I walked on a road I'm not normally on, but had time to kill while my van was being repaired. It's a road heavily traveled by very large trucks. What would have happened if the truck swerved into the shoulder? What would have happened if I tripped and fell when traffic was heavy? I don't carry my wallet or purse when I walk. My Road ID has my information and my husband's contact information on it. In an emergency I know that emergency responders will be able to identify me and contact my husband.
Road ID is super comfortable to wear and can also be used as a medical ID. They have many different band styles, are super inexpensive, and are completely customizable. I believe so strongly in Road ID that I sell them in my online store.
While I am a super fan of Road ID, ultimately it doesn't matter which brand of ID you carry or wear. Just please have some form of ID on you when you exercise or race. It can save precious time in an emergency.
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Online-only CPR and First Aid certification websites are scams. They promise "nationally accepted" certification that you take in your home and you can print your card on your own printer. Unfortunately most employers and licensing boards will not accept these cards. Why? Because there is no hands-on component to the course.
I did a quick search on my blog and discovered over the past 4 years I've written on this topic a few times. Starting with Online CPR First Aid courses in 2009, I've written Be wary of some online BLS courses, False CPR certification, Video or computer based training versus learning it the old fashioned way, and I received this comment.... On my Coastal CPR & First Aid Blog I've posted What is online certification. So yes, I guess you can say I'm a little passionate about the topic.
CPR AED and First Aid are practical skills. You learn by, well, practicing the skills. It's kinda like learning how to drive. If you watch a video about how to drive a car, or take an online course on how to drive a car.... do you know how to drive a car?
When I teach a class I have a very specific goal. If I collapse in the parking lot after the class I want to know that I have trained the participants in my class well enough that they can help me. Whether it be with First Aid or CPR. If someone leaves my class and can't do that then I have failed both them and myself.
However there is some confusion over some very good BLENDED courses, which contain an online component.
Blended courses have 2 or 3 parts. Part 1 is online. It is the cognitive portion and usually has a written exam you must pass. Part 2 and Part 3 are a classroom skills session with an instructor. This is where you learn the practical skills of CPR AED and First Aid.
What is confusing is some organizations like the American Heart Association use the term "online" in their blended course titles. Many people needing certification who have been told they cannot take an online course are hesitant to take a blended course because of the online portion.
Blended courses are valid courses. Just make sure the certification meets the requirements for your employer or licensing. Some organizations require certification from a specific organization like the American Heart Association or American Red Cross. A few of these online certification mills will try to mimic the name of a nationally recognized organization (AHA) or the name on their card (BLS for Healthcare Providers or CPR for the Professional Rescuer).
Be wary of courses that claim you can be certified without practicing any of the skills. Ask questions if the course time seems to short. You may be paying for a certification card that is worthless.
Monday, April 1, 2013
So I did something crazy and impulsive this morning. I signed up for a blog challenge. And it starts TODAY. Ack!
I know I need to spending more time on my blogs and websites... Yeah, that's blogs plural. My primary business is teaching and it's feast or famine, I'm either popular or I'm not. The past few months I've been SUPER popular which has been great. But a lot of the fun things (blogging), and necessary things (paperwork) have begun to pile up. So I'm probably nuts to commit to this.
But I learned an interesting lesson about myself recently and this challenge ties into it.
I gave up cookies for Lent. Really, I did... except for the one I ate so I could evenly divide 3 cookies between 2 young children. If you have young children you know why I needed to do that. It was really hard at first. Especially since I'm a Girl Scout Leader and I've had Girl Scout cookies in my house since mid-February. So I fully expected Easter Evening to be stuffing myself full of cookies.
Except I didn't. I didn't crave them at all.
I realized over 40 days I'm not addicted to cookies. Yes, of course I'll eat cookies at some point. But what I remembered was a book I had read a long time ago that it takes doing something for at least 28 days to make it a regular habit. And that by blogging daily in this challenge I will create a good writing routine that keep me on target down the road. For my blogs and for those I ghost write for.
And I have cookies hidden in my freezer to help.
Saturday, March 16, 2013
Today I was reminded of how important each individual voter is in the process.
My town voted to approve a bond to renovate and expand our library. This is a project near and dear to me as an active library user and part-time employee in our library. In a town of only 753 residents (according to the 2010 census) we are the 16th busiest library based percentage or population using the library in the State of New Hampshire out of 234 towns. For a small town we have an active library.
Today's vote represented months of work done by the library trustees to come up with a plan that allowed for the growth of our overcrowded library, but yet kept the costs in line. This has been a difficult journey.
Today's vote was a ballot that required a two thirds majority to pass. Discussion was heated at times, many things were said. Some were positive, some were negative. Good points were made, some negative feelings were expressed. The local paper said "spirited discussion". That's a polite way to express it.
The warrant article passed; 107 yes to 50 no. Just 2 votes over the two thirds majority needed.
What if those 2 extra votes were voters who did not go to the meeting? What if those 2 extra voters decided their votes didn't count? Every vote counts and today's vote defines perfectly why each persons opinion matters.
Next election in your community - go vote. It does mean something.
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Do You know what to do when someone goes into Sudden Cardiac Arrest?
Learn to Save a Life. Take A CPR/AED Class. Be the Person who can save a life.
Brought To You By Health & Safety Institute
Sunday, January 20, 2013
It was from an organization that provides training and continuing education resources for childcare providers. A child care center I had taught CPR & First Aid at referred me to them. Can I say that I absolutely without a doubt LOVE referrals? I do, I truly do. It means I did a good job training their staff and they're not embarrassed to admit I taught them. Anyway the caller from this organization was thinking of trying someone new to provide classes for them.
Sadly I know they will never call me back.
I didn't scare them away. At least I don't think I did. I told them how long a CPR or First Aid class is and what is covered. A full class is 6 hours long, but can be broken up into 2 3-hour classes. A renewal class can be about 4-5 hours long and can also be broken up into 2 classes. I can do really focused skills-based renewals through the American Safety & Health Institute. I also told them how much it would cost per person.
Their current course provider is an AHA Training center that I will politely not name and am not affiliated with. They do a 3 hour class at a very low price for them. They're a volunteer organization so I'm guessing their instructors aren't paid much, if at all. I can't compete with that. I have 4 children, 'nuff said.
The caller said they spend 2 hours on CPR AED and 1 hour on First Aid. I'm having a hard time comprehending that. How can you learn or review basic first aid principles; how to treat breathing difficulties, asthma, choking, fainting, heart attack, stroke, seizures, shock, bleeding, internal bleeding, use of tourniquets, injuries to the head, neck or spine, splinting, bites, stings, allergic reactions, heat emergencies, cold emergencies, poisoning and burns in only 1 hour? The American Heart Association requires us as instructors to use their course DVD's, and the First Aid DVD is almost 2 hours long if you watch it without pausing. I can't compete with that. Nor do I want to.
I'm not sad that she'll never call me back. I'm sad that there are a lot of childcare providers who will take these courses and not know what to do in an emergency. Okay, maybe that's a little harsh. I bet a lot of them have excellent common sense skills and will take care and treat the children in their care very appropriately. I think I'm more sad that they will pay for and sit in a class for 3 hours and get rushed through it so quickly that they aren't going to be able to learn or review that much. That makes me sad.
It also makes me a little angry because some of these childcare providers are going to think all CPR AED and First Aid classes are like that, which is not the case. I have many colleagues who are instructors. They all do an excellent job, use the course materials appropriately and take the time to make sure the participants in their class are learning the material. These are the folks you want to take a class with and I'm happy to refer any of them, and I have.