Saturday, November 9, 2013

Good words inspire confidence, bad words don't.

Last week at Mass I was reminded of something really important.  Good words inspire people, bad words don't.

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

Change your clocks, change your batteries, check your medicine cabinet

This morning we switched from daylight savings time to standard time.  I don't know about your house, but in mine the little kids were up over an hour earlier than they needed to be.

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.

But when was the last time you checked the expiration dates of the medications in your medicine cabinet or first aid kit?

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.