Meet my new friend, Mini-Anne. Yes, she is a blow-up doll. [you can use this space to make a really funny joke about blow-up dolls] Stop laughing now, because Mini-Anne stops at the torso, and doesn't even have arms, and let's face it - she's not that attractive. But only I am allowed to say it.
She is, however, extremely useful for learning CPR. And she now belongs to me. That's right - I'm doing a St Johns First Aid course this weekend. Eight hours have passed today, and eight more will pass tomorrow. I now know how to perform CPR, how to dress wounds, how to handle burns, how to treat hypovolaemic shock, and how to perform the Heimlich manoeuvre. We have covered cardiac arrest, asthma, strokes, anaphylactic shock - and so on.
It's a fun class. There are ten other people in it and we all get along very well and manage to laugh at most of the gory stories our instructor delights in telling us, although the burn photos he showed us just couldn't really become funny. There also happens to be a very handsome Frenchman in the class. :) We get to do roleplays and fun little things like that, and our 'assessments' basically mean doing what he tells us, and if we don't he'll soon correct us. All the same, they couldn't really charge us $200 and then make it hard for us to pass.
I'm actually rather looking forward to going again tomorrow. All the same, it means I have to go and write my essay on D. H. Lawrence's critique of militarism right now. But perhaps after that I can go practice my CPR technique on my very own CPR dummy! Now, isn't that worth $200?
Update 25/3/07: I have just got home after the second session of the course, proud owner of my very own first aid certificate. Today we had to handle different scenarios as an assessment, and took turns being the patient. Thus, today has been a busy day for me - I have had wounds, open fractures, closed fractures, asthma, two seizures, alcohol poisoning, a heat stroke, burns, spinal injuries and allergies - and I have been in hypovolaemic shock several times. Good times. It was especially fun pretending to be drunk, having a fit, and falling into the bonfire at the work Christmas party at the beach. We had a good instructor today too, but I missed yesterday's nice oldish man who liked to say "You have to get down and boogie" and tell gory stories then say "He was not a happy bunny."