CPR Class (In-Pulse CPR)

November 5, 2011 § Leave a comment

This is another long-overdue post.

This summer, I took a CPR class that I surprisingly enjoyed.

Although at first, I thought I was going to have a panic attack in the middle of class & need medical attention myself.  I was taking the class largely because I was going to be working with kids and the initial discussion started to freak me out a bit because I kept imagining have to give CPR to my own kids that was overwhelming.

Eventually, I relaxed a bit, largely due to the instructors, Tiffany & Katie of In-Pulse CPR.  They combined a serious topic with a touch of humor that created a comfortable atmosphere.  I’m one that never asks questions in a group setting but they made the class comfortable enough that I actually asked two questions.

But where they really excelled, I thought, was bringing their real-life experience–they both have worked as EMTs–to the class and telling us what to really expect if we need to do CPR.  For example, Katie told about the first time she had to do CPR and was totally freaked out when she broke ribs on the patient.  Her instructor(s) had never told her to expect that and that it is actually a required first step to give effective CPR.  The ribs are there to protect the heart and until you break them (in adults) you’re not going to be compressing the heart.

They told us that a coroner (not sure if just in one specific jurisdiction or universally) is required to indicate that “ineffective CPR” was administered whenever a corpse’s ribs are not broken.  And they told us about seeing nurses give WWF-type elbow blows to patients’ chests to break their ribs before starting CPR.

They obviously got the point across that breaking ribs (in adults) is to be expected.   Coincidentally, my wife, a teacher, took CPR training the same day with the school nurse and this wasn’t mentioned.  I feel taking the course from instructors who have actually done CPR and are willing to prepare us for the gruesome-ness of it helped better prepare me if I ever need to use the training.

If ever asked, I will always recommend that someone–especially first-timers–take the classes from instructor(s) that have actually done it in the field.


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