Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Other things…


Lest you think our days are completely filled with puppy, let me tell you about my Saturday afternoon spent learning CPR. I’ve always thought I should learn it, I’ve always meant to learn it, and this year, when I saw it offered by our local fire department I decided to just do it.

Of course I registered for the class weeks ago, long before I knew there would be a Penny in my life. It was hard to leave her but she was in good hands with my husband and sister who is visiting. So I drove off into the snow to see what there was to learn.

There were 7 students total, 4 women, three men, all of us past middle age, with assorted creaking knees and backs, though one of us (not me!) was a long time yoga instructor and she was much more nimble than me getting up off the floor, and stronger doing the compressions too.

She made me want to try yoga again.

Anyway, I was kind of nervous, hoping I would catch on, and I did, but let me tell you, it’s harder than I imagined it would be to do compressions. 30 compressions, two breaths on adults, then 30 more compressions, two breaths and continue like that until trained help arrives. You can skip the breaths if you don’t have a mask and are uncomfortable, but the patient has the best chance if you can do both. The compressions are the most important, though, so don’t stop for more than 10 seconds.

It’s not easy.

We practiced on the dummies, down on the floor and I had a hard time getting the two green lights, located in the dummy’s shoulder to stay lit. Yellow was too fast, red was too slow, no lights meant you weren’t compressing far enough into the chest. I bounced around between yellow, red and green.

I’m pretty sure my dummy would have died.

After we practiced we watched some more videos about heart attacks and cardiac arrests, and how to use the AED if one is available. Then we broke up into 2 groups and role played an actual event. I was up first and with the aid of another student counting, I was able to do 2 sets of 30 compressions, another student simulated the breaths in between, and a third student simulated putting on the pads from the AED.

It felt good to keep those green lights glowing in that dummy’s shoulder, but it was really hard work, and I don’t know how long I’d be able to keep it going while waiting for the paramedics and EMTs to arrive.

I guess, when it comes down to it I’d just do the best I could.

That was the take-away from the class, other than the factual information and practice, that doing something is better than doing nothing and waiting for help to arrive. Imperfect CPR is better than no CPR, and people have the best chance of surviving if someone steps in and begins CPR right away.

If you have a CPR certification class near you I encourage you to step outside your comfort zone and enroll. You’re going to learn a lot. You’re going to feel better about your abilities to help in an emergency, even outside a cardiac event. And you’re going to meet some of your neighbors.

Can’t see how you could go wrong.

Here’s a puppy picture just because she demands the attention. Can’t go wrong with her either.

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

33 thoughts on “Other things…

  1. Like you, I have thought about it often. Unlike you, I have yet to enroll for a class. I shall keep my eyes peeled for the next one offered, because you are right, better some than none!


  2. I had a CPR class as a kid and one about 10 years ago, though we didn’t have a fancy dummy with lights and didn’t role play. I was amazed at the one I took as an adult how wrong I was about the purpose of CPR – it is to “artificially” keep the blood flowing and perhaps oxygenated to improve the person’s chance when professional help arrives, not getting them breathing, as they taught us when I was 15.
    Glad you enjoyed the class and hope you never have a reason to find out how well you learned it!


    • I think quite a bit has changed since you and I were 10. But since I never did this before I didn’t know how much until others in the class mentioned things they thought were true that the American Heart Association disagrees with now.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great! I am glad you did it. I think everybody should know it.


  4. I’m glad you got a puppy!

    Great advice too. I need a refresher course in both animals and humans.



  5. This is something I’ve been meaning to do too. Have you given me an appropriate nudge? Let’s see …


  6. When I was a lifeguard/Water Safety Instructor I had to teach a group of 10 year old boys CPR. I bet you can figure out how THAT went lol. We automatically were given lessons in CPR to pass our Lifeguard/Water Safety Instruction with the Red Cross.


  7. Good for you, Dawn! I’m glad you stepped out of your comfort zone and took the class. You never know when you’ll be called on to help someone. This is something I, too, should sign up for. (To this point, I just figured I’d be quick to call 9-1-1 in an emergency!) And Miss Penny just keeps getting prettier and prettier!


    • Calling 911 was part of the training. IF you’re alone, dial the phone and put it on speaker next to the patient. If you have help, assign someone to call 911, someone to look for an AED. If you’re alone don’t go looking for an AED, begin compressions immediately and hollar for help!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I was one of the ‘first responders’ at work so was trained how to perform CPR. It is much harder than it looks is so right. I thought I was going to crack a bone on the dummy so was not doing compressions hard enough. I’m sure my dummy would have died, too. Kudos to you for taking a course–you never know when you will need it.


    • That’s so cool that your work trained you! I worked for a big company, 3 wings of 4 floors each, lots of people. We had people (I was one) assigned as emergency fire responders, but all our job was to herd people down the stairs. They should have trained us on CPR too, since there were 2 of us on each floor.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Phew, I bet that was hard. But, as you noted, imperfect CPR is better than none. Very glad you included a picture of Penny.


  10. Thank you for the reminder about taking a CPR class. My certification is long-last and I definitely need a refresher course!


  11. Sigh, I love your blog, I read other people’s blogs, all people that I like a lot. And I’m looking for things to do that might help my own community, my own neighbors (and myself), and then you go and nail it. Life. That’s what might help my neighbors, whether here at home or on the road or in a campground or hiking or kayaking, or in the grocery store parking lot. I took two different CPR classes, one in my 20’s and one in my 30’s. Um, I’m a bit older now and WAY past needing to re-certify. I signed up this evening. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s so great that you went and signed up! It will be easier for you since you’ve done it before. I bet some things are slightly different, but not totally different. Maybe you’ll save another life, like when you drove behind the truck and warned other people about his erratic driving. 🙂


  12. That;s a great idea. I always assumed I would just use what I’ve learned watching TV shows….but that’s probably not a good idea! 😊

    How cool that you went out and learned something new. That’s the best!


  13. Years ago I was a CPR Instructor, it is a great class to take. I have done CPR on people when I was an EMT. One lived two days and gave the family time to gather, many were pronounced at the hospital within minutes or arrival. CPR is much easier in a home on the floor vs in a moving ambulance on the way to the ER. You are correct doing something is better than not doing anything. Do I want CPR myself…nope.


  14. Penny in the sun is just a beautiful sight! Good for you to train in CPR- it does sound quite difficult


  15. I took a CPR class about 40 years ago (at my husband’s urging) and have never had occasion to put it into practice, but there was a stretch of time when I thought I might have to: I had a very out-of-shape professor who puffed and panted, very short of breath, from doing nothing more than writing on the chalkboard, but, luckily, for him and for me, we got through the class without his suffering any life-threatening incidents.

    It’s a good thing to know. Bravo for you, Dawn!


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