I certified as a Combat Lifesaver every year that I was in the Army.
Image by The U.S. Army via Flickr
Every year that I was in the Army, I certified as a Combat Lifesaver. This is a course where you learn things like CPR, First Aide and how to stick an IV into someone.
The first time that I took a class in CPR, was when I was a teenager and I got a Life Guard Certification. I didn’t certify CPR again until I worked as an orderly at a hospital for six years. I had to certify each year.
So by the the last year I was in the Army taking the Combat Lifesaver course was a breeze for me. That is why I was partnered with a guy that was taking it for the first time ever.
I’ve got a thing about needles and even though I’ve been around them a lot, I still don’t like to see myself getting stuck with one. I learned while working as an orderly that if I look away and talk calmly, I have no problem.
When I was taking the Combat Lifesaver course the last year that I was in the Army, I got to work with a big strong muscular black guy. He did great with the CPR and First Aide. At first he was doing just fine with learning how to stick. When practicing you use an orange. Sticking the needle into an orange is just like sticking a real person. The needle goes through the orange peel the same way it does through a persons skin.
The final test of the course is actually sticking an IV needle into your partner. This is when my partner finally showed that he was nervous. So I went first, to show how easy it was and to help him get over being nervous. I had no problem and he told me that was the first time he was ever stuck and he didn’t feel it.
Now it was his turn to stick me. I’m sitting there with my arm out. I’m not looking, but I’m telling some story. This is what I do every time I have to be stuck. I was waiting to feel the needle prick. He put the rubber strap around my arm and then thumped to get a vein to show up. He found it and then he took hold of my arm like he was about to stick me and before I could ready myself, I heard him sigh and then go whump as he hit the concrete floor. He lay there passed out on the floor.
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Published in: Emergency Preparation