17/05/17

Full day first aid training. Always interesting to be a student in a formal setting. It reminded me that the democratic classroom I try to create is inherently problematized by the formal classroom setting. I asked to go to the bathroom!

I also didn’t like the rhythm of the day being dictated by a video, the prioritisation of a kind of rote learning, and the assessment instrument. The nature of a FETAC PHECC qualification is quite prescriptive, industrial, punch card (with no hanging chads), and box ticking. Hence the multiple choice. I also found the huge use of “mnemonic” acronyms irritating. Firstly it turns out I don’t particularly find them helpful, secondly it distracts from what I think should be the content and a better way of explaining them. Thirdly it also confuses as non-obvious, or not particularly appropriate terms are chosen to create the acronym – the cart is driving the horse.

For example the SAMPLE acronym is one I failed to remember in the test.  – (Google snippet here) “SAMPLE” is a first aid mnemonic acronym used for a person’s medical assessment. … The questions that are asked to the patient include Signs & Symptoms, Allergies, Medications, Past medical history, Last oral intake, and Events leading up to present injury.

Past medical history (Past? Really? Should be medical history), Last oral intake? Signs are not symptoms and it should therefore be SSAMMOE. Better still the group should be educated in the reasoning and role play a scenario Wouldn’t it be interesting to then follow that through with potential problems from the kinds of information given and the deficits?

As the day featured so much content delivered on screen I found my attention wandering. It’s a simple lesson to learn but one that we need reminding of until we restlessly root out the content delivery mode of education from the classroom. It’s lazy and unengaging. It’s required by licensing and awarding bodies however. Often the old school professional bodies were obsessed by information and less with suitability of the graduate as a person. I do know this has changed but I am reminded of things like the Law Society’s tedious rote learning examinations that they are now reconsidering.

I did  learn quite a bit though. For a start I had always thought my partner had a high breathing rate – she breathes at twice the rate I do – whereas I in fact am an outlier: I breathe at rest 7 times a minute. This is not normal (it doesn’t mean I’m super fit unfortunately). I also really relished the chance to learn and relearn some skills and also to discuss issues that have occurred while administering first aid to help me problem solve in the future. The trainer is also going to have hour long monthly sessions on topics which I really look forward to.

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