Even seeing a dummy on a hospital bed floats images in my head of my father’s body lying supine and half sitting up in that noisy hospital in Brooklyn three years ago.
He had no shirt on – cut off I assume for use of an AED. Useless on him. He was probably dead long before my grandmother and aunt found him lying in his twin bed in his bedroom at my grandmother’s home that morning.
We have a well stocked lab area here at school. I wish I could tell my pop about all the new things I am learning. Things that might have saved his life had we all known more ahead of time. Our lab is shared with nursing students, assistant nursing students and other EMT hopefulls. There are expensive computerized manikins that have fake blood pulsing through their synthetic veins for us to learn how to take blood pressure readings. They have grotesque expressions on their frozen faces, as if why they are there was caused by some incredibly painful trajedy. I suppose I should get used to those expressions.
There is a room just for us EMTs complete with color coded kits in green (for the oxygen tanks), blue (holds the daily carry EMT kit) and black and grey ones with torsos and fake babies for us to poke.
Today I learned how to use a gurney, strap a person to a backboard, secure a head and neck with a cervical collar and that Paramedics practice drawing blood not on fancy manikins like the nursing students, but on each other’s arms.
I’m looking forward to all of it.