The Generation Game
You may not remember the days of the “Generation Game” on television, when Bruce Forsyth would bring on an expert with an unusual skill.
The contestants would watch a demonstration of the person’s talent, not always terribly complex.
It could be throwing a clay pot on a potter’s wheel, filling sausages, or learning a few dance steps.
Whatever the task they’d be asked to replicate it, after seeing it done once.
The fun then commenced, with the additional pressure of doing it in front of an audience.
Adrenaline rushes and panic sets in, laughter from the audience results in few of the contestants carrying out the task successfully.
If you compare this to learning basic life-saving skills, watching it done, is not enough.
Show a group something and ask them if they can repeat it? The majority will confidently say yes.
Stress test it, by getting them to actually do it, and more often than not, the answer is a definite no.
As a trainer I’ve noticed you can show learners things, but there really is no substitute for doing it.
For instance, putting someone in the recovery position, they invariably forget some of the steps.
However, given the opportunity to practice it, they become more confident and soon competent.
Learning from a screen
Increasingly we use video as a teaching resource and it has its place as a teaching aid.
But it cannot provide the feel of how hard and deep you must push on the chest to achieve effective CPR compression.
Feeling the difference between using two hands to achieve compression on an adult compared to just two fingers on an infant.
Being able to watch the chest rise when you give rescue breaths, gives a great indication that you’d do it right in a real emergency.
If you’re in a restaurant and someone chokes, knowing where and how hard to slap them on the back and the sort of force it takes to give an abdominal thrust.
You must remember, like the generation game, your adrenaline will kick in. Not because you’re being watched by millions of people, wanting you to make a fool of yourself.
Because you will be dealing with a real life and death emergency.
Practice, practice, practice
Practice is the answer and the more often the better.
Although your certificate last 3 years, we recommend refreshing your skills at least once a year.