Friday, September 5, 2008

Automaticity

With a post name like automaticity you are probably expecting content about literacy or possibly math facts. Nope, I am talking about first aid training, crisis prevention and intervention and CPR training. Over my decade of teaching experience in every school system or educational agency I have had to take first aid, CPR and some kind of crisis response training. I have rarely had to do more than put on a band-aid with the first-aid and CPR training. (Although the crisis response training usually manages a good work out every few years or so.)

Today all those years of dreading, tolerating and being relieved that the afternoon and evening of sitting through the required first-aid and CPR training turned into utter thankfulness when a staff member and I had to administer the "Abdominal Thrust Procedure" (aka the Heimlech Manuever) to someone in my classroom. Never have I been happier then when I heard that gurgle and that gasp of air after I, without stopping to think, found the rib cage, dropped my fist below it, turned my hand thumb side in, thrust inwards and upwards and watched and listened to see or hear if it worked.

I don't think any of us came down from the adrenline high for hours and our relief and gratefulness that everything was fine is still rushiing through us now. I kind of want to find my first aid and CPR instructors and hug them for putting up with all the moans and groans of training us all year after year, because in the end, when I needed to know how to save someone who was choking, I knew exactly what I was doing, with automaticity. (I don't know if I could live with myself if I didn't.)

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