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8:43 p.m. - 2012-05-23
why I love to volunteer
I've discovered the key to surviving the gawdawful classroom part of my CNA course: Be the dummy!

The first two hours of my Wednesday class are "instructor lecture" -- translate, "instructor ramble" -- which I survive by busily taking notes on an unrelated chapter of my textbook.

Then we go into the instructional part, where we practice catheterizing the (interchangeable, velcro-attatched) "parts" of our dummy, Mr./Mrs. Smith. We have only one Mr./Mrs. and four fully-equipped hospital beds -- of which we usually use at least two -- so there has to be at least one student dummy as well.

After I made sure they don't catheterize or do peri-care on student dummies, I've made a policy of beating everybody else into the lab and taking up residence on the bed next to Mr./Mrs. Smith. Sometimes I have to move the spare plastic penis or vagina out of the way, but then I get the bed to myself and it is very comfortable. The worst thing that has happened to me so far is having my shoes taken off and people having to smell my feet, which is pretty embarassing. Also the instructor caught me with my eyes closed and threatened to bean me with a plastic bedpan.

All in all it is a pretty good gig. I get to lie in bed for two hours while everyone else is standing awkwardly or sitting on wheelchairs or commodes. Every now and then I get turned from one side to the other or get lifted up or get my pulse taken. I do my best to simulate a real-life patient and don't lift a muscle to help. In between positionings and the like, I do a very realisic impression of a sleeping patient.

I don't know why more people don't volunteer. It really is good for the soul.



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