Saturday, April 6, 2013

And that sort of thing and stuff...

Well, this was a long week. After 3 full shifts (which we worked 4 codes), I had the pleasure of renewing my TNCC certification. For those non nursey readers - it is the Trauma Nursing Core Course. If you work in any ER, they require you to have it.
Unfortunately, the closest recertification course offered is a long way away. That class is only a one day deal. So...I had to take the whole 2 day course. I know, what's another day? However, I really would've preferred to be home with my family instead.

The hospital system that provided the course held the class in a church. It was a beautiful old church. Large stained glass windows, dark wood ceilings that arched high overhead. It was magnificent.
I believe they did an excellent job except for one thing: the breaks. Now anyone who has set up or taught classes has learned that the max you can truly keep a student's attention is around an hour. Every course/class I've attended has had some sort of little break at the hour mark. To get up and stretch your legs. To go to the restroom. To move.

We had a break after 2 1/2 hours of sitting. I kept shifting in my seat because my ass was numb. Seriously, it got really uncomfortable. Most of the class had the "shifts". The second day, it was cram time. They still had a half day of lectures, then our patient scenerio test and written test. We began at 0715 and finally got to get out of our seats at 1200.

I was good until around the 2 hour mark. Then my internal dialogue got the best of me.
The instructor was discussing ocular, maxillofacial and neck trauma. Gory pictures of hyphemas, ruptured globes, and dismembered faces didn't even hold my interest.
"oh God, please stop talking. please. please. please."
I started to do something that I hadn't done since high school. I began to doodle on my notes for heaven's sake. I drew pictures of eyes, wrote, "please stop talking" in various forms of letters.
It was then that I noticed it. I wish I hadn't, but I did.
The instructor had this annoying habit of continually repeating one phrase. Over and over again.

"And that sort of thing and stuff."

It literally drove me mad. When I noticed she was saying this mantra, I started counting it. I guess that's pretty OCD of me, but it was mesmerizing. She used that phrase 34 times in a 30 minute time frame.

34 times!!!! I have the hash marks to prove it.

By the end of her lesson, I was screaming inside of my head, "AAAARGH, shut up! Let us go. Please stop talking. Please don't say"

" that is why a blind nasal intubation is contraindicated AND THAT SORT OF THING AND STUFF."

I survived. She finished her lecture. I'm sure she used that phrase as her "umm" that so many of us use as a filler when speaking in front of a crowd. I made a mental note to always give a break, even a couple of minutes to students if and when I teach in the future. Numb asses are not good listeners!


  1. I've heard of "dumb asses" before, but never "numb asses". :) And you are self proclaimed variant of the latter... but not the former.

    The last safety training I attended the instructor told us right at the beginning that he would give breaks every hour; and thankfully he was true to his word. I found that an hour was about all I could take and still manage any concentration.