Monday was the most fun I’ve had in a classroom in a long time. Don’t get me wrong—a lot of the things I do for this program are fun, but yesterday was exceptional.
Our program coordinator gave us the opportunity to attend a Casualty Simulation Course that was offered through the local fire department. Casualty Simulation is used during emergency exercises in order to make the situation more realistic for first responders. I didn’t really know what to expect out of the day, but when we arrived we were given a tool box full of what was essentially stage make-up, and spent the day simulating various maladies—cuts, burns, illness, shock…it was basically awesome.
Here’s some of my handiwork:
It was incredibly satisfying to spend the day doing something. As practical as this course is, there is still a fair share of sitting in a classroom learning theory. Either that or sitting in a classroom discussing our group projects. Being in a classroom making your friend look like he has a sucking chest wound wins every time.
Last night my fellow RA and I also organized a Therapy Dogs program for our residents. I was so happy with how successful it was. We had 8 dogs from the community come in and the residents all had a chance to come and sit with the dogs, to pet them and play with them.
It’s a scientific fact that simply petting a dog can lower your blood pressure, and Therapy Dogs are most commonly used in nursing homes and hospitals because they help relieve stress and make people happy. With midterms coming up, all of us are trying to come up with ways to keep the residents from getting overly stressed.
And lets be honest…we both wanted to play with puppies as a part of our job. In fact, the people who stayed from the start to the end of the program were all staff members.
We had paper outside of the room so that people could write down how the dogs made them feel. A lot of people said it made them miss their own dogs, but mostly it made everyone really happy. I definitely had a smile on my face the entire time.
One of the best things about this program was getting to speak to the people who volunteer their time to bring their dogs around. Many of them said it was good for their dogs to get to spend time with not only a large group, but with young people as well.
With this job, sometimes it can be hard to feel like you’re making any difference at all. On Monday night, I felt like I’d done a good thing by bringing those dogs in.