The first day of adult First Aid & CPR class

Written 5-19-15

We just started the adult first aid and CPR class. Everyone seems pretty excited and engaged, which is encouraging. I was a little nervous going into it, but I think it went alright.

At the beginning of class Sarah spoke the survey to the participants and they wrote their answers. I immediately saw that that wasn’t the best way to do things because some people were talking amongst themselves to answer questions, they asked for clarifications that I couldn’t write down and note for that person, and it was translated more loosely than I wanted and I think some questions were asked incorrectly. But we completed a survey. At least I tried to do my best, given the circumstances.

Some interesting common misconceptions came up during class:

  • swelling can be stopped by pressing on the bump with a coin
  • if you get a knot on your head you have to cut it open to drain the blood out
  • if something that needs stitches isn’t stitched in an hour you can’t sew it so don’t even bother going to the doctor
  • putting a cool rag on someone with a fever is too drastic and can be harmful so they use hot or warm rags. They believe cold rags will cause pneumonia and heart attacks.
  • they use the inner membrane of an egg as a bandage (Sarah said this works, but takes a long time to do correctly)

Some of these thoughts were easily explained away and the participants accepted what Sarah and I said as truth and moved on. However, when discussing the cold vs. hot rag topic, things got heated. Everyone began talking over each other and saying all the doctors told them it’d be detrimental and there was no way we were correct. Then one woman raised her voice: “How do we know it’s [cold rags] bad? Have any of us tried their way?” After that the talking simmered, they all shook their heads that they hadn’t, and they agreed that perhaps, we weren’t crazy and it may work.

I was really proud of the woman who spoke up and defended our ideas. It made me happy to see that someone was embracing the possibility of learning something new and different. Hopefully the attitude continues to spread.


  1. mephillips17 says:

    Hey Hannah! I read all of your posts – I’m really glad I got to learn about what you were up to at the beginning of this summer, and I hope we get a chance to talk about it more later! In the meantime, I was wondering if you know where the common misconceptions you listed came from. Were these the techniques they had been using for generations? Do you think anyone had tried to teach the basics of first aid before?