Have you ever done CPR before? On a real person? One of the most common questions that I get in my CPR classes is, “What is CPR really like?”
Unfortunately, many CPR instructors cannot tell you the answer because the number of people who have actually performed CPR is quite small. So what are the differences?
CPR in a classroom is a very sterile, calm environment. In reality, most everyone will be panicking, yelling, and running in circles.
Everything in the CPR class is very neat and clean. When performing CPR in class a major sense is left out: smell. There is a very good chance that the person may have vomited or will not smell good at all. Also, choking victims may have food on their face or in their teeth.
When performing chest compressions in class, the manikins are made of foam or hard plastic. In reality, there is a good chance that when you start your compressions you will break the patients ribs. You will both hear and feel the ribs break. This is OK. It is important to remember that everything that you are doing is to help the person. Do not let this scare you or stop you from continuing CPR.
“Real Life” CPR is very chaotic and can be frightening if you don’t know what to expect. Remember your training or take a renewal class. Make sure that you learn from someone who has actually done CPR in real life. That way, all your questions can be answered.