Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Guarding the World: Lifeguard Class Days 2 & 3

photo credit
This post continues my "Guarding the World" saga of becoming Disney & Ellis Certified in order to begin my role as a lifeguard at Disney's Contemporary Resort and Bay Lay Tower. "There be rough waters ahead!"

If you missed it be sure to read about my Welcome to Recreation Class and my first day of the Lifeguard class.

Day 2

The aftermath of baby CPR practice
On my second day of lifeguard training, we started the day doing CPR scenarios for about an hour. Since Leah and I had gone out to the Magic Kingdom that night, I was exhausted and was really glad to be doing something instead of just listening to instructions for the morning. I was also excited by how much I retained from the day before. After CPR and infant CPR we went to the pool to learn some passive, submerged, and spinal rescues. (Again I was tired) I left my lunch and contacts at home, so I had to complete this portion of class somewhat "seeing impaired." But I was able to do the whole back boarding situation with no trouble, so that is very comforting in case my contacts should pop out mid-rescue.

After the water portion it was lunch time and when we came back, there was more baby CPR to learn as well as a crash course in First Aid. Then we were sent home for the day.
Don't worry! We're lifeguards!
Leah and I were getting pretty nervous about test outs the next day, so we practiced CPR situations on our significant others (a red panda and Duffy!). We also filled out the study guides we received in class and then went over all of our answers again. We didn't do extensive review just because we were so tired, and sleep was going to be more important than more studying.

Day 3/Test Out Day

Disney Lifeguard Logo. Cute, right?
Test out day! You could feel the anxiety and nerves in the room on our final day of training. There were only 12 people in my class, and not one of us was super confident about the day. We began by going over the First Aid that we didn't cover the day before. Then our instructor went through our study guide, question by question. This was helpful, but I definitely think doing the study guide yourself is a better studying technique. After he finished the review and answered any of our questions, it was time to begin.

We did the Lifeguard Written Test and the CPR Test at the same time. Our instructors asked for volunteers and after a slight hesitation, my roommate's hand and mine shot up into the air. Completely unplanned, but we ended up doing our test outs side by side with the same instructor. Everyone was seated on one side of the room with their tests, while on the other end of the room 4 people were doing their CPR test outs at once. It was really difficult to focus on your individual situation and not get distracted by what everyone else was doing. I'm not sure if they just do this for efficiency or to test your skills under more pressure.

I successfully passed my CPR test out! What a relief. I did forget to call 911 in one scenario, which made me really confused because I knew I'd missed a step and that in turn made me forget other things. But in the middle of my scenario, I realized it and then corrected it. They make it clear that if you forget to do something, but you correct it during, they pretend you never missed it, so thankfully I fixed that!

The written test was a breeze after the CPR. It did take me a while just because I was trying to tune out CPR situations. I had to cover one ear, look at the other wall, and read each question quietly to myself. It worked! I ended up getting a perfect score on the test!

After CPR and written tests were complete, we were free for lunch. My roommate and I got Panera and brought it back to the classroom. We did not want to chance going this far and then failing the class for something dumb, like being late. Once everyone else returned and got into their swimsuits, we began the Team Test Outs, the test for which I was really, truly scared out of my wits.

My team was Team 1 so we went first. And we failed out situation. So did Team 2. Team 3 actually passed their situation the first time. Their situation was arguably easier than ours, but we both had a chance to redeem ourselves, and we both passed!

Our situations were kind of a blur, but let me see if I can rehash the first one at least. We had 4 guards, so we each scanned in and covered one part of the pool. A guest in distress appeared in the deep end. One of us had to jump in and rescue her. She was active drowning, and I think required an extra lifeguard to jump in. Meanwhile on my side of the pool, I was continuing to scan but I was really distracted by the deep end, since I figured the victim would go passive.  

Wrong!---don't make this mistake. I ended up getting VATed. It was in shared water with another guard, so I'm trying not to feel too ashamed about missing it, but still it took me more than 10 seconds, which is unacceptable. I whistle and go in and retrieve the VAT, which turns into a passive victim. So I began the second part of our scenario by checking for consciousness and then calling for help. We got him out and began rescue breathing then CPR, when he had no pulse. There were many mistakes besides mine throughout the bunch, like incorrect hand placement for CPR, so we failed and had to retake.

On our retake we saved our victims like champions, so we passed with flying colors!

But really test out day was an amazingly stressful time. I was able to keep good spirits and confidence throughout most of the morning. Even during our first lifeguard test, but failing the first time killed my spirits. Literally killed them. But going through the class made me all the more excited to have passed because I can see how some people do not!

I am so proud that I passed!! And so did my roommate!

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