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  • Writer's pictureKatey Read

You hope you'll NEVER have to use it...

Another year already?

Resusci Anne is lying on the staffroom floor. Sandwiches, and crisps from the trainer in the corner, while we all wait in trepidation for our name to be called upon for the dreaded role-play scenario…

Not to mention training is always in my lunch hour or day off! What a pain.

These were my exact thoughts. Until very recently.

I have been working for The Dental VA for over a year, so it’s been a while since I had face-to-face contact with patients as a Dental Nurse.

I always imagined if I were to find myself dealing with a medical emergency it would be in clinic, not interrupting my daily working life.

I received a phone call from my Nan (an ex-Healthcare Assistant) at 10:20 am stating my Grandad was “having a funny turn”, I rushed round to their house, merely a street away and saw him lying on their bed, sweating profusely, breathless, grey pallor, swearing profanities (unusual for him), complaining of chest tightness and a “strange feeling” up and down his left arm.

My mind shouting at me...Heart attack.

I knew this instantly and instructed Nan to get aspirin. 999 had been called and we were now waiting for an ambulance.

Following all the commotion he was later airlifted to Exeter Hospital and had a stent fitted.

On my drive home from the hospital, I couldn’t help but feel immensely thankful that I had been trained in medical emergencies each year for the last 18 years I had worked in Dentistry.

My knowledge meant I could immediately identify what was happening to my Grandad, administer the proper treatment, and bring confidence in knowing that I could provide CPR when and if necessary. Thankfully I didn't need to this time, but things could have been very different.

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