Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Experience Number 12 - 911 Dispatching/CPR

I know the biggest experience I will have this year is during my new job as a 911 dispatcher (!!!!). The job scares me, but I think it's something I can handle and I am will to try. It's a rewarding job knowing that you're directly affecting someone else's life.  The filtering of applicants process is long. I was involved in it since December, but other people applied for it way back in OCTOBER! I also learned that my two hours with the polygraph examiner was much shorter than everyone else's time spent there. One girl was there for four hours!

 My training began on Friday in a class with 8 other people.  After a short orientation, we began our training with a CPR class.  Four hours (and two sore arms) later we were all certified in CPR! I was pretty excited to come home and say I was already certified in something :)

This week we are doing a telecommunication class and will be tested at the end of the week (next week is EMS training and after that is fire training).  I'm super thankful for my supportive friends who are there for me, especially my husband who believes in abilities (and who kindly surprised me yesterday with a rose, chocolate, and wine -- my favorites).

In my two short days of training, I've learned a few interesting facts about 911:
1. Most people are not hysterical when they call.
2. Children tend to be more calm than adults over the phone.
3. When someone takes your 911 call, help is being dispatched as soon as your location is known (not when you hang up the phone).
4. Theres a set script for almost all situations that you are required to follow.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Experience Number 11 - Shaping Up

Last month I was given to opportunity to choose a magazine that I would like a subscription to... absolutely free.  Unlike last year me who would have chosen Marie Claire or Glamour, I chose Shape. My friends would never use the words athletic to describe me, but I chose this magazine to read something different. I figured seeing fit (not skinny) bodies would motivate me to move a bit more or at least give me little tips and tricks to make exercise a bit more enjoyable.

The first issue arrived two days ago.  An article titled "Show Fear the Door" really reminded me of my resolution.  I wanted to share it's advice here:

      Every woman who achieves great things -- whether it's starting a company or moving to a foreign country
     has had to step outside her comfort zone to do it. 'If you keep doing what you've always done, you'll  
     never discover what you're capable of.' (Gary Chartrand)

     Ways to change your mindset:
     1. Embrace the Unknown
     2. Believe in You (even little things are accomplishments)
     3.  Face Failure Head-On (and learn from your mistakes)

I am trying hard to do the above. We shall see where it leads me!

The above quote comes from Shape's February 2011 Issue Volume 30 Number 6 (Gotta give credit where credit is due!)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Experience Number 10 - Let's get physical... PHYSICAL!

Okay, so this is another experience that I did not CHOOSE, but its still a new experience nonetheless. I had my first physical.  I never was required to have one since I never played team sports in school, so I was a bit scared about this (I think I have a fear of doctors). I did a little online research to see what the physical would consist of to calm my fears a bit.  It also included a drug test (new experience), all of which was required as part of my preemployment process for the job I am supposed to be starting this Friday (yay!).

For the drug test I had to pee in a cup.  I couldn't pee enough on the first try so I had to go back out to the waiting room until my bladder was full (took about 5 cups of water). I asked if they could do a blood test instead since I hate peeing on demand, but they only did pee tests. So off to the bathroom I went for a second time, little cup in hand.  Then I had to pee for the rest of the morning from all the water I had drunk!

The physical was a bit different. Started with taking the vitals, drawing blood, checking ears, eyes, etc.  I had to take a vision test and learned that my vision isn't as great as I had thought! I probably need to see an eye doctor soon.  Next was the hearing test. I had to go into a small room with headphones and use a buzzer-like button to signal when I heard different frequencies.  The doctor came in later and made me move from side to side and touch my toes. I felt like I was in gym class all over again. :)  As I was about to learn, they called me back in to redo the hearing test with another machine since operators need to hear lower frequencies in case callers whisper or talk really low.

Three days later, I am suffering the consequences of the physical: my arm is REALLY bruised. I have about three bruises (look like fingers). I'm not sure why I'm bruising since the nurse only stuck me once.  I hope they go away really soon because they make my white skin look dirty.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Experience 9 - Using my Spanish in a Professional Setting

I've studied Spanish since I was a little girl living in Arizona.  My parents always used certain words around the house that they knew just to spice up all of our vocabularies. I continued my studies of the language through college and was able to use it professionally last Friday and yesterday! Friday I was called in to a different tax office to do some translation. I haven't spoken Spanish in a while, even though my husband is a native speaker, since I am trying to teach my hubs to understand and learn English better. Let's just say it didn't go as smoothly as I had hoped! I was able to express everything and understand everything, but the client was frustrated because I didn't understand one of his questions (I understood the words, but the question did not make sense to me).  Lesson learned... I need to practice more!

Monday was different. I did a birth certificate translation, something much more official! It surprisingly did not take very long to draw it up. I did it for a family friend who is currently going through the immigration process. Glad to know I'm putting my skills to good use :)

Anyone do anything outside their "normal" routine this past weekend? Any goals for the month of February?