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November 6, 2019: Stepping Outside the Comfort Zone

The comfort zone is a literal space, a cozy place – what I envision – the wood stove is burning, the cabin is a comfortable temperature, the dog sleeps on her bed – the cup of tea before me is the right temperature. All is right with the world, for sure.

The space surrounding the comfort zone is sometimes dark and cold. The teacup is empty – I feel flushed and anxious. I often wish I was back in the comfort zone.

I got to thinking about this tonight, when I was in EMT class. I am in the comfort zone when I’m at home studying. I enjoy learning, taking tests, sitting and making

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even the most tangential of connections. In class, this is a different matter. I am then outside the comfort zone. Tonight was a case in point. First of all, we were to bring our computers and sign up for the National Registry EMT exams. Of course, I ran into computer glitches. Of course, the instructor had to give me a hand.

Then, the instructor decided to double check my ability to take blood pressure. I am having problems with this because of my hearing. No fun, having to be tested on something that I’m not sure about.

Then, half the class was to do glucose readings – this meant being stabbed and stabbing a classmate with a lancet. I walked into the lab late because the two above-mentioned things took so long. I was the odd one out. There was no reassuring partner. Poking someone and being poked was bad enough – to have to find an accomplice just made me all that more anxious.

I left the room and joined the other group who were practicing moving patients. Again, I was the odd one out.

Scenarios were next. I was a patient in the first, and the responder in the second. Being a patient put me back in the comfort zone – being a responder took me out of it. I know how to do a medical assessment, and so I got through it.

Later, in thinking about it, I realized that the teacher, without realizing it herself, pulled me back into the comfort zone when I was doing the medical assessment. The patient, a group member, was suffering from affective schizoid disorder and had diabetes. He was so far out there that another classmate had to give me the information.

Now, I did not become rattled by the patient’s behavior – he kept insisting that he wanted to go to Mars and would not let me touch him. Instead, I said that we would be going to Mars together and that we’d leave after we took care of some preliminary stuff.

My teacher and a few of my classmates were watching this. After, she said that I did a good job – I know that she did not lower her high standards – but she did focus on the positive rather than dwell on the negatives.

I will have a practical exam on December 10th – and the NREMT practical exam on December 14th. I think I’m going to envision the proctor as being my teacher – this way, I will remain in rather than be out of my comfort zone.

Next: 308. 11/7/19: My Sister’s Sister

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