Following on from my successful completion of the RECOVER Initiative online course I decided the next step would be to complete the practical exam. On initial inspection it appeared that all of the practical exams were over in the USA Then I spotted them being held at EVECCS in Tallin. Well that made a lot more sense and I persuaded Aurora, one of our anaesthetists to join me.
The trip didn’t get off to the best start, I had no clue where Estonia was! Aurora had a better idea luckily and we started planning. Flights with BA were a total nightmare and eventually we decided on Air Baltic, no I hadn’t heard of them either. Plus once we’d completed the transaction we realised hand luggage was just 8Kg! I mean I think Mandela nearly weighs that and my make up is easily 1kg. Best we prayed for sunshine. Hotel was fairly easy and then it was just the case of booking congress tickets. Finally we were all sorted and ready to go!
EVECCS: Have you any liquids?
Upon arriving at Gatwick there was a brief moment when we couldn’t find Air Baltic on the screens and a small moment of panic, where we thought we’d booked with a fake airline! Thankfully that was not at all the case and we had a very pleasant and enjoyable outward journey. Textbook….apart from the deodorant in my bag, my bad, that meant we spent approx 40 mins on the other side of baggage control waiting for my bag to be checked.
It took 40 mins because we had to listen to the whinging of someone who decided that she could take a 200 ml perfume and approx 2 other plastic bags full of liquids through…for some reason the security guy thought it was all good fun and let her fanny about for ages!
Deodorant safely bagged up and we were soon on the plane and on our way. I can honestly say I had no clue what to expect and I was a little worried about being sat next to some huge Russian chap swigging vodka and having to spend the next few days eating dumplings and herrings. Neither of these were true, thankfully. FYI Estonian and Russian are not the same thing.
EVECCS: Where is the dark?
We landed at 1045 pm due to the time difference and saw the most spectacular sunset as we landed. Bizarrely though it was still light, even as we got in the taxi at half 11. Most peculiar. I have to say we were very disappointed with the size of our room which had two teeny single beds, not especially deluxe but very clean. Although the beds meant I slept pretty much spooning my colleague we did both sleep well, maybe it was the spooning.
We awoke to glorious sunshine and quickly realised we hadn’t packed the best choice of clothing, it was 31 degrees! After a rather zig zagged google maps led walk we arrived at the venue for EVECC. Based in an old power station the venue was very unique. Unfinished, exposed pipes and an ‘urban chic’ feel. Registration was über quick and scarily efficient. Now I don’t suffer with my nerves but I’ll be honest I was a tad apprehensive about the exam. The thought of going back having not achieved it made me very sad. I don’t think Aurora and I were the most fun that morning.
EVECCS: Exam time
Then it was exam time, I won’t go into too much detail and that wouldn’t be fair on past candidates but the morning covered BLS which was fine, not unlike being at work before a vet arrives on scene. Then the afternoon was spent on the ALS. The most amazing simulator was used for this, now when I say amazing I mean AMAZING! It breathed, had a pulse, an IVC and you could auscultate it’s chest. As well as this the screen showed a full monitor display, including ECG, ETC02 and BP. Brain blown!
At this point I want to mention how amazing the food at EVECCs was, traditional but modern and yummy. Plus we found a great spot for a cheeky Prosecco- for the nerves obviously.
The afternoon involved a lot of group work followed by a final assessment, which I’m pleased to say I passed! I have to say the whole process was actually very enjoyable and informative. Helped massively by the excellent teachers on the course who were awe inspiring! So Aurora and I are now RECOVER Certified Rescuers, next goal is the RECOVER Instructor training. Super exciting and if anyone would like to make use of Aurora or I then please get in touch, either via NDSR or pop me a message here and we can chat.