Let’s move away from iPads, smartphones and violent video games and into the real world. To all the sailors out there, you know what I’m talking about. In our world inserting a needle into your classmate is part of the basics in the maritime college. Should an accident occur miles away from shore you must step up and be the one to help a fellow seafarer in need, even if it involves asyringe.
A few years ago it was once again time for me to refresh my first aid course, and no, we do not practice on manikins but on another classmate. The task was simple: practice injection on each other! Imagine 25 young men with syringes in their hands starring each other in the eyes while the instructions from the teacher sounded mostly as an injection can be compared to throwing a dart. Can you feel the tension rising? It was time to start and my partner was now shaking more than jelly on a plate. The result you ask? Instead of gently inserting the needle into my thigh he jammed the thing through the muscle and right into the bone. If that wasn't bad enough trying to get the needle out was no walk in the park. No needles can stand a face off with a bone and the tip was bent. While the tears were welling up and sweat dripping from my forehead we got the needle out. So, did I learn anything? I'm no longer afraid of being injected by a doctor - because I've been injected by a navigator!
By Thomas Rindel, former Deck Officer