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Sensitivity training: Please Read

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Something happened last night that I can't let go of, so let's see if I can let it go here?

While watching a video in class last night, a student in my class lost consciousness. It was scary. Here's my take on it. I was sitting in the back (I am the teacher of said class and we are talking college level here) watching and making sure no phones were out. A student a few feet in front of me raised her hand slowly (I am not sure she knew I was behind her?). I thought, that's weird, does she have a question, in the dark, during the middle of the video? She put her hand down casually and then 30 seconds later she made a weird breathing sound and slumped back in her chair. I went to immediately check on her, had one of the students turn the light on, her eyes were open but yet she wasn't 'there'. Went to call campus security and she regained consciousness. She was out of it for about 30 seconds.

Kind of scary (although I am not new at this, it has happened before). She was okay, she tells me and the Fire Department that she has fainting spells often. She waves off the FD, doesn't want to be checked because being checked may make her faint again. She regains her color (wasn't looking too good for a while) and tells everyone she is okay to drive home.

The mom in me wants to be sure she's okay. She's driving with a friend, but I still follow them home to be sure.

Here's the part that is bugging me. When we left for the night, the campus security officer (a friend and colleague of mine) says, "That girl is an idiot". She was referring to waving off the FD to check her, and her wanting to drive herself home. I was shocked at this statement! Where's the sensitivity? She knows nothing about this girl. I sat with my student during the rest of the night, was there when the FD showed up, I was able to see her lose consciousnesses, regain it, and to really 'see' her this whole time. Was I concerned, YOU BET! Was I comfortable with her waving off the FD, NO WAY. But it is her decision, she knows herself better than we do. We do not know other people's reasons for what they do? All we can do is show care and concern, be there if/when they need us and hope for the best. Leave judgement out of it! For this statement to come from a person who should show the utmost concern for our students blows my mind! I just can't understand it, but I guess it's not my place to understand it.

My student emailed me late last night apologizing. I told her there is no reason to apologize! She is doing good today :) I am glad I was there to help her! I am glad she is doing good. So friends, please keep those sensitivity hats close! When in doubt, put it on! We need more compassion!

Thanks for letting me vent!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    You are a compassionate person and acted responsibly.
    I have learned not to expect that in everyone else.
    1852 days ago
    I totally agree with you about the compassion. I don't even have a problem with someone disagreeing with the actions someone else takes (such as the security guard with the girl). What I wish is that people were more willing to reach out and help rather than condemn. If the security guard did feel as strongly about it as possible suggested by another comment, then do something - drive the girl home, follow her as you did, something other than giviing an opinion that demeans someone else.
    1857 days ago
    My brain, of course, goes to "what was the video you were watching?!" I've had this happen too, and I agree totally with you. I think that people don't often think before they speak, or emotions make them forget themselves. I understand though - I too, have said things and then realized I could have done better.

    I'm so sorry you went through this whole thing - from the hand raising to the fainting to the other person's response - it sounds like a really challenging night. I would have needed to vent, too!

    It sounds like you did everything beautifully, and I'm glad your student is doing better today!
    1857 days ago
    Wow, yes people are desensitized to others more and more in life. I don't get it either but they do need to start training people on being sensitive to others I think. I'm happy you vented and hope you feel better about it!
    1857 days ago
    Good vent. I hope everything goes ok for the girl.
    1857 days ago
    Yes, we need more compassion! I couldn't agree with you more! I hear people judging other people around me every day without even knowing them and it's so frustrating! How can someone so easily and light-heartedly call a young girl an idiot? Especially after such an incident and doing the job that he does? There is a big difference between commenting on someone's actions and on actually criticizing their ability to make the right decision.
    Thank you for writing this blog and for venting here. It feels good to know that there are people out there who are compassionate and thoughtful enough to worry and spare criticism on people who don't need it. As for the girl, I believe she knows what's wrong and that's why she probably didn't want to be checked for fear of the same thing happening again. I really wish it's nothing serious and she's ok.
    1857 days ago
    That DOES sound scary. Maybe the girl has low blood pressure. I tend to have this and will feel faint if I get up too quickly from sitting down a long time. Once, about 12 years ago, I also blacked out. This happened when I got off the couch quickly, walked down the hallway, and everything went dark for about 10 seconds. Luckily I didn't injure myself since I lost total control of my body, falling on Mexican tile.

    However, I can understand the perspective of the security office, even if it did come across insensitve. Excactly, she DOESN'T know the extent of the girl's condition. So for all she knows the girl could wind up getting into a car accident, injuring herself or others, if she blacked out again that night while driving. I would imagine in her job capacity, you have to hope for the best and prepare for the worst...

    Glad everything worked out OK that night and that there aren't any major health issues with your student emoticon
    1857 days ago

    Comment edited on: 3/20/2013 12:17:02 PM
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