Following our very intensive and interesting week learning about safety, we moved on to the medical aspect of our training. As flight attendants, we have to be prepared to deal with any kind of medical situation on board.
Consequently, we spent three days on a steep learning curve with our instructors, who demonstrated their considerable acting ability by presenting various mock scenes of medical cases during a flight. As they pretended to be in medical distress, we had to figure out what was happening and react appropriately. We were trained to observe small details in order to be able to take immediate action. Three truly compelling days were spent dealing with simple cases, such as a passenger fainting, to more serious matters as having to administer CPR and assist with a birth on board. We also had to demonstrate our skills at performing a heart massage. The topic of medication was also covered. We learned which drugs a flight attendant is permitted to distribute to passengers and which ones are to be used during an emergency, together with which potential side effects to be aware of.
Once again our instructors were peppered with questions. To our collective relief, we were happy to hear that statistics show that inflight medical situations are quite rare. The course also gave us the opportunity to learn about travel-related conditions such as jet lag, which is something most people have experienced – the unpleasantness of lying wide awake in bed at night and feeling dead tired during the day. Since we flight attendants are predestined to experience jet lag due to the nature of our work, we have to know how to deal with it most effectively. This is easier said than done since our inner clock is out of sync with the local time, causing our senses to act oddly. Depending on the number of time zones involved, this condition can persist for several days. But because we rookie flight attendants are first assigned to short-haul flights, we are able to avoid the effects of jet lag for now. But we too have to get used to the irregular hours.
On that note, we received our work schedule last week, heightening the sense of anticipation even further. My first flight will be to Moscow and my first night stop will be in Athens. ;-)!!!