CDP alum lauds training, says it helped him deal with traumatic experiences.

A respiratory therapist says the training he received in the CDP’s Emergency Medical Operations (EMO) course helped him deal emotionally with the loss of two children he was treating at Mercy Hospital in Mount Shasta, CA.

Brian Shirley said he had never lost a child in his 29 years as a respiratory therapist; he had always been able to resuscitate a patient, no matter the situation.  

That changed within a few months of his training here.  First, a nine-month-old succumbed.  Six weeks later, a 13-month-old died.

Shirley said he was better prepared to deal with the deaths because his EMO course instructors repeatedly placed him in situations with infants who could not be saved.  That forced him to accept deaths and to refocus his efforts on patients he can save.

“The training I received (at the CDP) helped me deal with the emotional challenge (of having a patient who dies),” he explained.

“I was better prepared for that hardship since I had practiced it here,” he added.

Shirley, who was at the CDP attending his second resident course – the Hospital Emergency Response Training or HERT course – was also complimentary of the Center’s training in general, noting that when experienced professionals come to the CDP “it speaks highly of the quality of instruction here.”

In addition, he said he encourages others to train at the CDP.  That includes his son, Patrick, a fellow respiratory therapist.

Ironically, this week the younger Shirley is attending EMO.