Sometimes I wonder why I often undervalue the knowledge I’ve gained in my field. I take too many things for granted. Most recently I’ve been reminded how much I take my mind for granted. I undermine my own achievements and success by assuming what I know must be what everyone else knows. Someone says “oh wow you have a Master’s degree,” and my first response is usually “oh yeah, no big deal. I enjoyed it.” This goes back to another post I made about being proud of what you accomplish, yet, here I am again, dismissing my professional experience. I never pretend to be the “sharpest tool in the shed,” but I need to take more time to remember I’m also not an exact copy of every other tool. I have my own flare, a shiny handle if you will.
I was sitting in my CPR/AED re certification class today (a class I’ve sat through 5 or 6 times in my last 9 years of being certified), and I realized all this knowledge I’ve accumulated is not necessarily “common” knowledge. Here I was with other Duke employees, employees at MY University, who had questions about the basics of CPR administration. CPR techniques that I believe to be “common knowledge.” Granted, the generic principles of CPR I assume are somewhat recognizable even by those people who have never taken a class, but the actual techniques and administration of CPR are NOT common knowledge. As I looked around the room, I realized other employees were asking questions that I had known the answer to since I was 16. I don’t mean this observation in a demeaning way because, honestly, the fact that I already knew the information didn’t make me smarter or better than them. It just meant I had already been trained. I had already worked hard, and I had succeeded in attaining a professional certification.
When I came to this realization, I took a moment to be thankful for my education and for my hard work. I then had this overwhelming desire to help. I paired up with a few of the people who seemed confused and worked with them through our practicals. This skill I have taken for granted was one that they were now working hard for, and I wanted to help. I’m not saying I was the most proficient person there, but I am saying that I am trained, competent and confident.
I’ve sat through 5 or 6 CPR certification courses before, but I left this one with a renewed confidence and gratefulness. Something as simple as a training course was able to remind me that I am not a cookie cutter copy of everyone else. The knowledge I’ve gained through all my schooling and certifications has prepared me to be what I am today: An exercise physiologist. I never want to be considered a braggart or egotistical, but I always want to be perceived as a confident practitioner. I am one, and it’s time I start being proud of that.