So this is an awkward post, but one I felt I needed to write. I started a draft of it, but left it for a month or so because I wasn’t sure if I should post this. But it’s happened more than once and probably will again, so here’s what happened.
A few months ago I was cleaning up after a class. This may sound like an odd thing, but I count things as I clean them. I’ve had things go missing after a class and it’s an odd habit I’ve picked up. Anyway, I was washing pocket masks and realized some were missing. Which could only mean someone in the class took my classroom supplies home with them. Basically – they stole them.
So maybe stole is a strong word to use, but taking classroom supplies without permission is actually theft. Maybe they felt entitled to take the masks as part of the course charge, maybe in a previous class the instructor gave them masks to keep. I could come up with a bunch of maybes, but the thing is – the masks used in my classes are for classroom use only.
The masks are cleaned after every class. They only last so long and then I toss them and buy more, but they are disinfected between classes. So they are clean. I also use a lot of masks so no one has to share. Because while sharing is caring, in a CPR class I worry about sharing germs. So I have 1 mask for each student to use and we don’t share. I also use training valves in class, not one-way valves that would be used with a real patient. So the mask with training valve isn’t going to provide the same clinical benefit that a mask with one-way valve would. Also the class participant used that valve – which has a filter in it – which is now dirty from them breathing through it. And well, that’s just gross. This is why I use disposable training valves.
If I was going to give each participant a pocket mask to take home, I’d actually give you a new one at the end of class. Not a used one, because again that’s kinda gross.
So if a class participant takes home a training mask it now means I have to buy more. If I have to buy a lot of masks frequently that means I have to raise the price of my classes to cover the costs of all the masks I’m buying. And I really don’t want to raise my course charges. Course charges are mostly based on the cost of my supplies and really only go up when the cost of the supplies increases.
I often have pocket masks available for sale in my classroom. I also sell barrier sheets and first aid kits. I have links on my website for pocket masks anyone can purchase. If you’re in a class and want a mask to take home please ask, I’m happy to sell you one or provide you a link to purchase one online.