‘I am trained to save a life:’ Tri-County Juniors Stress the Importance of Hands-Only CPR
FRANKLIN, Mass. -- Three juniors in the Medical Careers program at Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School are on a mission to train as many people as possible in performing Hands-only CPR.
According to the American Heart Association, many people who experience cardiac arrest die because they do not receive immediate CPR from someone at the scene. Students in the Medical Careers Program hope to better prepare the public to jump into action by offering training in Hands-only CPR, which is CPR without mouth-to-mouth breaths. The American Heart Association recommends those trained in Hands-only CPR call 911 if they witness a teen or adult suddenly collapse. They then recommend pushing hard and fast in the center of the chest to the beat of the disco song, “Stayin’ Alive.”
Brianna Chamberlain and Morgan Gould, both of North Attleborough, and Aimee Evers, of Franklin, began offering Hands-only CPR training to other Tri-County students on January 9. The three students use a “CPR in Schools Training Kit” that includes 10 inflatable manikins, 10 kneel mats, and a practice-while-training DVD. During their training sessions, the students play the training DVD for their peers while they practice compressions on the inflatable manikins. The Medical Careers students, who are CPR certified, also answer questions during the training. Upon completion of the training, the participants are given a certificate recognizing that they completed the training. While this is not a CPR certification course, students will acquire the ability to perform potentially lifesaving compressions.
The group plans to dedicate each Friday while in their career program to training their peers from other shops. They then plan to extend their training to Tri-County faculty members and to local clinical sites. During the month of February, which is "Heart Health Month," students in the Medical Careers program will host a Health Fair to share information with the Tri-County Community on how to stay "heart healthy." One table at the fair will be dedicated to highlighting the importance of compressions and early CPR after cardiac arrest.
“Sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death in America,” said Ann Marie Guanci, an instructor in the Medical Careers Program at Tri-County. “Hands-only CPR teaches the most important component of CPR: the compressions, in a quick way that is easy to learn and remember. Done effectively, CPR started immediately after cardiac arrest can double or triple a person's chance of survival.”
The students are also spearheading a social media campaign to inspire students at other high schools to receive training. The group hopes those who are trained will change their Facebook profile picture to raise awareness about the importance of Hands-only CPR. A photo reading “I am trained to save a life” is available on the school’s Facebook page.
Chamberlain, Evers and Gould plan to present their work on Hands-only CPR at an upcoming SkillsUSA competition. SkillsUSA provides educational programs, events, and competitions to support career and technical education in classrooms across the country.