High School Students and CPR as a Graduation Requirement -

High School Students and CPR as a Graduation Requirement

Research and guidelines such as the ECC (Emergency Cardiovascular Care) has shown that CPR works.  More lives are saved every year by recognizing signs and symptoms of cardiac emergencies and with the 2014-2015 school year has come to an end and the Arkansas House Bill 2224 (ftp://www.arkleg.state.ar.us/Bills/2013/Public/HB2224.pdf) that requires all public high school seniors to have hands on CPR experience as a requirement to graduate has completed its first cycle.  This graduating class of May 2015 was the first class required by the State of Arkansas to have such training and I was lucky enough to get to work with three schools training over 300 high school students.

Upon learning about this Bill, I immediately set out emailing and contacting 500+ school districts in the state of Arkansas offering my services to come in and train the students in CPR.  I was given the honor of working with three school districts and hope to increase that number in the upcoming years.

As the bill is written, the students did not have to be certified but they had to physically put their hands on a manikin and actually perform CPR.  I was able to structure one of the courses I teach to meet the needs of the state of Arkansas as well as give the students three hours of hands on training.  During this abbreviated CPR class, I was able to instruct students on signs and symptoms of cardiac emergencies, what to do if we come upon someone who may or may not be unconscious, how to roll them over and assess the victim, calling 911/or local emergency number, the positioning of hands and beginning CPR.

With the well know American Heart Association commercials advertising hands only CPR, I took this approach with the students in teaching them the most vital parts of CPR, checking the scene, checking the person, calling for help (911) and immediately go into doing chest compressions.  One of the tools I used was a CPR RsQ Assist.  “A totally new device that help make “hands-only” CPR easier and more effective. The innovative design of the CPR RsQ Assist allows the trained or untrained bystander to deliver high quality chest compressions at the proper pace and depth.” (http://cprrsqassist.com/)   You can see a demonstration of the devise here on how it assists in doing compressions at the appropriate depth and rate.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=14&v=L2U2q5deJOM.

Once watching the high school students using the devise, I realized how much easier it would be for elderly people to assist loved ones in cardiac arrest if they needed to help someone until Emergency Medical Services (EMS) arrived so I have implemented using the devise in elderly classes/workshops that I teach.  I have found that with the auditory prompts made it a little easier to use and people were more apt to help another person in distress.

The device comes with a wall mount that can be placed in a centralized location just as an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) for quick access in the event of a cardiac emergency.  With the cutting edge technology and devices that are available, more people are being required to be trained in CPR as well as those taking initiative in being trained because they do want the skills to help someone who may be in cardiac distress.

Arkansas has changed one other law that is requiring more people be trained in first aid and CPR and that is Arkansas Minimum Licensing for Childcare Providers.  Fifty percent of all staff on site of any licensed child care center/daycare must be CPR and First Aid trained as well as management/director/assistant director.(http://humanservices.arkansas.gov/dccece/licensing_docs/2014%20A1%20CCC%20Clean%20Copy%20Final%20Filing.pdf, page 27-28).