For the past fifteen years, people and organizations contacted me with a request to teach their staff Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). Some of them only heard about CPR or seen it done in the movies and on television. Even more, most have not had a CPR card but are eager to jump into the class and learn life-saving techniques. Nonetheless, the ability to attend the class for some is admiration and an accomplishment that has taken a long time to achieve.
All around the United States, companies and instructors give ordinary people the opportunity to learn CPR. However, there are instructors and people who call themselves instructors teaching for the money and avoiding the proper techniques presented by the American Heart Association (AHA) which is based on research. Those techniques include the proper way of doing chest compressions, ventilations (if permitted by the rescuer), and the necessary written and skills testing. Thus, if people want to attend a CPR class, what can he or she expect?
First, a CPR class has to be posted, or one can find it on the Internet or references from word of mouth. The instructors post their classes on the AHA websites and other sites that are credible and accurate. A suitable classroom is where the class is held. A projector, television and Digital Versatile Disc or Digital Videodisc (DVD) player is used if the television is nonfunctional. Students who apply are usually from a community, healthcare or childcare facility that requires an AHA card to continue their employment. Others are the general public who have a desire to learn the technique.
Once a student inquires about the class and is accepted by the instructor, an agreement of the fee (usually varies per instructor) is approved by the student. The class is scheduled, and at that time, the book is issued or purchased. Additional material is expected to be handed out on the day of the class. The instructor brings teaching material, clean mannequins and cleaning equipment to clean those mannequins after the class is over.
During the class, the roster is taken, and the agenda is explained. The bathroom facilities are explained to the student as well as any location of beverages. A video is inserted into the DVD that explains “Life is Why” from the AHA is the beginning lecture. Once that video is complete, the instructor goes over the equipment and demonstrates how to use them to the students. The videos are doing the majority of the teaching with excellent visual assistance. The student should expect to be in the class until the videos are done, and the skills session explained, tested and completed. Usually, the time it takes to complete the class is four hours for the basic CPR class. It takes a bit longer when first aid is added, questions are asked and answered, and enough instructors are present. However, the AHA has made renewal classes shorter which may take just over an hour to complete. The instructor is responsible for providing the appropriate number of extra instructors, depending on the number of students.
Once the student has demonstrated that he and she know how to perform CPR on an adult, child, and infant, along with recognizing when choking occurs and how to respond to it, they will take a written test of 25 questions. The test is not as hard as some people make it out to be. Everything that you learned that day is on the test. In addition, heart-savor courses are absent of a written test.
Th student will also learn how to recognize the symptoms of a stroke and how important it is to take immediate action to treat it. The time window of the stroke onset is explained, and this is where many students ask questions. The questions are related to their own family, and they want to know what to do should the stroke, or cardiac arrest presents itself.
Taking a CPR class is an exciting step for anyone who wishes to be prepared for something that is expected to happen, regardless of the health and well-being of any person. Also, the AED is taught in the class, and it has proven to be invaluable and brought many people back to life. Understand that the AED machine did not save a cardiac arrest person by itself, it was the bystander; that person who took a CPR class, new when to take action and jumped in the middle to give their best effort to save a life.
The class is recommended for all and is waiting for those eager people who will join history by being a part of the survival of a family member or a complete stranger.