High School Students, Consider CPR Training!

High School Students, Consider CPR Training!

Lillian Tullio

Every high school Junior experiences an introduction to CPR. This training is a basic scenario to expose students to this life saving technique so they are aware of how it works. There is no opportunity for certification within the high school, but you can get certified through the American Heart Association. The purpose of the school introduction is so you know what CPR is. CPR training through the American Heart Association is a very different matter than the information class received in high school. 

CPR or Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation is a procedure that a person can perform on another to decrease the chance of death during a cardiac event. It works by keeping the blood flowing while you are waiting for a trained medical unit to arrive and take over. The American Heart Association focuses on 6 links in the chain of survival. First, you have to be aware someone is in cardiac arrest and call 911. Second, begin CPR chest compressions while waiting for emergency services to arrive. Third, if an AED is available follow the steps the machine speaks to you. By this point, Emergency Medical Services should be there to take over cardiac care. Next, the victim will receive cardiac care at the hospital. Finally, they will receive post cardiac care. CPR certification for high school students has many benefits.

A CPR certification from the American Heart Association teaches students life saving skills that may be applied to friends, fellow students, family and strangers. Students learn valuable skills in how to responsibly respond to real life emergencies. Learning the steps in how to learn to use an AED with confidence can save lives. Most high school students do not know what cardiac distress looks like. CPR training helps the student identify the symptoms. This is also a valuable skill to take to college because you’re on your own and it is important to know what to do in the absence of trusted adults. Life on a college campus will expose us to a much larger community of students, making it possible to be present during an emergency.

During your CPR training course you will have an adult dummy and an infant dummy on a table before you. You will be guided by an adult and American Heart Association video segments as you practice each step in the process. You can ask the instructor questions and count on them to provide you with personal direction as needed. At the end of the three hour certification course, the instructor distributes a 25 question quiz. The quiz is scored while you wait with the expectation you should not miss more than three questions. Simple mistakes are reviewed by the instructor. Within the following two weeks your CPR certification card is issued by the American Heart Association and you are fully certified! You will need to renew your certification by repeating the course every three years.   

Many people get CPR certified to be prepared in the event of a potential emergency. I have completed CPR certification through the American Heart Association for a position in EMS and my interest in a potential career in the medical field. This certification provides valuable experience through working with patients experiencing cardiac arrest. Most EMS cadets have performed CPR and all are expected to use it on sight or in the ambulance. After my certification, I’m a bit nervous about applying my CPR skills on a real person, but experience will help me grow in my confidence. I would advise all high school students to get CPR certified through the American Heart Association so they are able to respond confidently to an emergency.