For the past three years, the student health advisory council has teamed up with the Red Cross to offer a CPR certification clinic for Whitman students. While the purpose of the clinic has remained the same––to prepare students to use CPR during a medical emergency––the content of the course has changed over the years to reflect new CPR guidelines.
The SHAC-sponsored CPR clinic offered April, 7 will provide students with an opportunity to get up-to-date on current CPR procedures and gain the confidence needed to put those skills into action.
CPR guidelines, such as the compression-to-breathing ratio and sequencing of steps, change over the years to reflect new medical advancements and findings. Claudia Ness, director of the Welty Health Center and adviser of SHAC, has been a registered nurse for over 30 years and stresses the necessity of refreshing one’s CPR knowledge.
“It is important to keep current on the research related changes and to physically practice the steps of CPR to remain proficient,” said Ness in email.
Senior Sofia Infante has been involved with the CPR clinics since 2009. Infante helped the instructors during those clinics and witnessed changes in class content, including a greater emphasis on occasions when compression-only CPR is appropriate.
“It can get pretty messy. You can be doing CPR on, for example, somebody who was intoxicated and vomiting, and you don’t necessarily want to put your mouth to their mouth,” said Infante. Infante said that knowing that mouth-to-mouth breathing should not always be used might ease some fears and also help people perform the procedure safely.
Through her involvement with the clinics, Infante has also noticed an increase in her own confidence levels. She now feels more comfortable with the idea of performing CPR in a real-life emergency.
“I think after being certified only once or twice, I would’ve been scared, but now I’m a lot more comfortable, and if it were to come to an emergency situation, I’d feel comfortable trying to help,” said Infante.
Senior Ryan Smith, president of SHAC, has also undergone CPR training multiple times and trusts that his training has prepared him to respond to emergencies that require CPR.
“If someone did suddenly pass out or stop breathing from choking or whatnot, it’d be pretty scary, but having the training allows you to calm down and know what to do,” he said.
Smith encourages all students who have a desire to help in an emergency to consider signing up for the CPR clinic, even if they have been trained in the past.
“I think that, like anything that you’re uncomfortable with, the more times you [practice CPR], the more comfortable you get.”
SHAC will be holding two clinics on Saturday, April, 7. The first clinic starts at 9 a.m. and the second at 1 p.m. The cost is $5 and students can sign up in Reid Campus Center during lunch.