Right place, right time has never been more fitting.
Schools have changed graduation requirements several times over the years. They have changed how many math credits, English credits, and electives students need in order to graduate. Some schools have implemented dual enrollment more than in the past, allowing students to get a slight feel for college prior to being tossed into the adult world. Although a handful of students will truly use the curriculum in their future endeavors, there is one skill that should be a mandatory requirement in order to graduate. One that they may never use, but if the situation arises will truly make a difference. Having the ability to perform CPR should be mandatory prior to graduation.
More than 200,000 people per year fall victim to cardiac arrest. This, for those that do not know the term, means their heart stops beating for one of multiple reasons. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, CPR, and an automated external defibrillators, AED, are absolutely necessary in restoring the heart beat. Yes, there are times even perfect compressions and a timely shock from and AED will still not bring that person back; but there are many times it will.
Learning CPR is relatively easy although it sounds like an intimidating task. The ultimate things to remember are:
- 30 compressions and 2 breaths for an adult
- 30 compressions and 2 breaths for a child with 1 rescuer
- 15 compressions and 2 breaths for a child with 2 rescuers
- Turn on the AED (if available) and follow prompts
The skill portion is simply learning how to do compressions and breaths. It’s that simple!
I recently became a CPR instructor because I am passionate about the skill and take pride in teaching people. A CPR certification comes with taking the class and leaning the skill and it is valid for 3 years. But, even if it is never renewed on paper, the skill can be used for a lifetime.
There is not one single downfall to learning CPR. There are hundreds of benefits to so many individuals. So let’s start with high school students. They are sponges soaking up curriculum every day for 13 years, being prepared for the adult world, ready to go out and become stars. Realistically, this is the prime time to teach them the skill that could save a life and instill in them the value that comes with it.
There have recently been a handful of schools that have implemented this requirement. My hope is that in the next 5 years more schools will do this. Implementing a change begins with educating the ones who will propose the change. Let’s start educating!