First Aid-CPR Training in Schools Research Paper Starter

First Aid-CPR Training in Schools

While often associated with medical personnel and health care professionals, First Aid/CPR training is becoming more commonplace in non-medical settings, including the community, workplace, and schools. Within schools, the importance of First Aid and CPR knowledge can be examined both from the perspective of teachers and administration and from the perspective of students. Interestingly, while the approach to teacher First Aid/CPR certification has been driven by school and district regulations, student participation in First Aid/CPR programs has been largely an initiative of community health groups, such as the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association, acting in partnership with local schools and teachers. Even Congress has taken notice of the growing importance of First Aid/CPR knowledge among America's students.

Keywords American Heart Association; American Red Cross; Automated External Defibrillator (AED); Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR); First Aid; Physical Education; School Health Policies and Programs Study (SHIPPS)

Overview

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, or CPR, is defined as a method of artificial respiration utilizing a combination of mouth-to-mouth breathing and chest compressions. A life-saving technique, CPR is used to restore blood circulation and prevent brain damage in breathing-injured or cardiac arrest victims. First Aid is the immediate emergency care given to a victim whose injuries may range from minor to severe, and the purpose of first aid is to treat immediate symptoms to minimize injury and long-term effects.

While often associated with medical personnel and health care professionals, First Aid/CPR training is becoming more commonplace in non-medical settings, including the community, workplace, and schools. Within schools, the importance of First Aid and CPR knowledge can be examined both from the perspective of teachers and administration and from the perspective of students. Interestingly, while the approach to teacher First Aid/CPR certification has been driven by school and district regulations, student participation in First Aid/CPR programs has been largely an initiative of community health groups, such as the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association, acting in partnership with local schools and teachers. Even Congress has taken notice of the growing importance of First Aid/CPR knowledge among America's students.

Applications

First Aid/CPR among Education Providers

School Health Policies

In 1994, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) conducted its first School Health Policies and Programs Study (SHIPPS). This study was an examination of school activities and policies in the areas of health education, physical education, health services, food service, and certain other school health policies. Six years later, CDC followed with a second SHIPPS, this one more comprehensive than the first and covering eight specific areas of school health:

• Health Education,

• Physical Education,

• Health Services,

• Mental Health and Social Services,

• Food Service

• School Policy and Environment,

• Faculty/Staff Health Promotion,

• Facility and Community Involvement (Burgeson, Wechsler, Brener, Young, & Spain, 2003).

Data was collected from the classroom, school, and district levels, and the study included both public and private school districts and elementary, middle, and high schools. Moreover, the survey drew geographically from all fifty states and Washington, D.C.

On the state and district levels, the SHIPPS survey found that more than half of the states participating in the survey provided either funding or other development resources to train physical education staff in first aid. On the school level, the data was similar, with greater than half of the number of physical education coordinators receiving some sort of training in first aid administration. Similarly, classroom-level data indicated that at least one half of physical education teachers received training in first aid and injury prevention.

Reporting on specific job descriptions within the area of physical education, the study provided additional data on First Aid/CPR certification. Among interscholastic sports coaches on the state level, for example, 40% of states require that coaches be officially certified in first aid, and an equal percent require CPR certification. On the district level, the percentages were slightly higher, with 44.4% of districts requiring first aid certification among coaches and 41.3% requiring CPR certification. Finally, on the school level, percentages were higher still, with 51.3% of schools requiring first aid certification of their head coaches and 45.6% requiring CPR certification (Burgeson, Wechsler, Brener, Young, & Spain, 2003).

Recommendations for School Athletic Personnel

In early 2007, a National Athletic Trainers' Association-sponsored task force issued new recommendations regarding emergency preparedness among school athletic personnel. Specifically, the task force recommended the following six action steps designed to address school response to instances of sudden cardiac emergencies that occur on the athletic field:

• "Schools or institutions sponsoring athletic events must have a structured emergency action plan

• "The emergency action plan should be developed through discussions with local emergency medical service (EMS) Personnel, school safety officials, onsite first responders, and school administrators.

• "The emergency action plan must be specific to the sporting venue and include emergency communication, personnel, equipment, and transportation to appropriate emergency facilities.

• "The emergency action plan should be practiced annually.

• "First responders should be trained and certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and defibrillation.

• "Access to early defibrillation is essential, with a target time of less than 3 to 5 minutes from the time of collapse" (O'Riordan, 2007).

Dr. Jonathan Drezner of the University of Washington in Seattle described the importance of this increased preparation:

Our athletic trainers are very often the first responder, the first-line health professional caring for our athletes, but they are not always around because many high schools might have only one trainer. There is no way they can cover all the sports, or be at all the practices….The real people that we need to train to recognize cardiac arrest are the people that are there everyday: our coaches, our teammates, or the officials. They need to be able to recognize cardiac arrest and initiate steps that have been predetermined in the emergency action plan (cited in O'Riordan, 2007)

With good reason, the purpose for First Aid/CPR training and certification among school physical education coordinators, teachers, and coaches has been to ensure their ability to respond to incidents of injury or emergency among the children in their care. Equal attention and emphasis, however, has traditionally not been given to preparing students to respond in emergency situations both inside and outside the classroom. This fact is changing, though, as a result of interest and initiative among teachers, community groups, and policy makers.

First Aid/CPR

In 2006, a twelve-year-old boy was with his parents and eight-year-old brother in the food court at a shopping center in Oregon when the younger boy began to choke on a chicken bone. The quick-thinking older brother knew exactly what to do. Without hesitation, he went to his brother and performed the Heimlich maneuver - a series of abdominal thrusts...

(The entire section is 3482 words.)