As the head coach for my Girls On The Run team at our local elementary school, I am required to have a valid CPR Certification. Although the certification lasts for 2 years, it sure does seem to fly by. Admittedly, I usually view this as an annoyance that I do not have time for. Both of my kids are leaving for college next week and this was the only week I could fit in my class. I had a little bit of a different takeaway from my CPR Certification Class this time.
Takeaways from a CPR Certification Class
I found a CPR Certification class through the Red Cross that I could take on line and then go in for a skills check at the designated time. This seemed like the best way to fit it in. Honestly, I thought, “I have done this class 5 times already over the last 10 years, what could I possibly learn?”
To my surprise, there were a few particulars that I had kind of forgotten. I remembered the basics of giving 30 compressions but had forgotten how many rescue breaths to give. Was it 2, 3 or 5? And did it really matter? It’s 2 rescue breaths and yes it does really matter.
I was shocked to learn that most cardiac emergencies (almost 90%) happen outside of hospital settings (often at home) and that bystanders are usually first on the scene to aid in emergencies way before the trained professionals arrive. Knowing what to do in the first few seconds of an emergency situation really can save someone’s life.
Most CPR Certification classes also provide instruction on how to use an AED. Schools, gyms, and many workplaces now have AED’s on site and they are pretty much self explanatory. Anyone can use them without training. My class also including basic first aid training. As a coach, runner, mother, traveler, gym goer etc, I realized that there are many instances that I could find myself calling on this knowledge.
Final takeaways from my CPR Certification class
I went into my class thinking it was just an inconvenience, but now appreciate that I feel confident to assist in an emergency. CPR is easy to learn and can be taken on line or in person. Find a class through the Red Cross. I hope I never have to use my skills but know that I could.
Are you CPR certified? Have you ever performed it in real life?