Many reading this site instruct others in CPR at varying levels. Whether Community based or professional level. Some may teach Red Cross,National Safety Council, ASHI or AHA. I myself oversee an AHA Training Center, HealthSav LLC based in New York about 25 miles North of NYC in Rockland County. Our TC yearly trains several thousand people, mostly for certification courses but I myself also try to grow Family & Friends and Hands Only Training.
What the training community needs to focus on is that no matter how good our training can be, the individual being trained can only be trained the day that they attend the course. The retention level of CPR Training is exceedingly low. This is true for nurses, EMT's, Paramedics. Whomever you can name. This is also true for most Instructors as instructors are only required to teach 4 courses in a 2 year period to retain their instructor credentials. Quality control is an issue for both students and instructors.
Human nature has us usually believe that once we have learned something that we know it forever. We need to educate ourselves and our society of "trained" people that this is not the case. Particularly in CPR training.
The elements of a growing concept long know as Pit Crew CPR has its origins in the world of auto racing. Think of how a Pit Crew in Auto racing works. They work in synchronicity as a team. There is leadership, communication and understanding of each others roles. They work fast and efficiently. The question that should be asked is "why are they good at what they do?"
The simple answer................. THEY PRACTICE!!!!!
The weakness in CPR training and education is the lack of practice or review of the material once a course is concluded. The erosion of whatever skills learned in that class happens rather quickly without practice or review.
We as a community looking to progress the use of CPR and quality of CPR should not tolerate this. We as a community can change this.
When the need for CPR arises there is no time to think of "what should I do?" There is only time to react with what should be done.
We need to encourage every individual who we train, whether Hands Only CPR or BLS or ACLS, that their skills WILL NOT last without their active participation is reviewing and practicing of the skills. The victim in SCA does not have time for a layperson, nurse, paramedic or whomever to think of "how hard should I push?" or "how fast should I push?" or "should I start CPR?"
These elements should be second nature to someone starting CPR and that includes, in my humble opinion, anyone who owns a pair of hands.
We, as a concerned community over increasing CPR awareness and CPR quality need to focus on how WE communicate the issues of understanding CPR and the readiness that all capable people (those that have a pair of hands) should have for those times of emergencies where seconds matter, not minutes.
Encourage people to review. The certification that is good for two years only means that the piece of paper is. Not the person who owns that paper. Encourage those you train to show others how to do compressions and that if they witness a teen or adult collapse to just make sure 911 is immediately called and that they immediately start chest compressions. Don't stop until the person moves, someone arrives to take over or you just physically can no longer continue.
Encourage people to get a professional training session but we should all be aware that not everyone will. The may be intimidated by it, they may not find the time, they may be put off by costs associated to it. Nonetheless we can encourage every single person (again...those that owns a pair of hands) in the process of Hands Only CPR and for them to then explain it to others.
We need to grow the numbers of people who can step in and begin chest compressions immediately. We can assure more lives being saved by sharing the information as broadly as possible. In any way possible.
Get out there and shout it out. Show others. And have them understand that they also can shout it out and share this skill with others and why it is important for them to do so.
Owner of HealthSav LLC