Not the time to choke
You clock in for your shift, put on your apron, and greet your first table. Throughout their meal, you wave at their infant, who is babbling and cooing. The restaurant gets busy and you’re running to and from the kitchen. A scream rings out from the young family at your table. You sprint to the table and see the parents leaning over the baby, who is blue and struggling to breathe, but can’t make a sound. “I think she’s choking on a piece of crayon!” The mother shouts. Thankfully, you are CPR-certified and know how to help an infant who is choking. You spring into action, use what you learned in the certification course, and after a few seconds that feel like hours, she coughs up a piece of blue crayon. As she starts breathing, her color returns to normal. Her parents, sobbing, hug her close and thank you over and over. Your manager claps you on the back and asks, “How would you like to be in charge of getting the rest of our employees trained in CPR?”
The right place at the right time
It’s just another day at the office: answering emails, writing reports, staying awake through meetings that could have been emails. Your mind starts to drift and you start thinking about where you will go for lunch. As you’re powering down your computer, you hear someone shout, “Dave! Dave, what’s wrong, man? He’s not breathing. Does anyone know CPR?” Last month, your wife talked you into taking a CPR class, so you run to the corner office and see your boss slumped in his chair, unresponsive to the shouts of your colleagues. “Help me get him to the floor,” you say, taking charge of the situation. “I’ll start CPR, you call 9-1-1!” Stacking your hands on his breastbone, you begin chest compressions. You continue CPR until the paramedics arrive. The paramedics use their defibrillator to shock his heart back into a normal rhythm. He’s unconscious, but breathing now. Thanks to your quick thinking and CPR training, you helped to keep your boss alive until the paramedics could arrive.
Bringing CPR to the community
Nurse. Doctor. Paramedic. Obviously, members of the healthcare professions are required by law to maintain certifications in cardiopulmonary resuscitation, basic life support, and others. But, did you know that many cardiac arrests occur in the community away from healthcare providers? Everyone knows to call 9-1-1 when they find someone unresponsive, but it can be ten, twenty, thirty or more minutes before trained professionals can arrive to help. Each minute, each second, that the unresponsive person’s brain goes without blood flow and oxygen is critical. The sooner blood flow is returned, either by chest compressions or spontaneous circulation, the more likely the person is to survive without brain injury.
Who should have CPR certification?
The short answer is, everyone. Any individual who spends time around other people may, at some point in their life, be put in a position that requires knowledge of CPR. Cardiac arrest can strike at work, at school, sporting events, shopping malls, or even walking down the street. Thanks to the wonders of the internet, you don’t have to be a healthcare professional to be CPR certified. You can learn how to save individuals with cardiac arrest, take the certification test, and receive a temporary certification card, all in an afternoon from your home computer. A permanent card, to be carried in your wallet, will be mailed to you within a few days.
How a CPR course can benefit your career
How to help in emergencies is a highly marketable life skill. Make sure to include your CPR certification in your resume. Regardless of the position to which you are applying, holding a CPR certification shows your future employer that you are self-motivated and value the health and safety of yourself and those around you.
Many teenagers have summer jobs as babysitters and lifeguards. Lifeguards are required to be CPR certified due to the risk of drowning. Babysitters, who are in charge of the care of one or more children, are not necessarily required to know CPR. Since 2000 children die from cardiac arrest each year¹, parents should request that their babysitters and nannies be CPR certified. In this same thread, individuals who babysit can make themselves more marketable by earning a CPR certification.
Cardiac arrests can be caused physical exertion. Personal trainers, coaches, gym attendants, and anyone else present while people are exercising may find themselves in situations where a knowledge of CPR may save a life. A CPR certification can benefit your career by elevating your resume and job application above your peers.
As healthcare and insurance prices continue to rise, efforts to cut the cost of running a business are at the forefront of board meetings and staff meetings across the country. A significant portion of business costs are workplace injuries. Employees who are CPR-certified are more conscious of how incidents occur and thus less likely to engage in risky behavior in the workplace. This translates into lower costs of running a business. Cardiac arrests can occur at any time for a host of reasons. Having a CPR certification shows your potential employers that you are well-rounded and concerned with the well-being of your team.
Reference: Pediatric Sudden Cardiac Arrest (2012). American Academy of Pediatrics, 129. http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/129/4/e1094