Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is a crucial technique that can help revive people experiencing sudden cardiac arrest. Knowing how to perform CPR can be critical in an emergency when a person’s life depends on the fast and efficient administering of the CPR steps.
In this respect, adding CPR training to a high school curriculum allows the teaching of lifesaving skills for students. It also helps increase youth contribution to community safety, empowering youth to become responsible and active citizens within their community.
The impact of CPR knowledge among high school students isn’t limited to gaining lifesaving skills. CPR training in schools teaches students compassion and the importance of helping others.
Currently, CPR training is mandatory for high school graduation in over 40 states, including over a million students annually. The number of US states implementing this requirement continues to increase, with Alaska, Hawaii, and Massachusetts being the most recent states to introduce bills related to CPR training in high schools.
What Makes High Schools the Right CPR Training Setting?
High school students are the perfect target population for CPR training. They are at the age when they need to prepare for the real world, gain crucial life skills, such as CPR, and are strong enough to perform chest compression during CPR.
Regarding the training environment, high schools can provide the right setting for students. All trainees have access to the training space, which is organized according to the program’s needs. Also, school-based interventions can be used during the training to increase cardiac arrest responses.
Benefits of CRP Education in High Schools
Sudden cardiac arrest poses a serious health risk that impacts individuals of all ages, including young people, and providing immediate CPR increases the SCA survival rates.
Including CPR skills for high school students in the curriculum will provide them with abilities that can change their lives and contribute to a safer environment.
Increased Ability to Act in an Emergency
CPR education for youth increases their ability to respond effectively in emergencies.
The American Heart Association points out the importance of knowing CPR by stating that 73.4% of Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrests (OHCA) occur at home. Only 40% of people get lifesaving support before the ambulance arrives.
According to AHA, bystander CPR significantly increases the probability of surviving cardiac arrest.
Practical Skills Students Can Use in Their Future Career
CRP training promotes students’ critical thinking, problem-solving, and teamwork skills.
As an emergency-triggered skill, CPR demands critical thinking to solve problems and save lives. It also requires effective teamwork and communication when multiple individuals perform CPR. These skills aren’t needed only in CPR but can be helpful in any career path students may choose.
CPR training in schools helps students become responsible adults with empathy and preparedness to act in an emergency. And having a pool of people ready to act in life-or-death situations contributes to safer communities.
Awareness of Heart Health
Incorporating CPR into high school curricula expands students’ knowledge by allowing them to learn about the importance of heart health.
Alongside learning CPR techniques, students become familiar with the heart’s anatomy and learn to recognize the signs of a heart attack. This knowledge raises awareness about heart health and wholesome living among students.
How Does CPR Training in Schools Empower Youth?
CPR training is mandatory in high schools across the US due to its potential to empower students in various ways.
- Acquiring Life-Saving Skills to Use in Any Environment
A teen CPR certification program teaches high school students skills they can apply in any setting. At home, at school, or on the streets – knowing how to perform CPR is an invaluable skill that can potentially save lives.
Whether it’s a friend, a relative, or a stranger, CPR-trained students can provide immediate aid to anyone, which is crucial for the person’s survival and well-being.
- Effective Emergency Response
CPR training also teaches students how to respond responsibly in an emergency. They learn the importance of staying safe to be able to provide effective care and the need to assess the scene for potential hazards to ensure their safety.
- Preparing for a Future Career
Certain professions, such as medical personnel, daycare employees, and lifeguards, require CPR certification. Additionally, more and more companies are becoming aware of the risk of sudden cardiac arrest, making CPR training a requirement for employment.
By obtaining a CPR certification in high school, students increase their chances of getting hired upon completing their education.
- Self-Awareness and Self-Esteem Development
CPR training in schools helps teens develop emotionally and understand the importance of mental health and safety.
They become aware of what it means to be responsible for themselves and others and instill empathy and compassion. This helps them develop self-awareness, boosts their self-esteem, and builds their confidence.
- Cognitive Skills Development
CPR education for youth advances teenagers’ critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Being exposed to real-life emergency simulations during their training, students analyze the situation, assess the setting, and carefully plan their approach.
- Teaching Cooperation and Teamwork Skills
CPR isn’t always a one-person job. Sometimes, several people are involved in resuscitating the victim, such as a paramedic team. In such cases, organization and cooperation are crucial.
During a CPR course, teenagers and CPR trainers work together and develop their communication skills. This teaches students how to work in a team and organize the lifesaving action.
- Promoting Positive Health Behavior
CPR education for youth also promotes overall health and positive health behavior. Students trained in CPR learn about the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and understand how lifestyle choices impact heart health.
As a result, they are more likely to adopt nutritious eating habits, be active, and avoid risky behaviors such as smoking or excessive alcohol consumption.
- Preparing for Real-Life Emergencies and Natural Disasters
In a world with increasing health emergencies and natural disasters, life-saving skills are essential. Teen CPR certification helps high school students prepare for real-life emergencies and natural disasters.
They not only learn how to act upon sudden cardiac arrest or respiratory distress but also prepare for emergencies. They are informed about evacuation procedures, creating first aid kits, and developing response plans, which are key components of disaster preparedness.
How Does CPR Training in High Schools Impact People’s Lives?
CPR training in schools doesn’t affect only students’ lives but also the lives of people within their families and communities. Knowing how to perform CPR turns high school students into bystanders who can save lives in an Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest (OHCA) event. Moreover, they can act as student CPR ambassadors by sharing their knowledge and skills with family members and friends, expanding the reach and impact of CPR education.
Student CPR ambassadors know how to assess situations, make quick decisions, and initiate life-saving measures when necessary. They can organize CPR awareness campaigns or student-led CPR programs that increase students’ confidence, willingness, and preparedness to provide immediate help in an emergency.
Having that knowledge consequently increases their confidence, willingness and preparedness of providing immediate help in an emergency. For instance, if a student experiences cardiac arrest on the football field or athletics track while the teacher is not present, a CPR-trained peer can react on the spot and provide life-sustaining support without hesitation.
With that, CPR education for youth creates a society where individuals are actively involved in the well-being of their fellow citizens, developing a sense of collective responsibility and solidarity among community members.
CPR Education for Youth Improves BCPR Rates
Life-or-death emergencies, like Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest (OHCA), require immediate help. Unfortunately, only around 40% of people experiencing OHCA receive it before the paramedics’ team arrives. Including CPR training in schools will increase the number of individuals that can perform CPR, potentially improving the rates of bystander CPR.
A study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology shows that US states requiring CPR training in high school have a higher rate of bystander CPR after an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest than states that don’t.
The research also shows that implementing CPR education for youth is most significant for communities with lower economic status. Teaching CPR skills for high school students in underserved communities will create a trained group of individuals who can increase the BCPR rates and improve health disparity.
Integrating CPR education into high school curricula empowers youth to become responsible individuals within their community. It equips students with lifesaving skills, resulting in safer communities and increased emergency survival rates. Beyond the immediate impact, CPR education fosters a culture of preparedness and raises heart health awareness.CPR training in schools also teaches students responsibility, empathy, and collective solidarity and helps develop cognitive skills. Moreover, they become advocates for public health, alleviating the burden on healthcare systems and contributing to healthier communities.