From 11 a.m.-1 p.m. on March 25, MSJ Medcorps held a cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification workshop at MSJ to give students throughout the district a way to explore their interest in healthcare. The event was led by Lifeline Safety Training Owner Rhonda Burrow, who has nearly 17 years of experience holding similar workshops, and works for the American Heart Association, American Red Cross, California Emergency Medical Services Authority, and MEDIC First Aid.
Burrow guided the 27 attending participants through CPR for infants, children, and adults, using an automated external defibrillator (AED), and handling choking scenarios. The certification, HSI 2020, achieved by attendees will be valid for two years after the day it was certified. Burrow opened the workshop by emphasizing that anyone can do CPR and that CPR will never hurt someone who is in need of it. She went on to explain and demonstrate the important idea of “30 compressions, two breaths,” which describes the process of carrying out 30 chest compressions and two mouth-to-mouth breaths for a CPR patient.
After watching demonstrations by Burrow, attendees practiced CPR themselves on children and infant manikins. In one drill, Burrow counted off students as they performed compressions in unison. At the end of each exercise, she conducted a short test to make sure that all participants carried out instructions accurately and safely. MSJ Medcorps officers found it rewarding to see attendees actively learn and take advantage of the hands-on opportunity to practice such a relevant skill.
MSJ Medcorps officers started planning the event in December 2022 to ensure that they had ample time for publicizing and advertising with flyers and social media. They mentioned that one of the biggest difficulties they had in holding the workshop was gathering enough funds for it. “Each year this event costs a hefty amount, so figuring out how to get enough money for the event is something we are always tasked with,” MSJ Medcorps Co-Vice President Ryan Ma said. This year, the officer team planned out fundraisers and kept track of profits to make sure they had enough money to cover at least half the CPR training cost for each individual.
Because CPR certification is required for many opportunities in medical settings (i.e. internships, hospital volunteering, summer programs, etc.), MSJ Medcorps officers wanted to offer a course for students before the summer. To make the event more accessible, the club used funds it had raised throughout the past year to subsidize a significant portion of the cost. Burrow hopes the attendees learned valuable real-world skills that may be necessary for future emergency situations. “I hope [the attendees] never use [what they learned]. But at least I know they will remember the information if [they] do need to help people out and that’s the most important part,” Burrow said. The MSJ Medcorps officers plan to continue holding CPR certification workshops for years to come. “We hope to continue holding this event for students since it’s important and central to what our club stands for in providing medical experience to the student body,” Ma said.