A readily, easily accessible AED is an invaluable life saving device. While the technology and functionality of an AED makes it a complex piece of life saving gear under the hood, purchasing the proper equipment for your emergency use is not as tricky as one might think. As with any important purchase, knowledge is power. Knowing what to look for in an AED is half the battle in ensuring that when disaster strikes you will be as well prepared as possible.
Here are ten important pointers, tips, and guidelines to consider before committing to purchasing an AED, in no particular order:
1: Sturdiness: Is your AED going to be roughly used and transported? People like fire fighters, police officers, and first responders require equipment that is able to withstand the abuse of travel and still reliably function. However, an AED that remains indoors for infrequent emergency use doesn’t need excessive padding or strength. Think about the application of your AED.
2: Weight: Will your AED remain in storage? Hanging on a wall? Frequently moved or carried? Will the people most likely using the device be able to easily lift and move it?
3: Simplicity: Will your device be used by trained professionals or will it be designated for public use? Keep in mind the kind of person who may be using the AED and consider that they will be using it in a stressful situation that they may not be at all accustomed to.
4: CPR/AED training: Remember that a life saving device is only as powerful as one’s knowledge and ability to use it properly. Training and certification is paramount to effective use!
5: Fully-automatic or semi-automatic shock delivery: Some AED’s delivery a shock immediately upon charge and others require the pressing of a button to trigger them. It’s important to decide which method of shock delivery you are most comfortable with.
6: ECG readout: There are AEDs available with advanced ECG displays and functionality. These are of most value to emergency responders and health professionals whereas a public use machine may not require these additional options.
7: Weatherproofing: What will the environment where the AED remains be like? Dry and dusty? Humid and damp? Consider the conditions the unit will spend its time in and look into a model that is able to resist adverse climate conditions.
8: Price: Not all AEDs are created equal and, like with most products, a cheaper unit will most likely not carry the same reliable functionality of a more expensive one. However, the most expensive device may not be the one best suited to your specific needs. Keep all other factors in mind while shopping.
9: Reviews: Check user and industry reviews for any AEDs you are interested in. See how they stack up to each other and try to find reviews that target the intended application of your unit (ie: public use, outdoor storage, portability, etc).
10: Visual and voice prompts: While all AEDs are equipped with audio prompts, some also feature visual displays. This may be crucial if your unit is going to be used in loud, busy environments or could possibly be used by someone with impaired hearing.
According to the CDC, about 1 in every 4 deaths in the United States is the result of heart disease. This statistic is sobering, and it likely makes you wonder what you can do to reduce your risk. Although there are some heart disease factors that are out of your control, such as your age, family history, and genetics, that doesn’t mean that heart disease only strikes randomly. Instead, the following behaviors have proven to increase your risk of heart disease.
Most people understand the problems that smoking can cause in their respiratory systems, but tobacco use doesn’t just hurt your lungs. When nicotine enters the body, it raises your blood pressure. Over time, smoking also causes damage to your heart and your blood vessels, which leads to heart disease. Sadly, these damages are not limited to only smokers. Regular exposure to secondhand smoke also increases your risk of developing heart disease.
Excessive Alcohol Consumption
You don’t have to say goodbye to your favorite drinks completely, but you should be careful regarding your alcohol consumption to protect your heart. Excessive alcohol consumption puts you at risk for heart disease by increasing your triglyceride level, raising your blood pressure, and causing irregular heartbeats. The American Heart Association recommends no more than one alcoholic beverage per day for women and no more than two alcoholic beverages per day for men.
Your heart is one of the most important muscles in your body. Like any muscle, it needs to be worked out regularly to remain strong. You can lower your risk for heart disease by participating in moderate to vigorous exercise on a regular basis instead of maintaining a lifestyle that is mostly sedentary. The good news is that there is not just one type of exercise that provides this benefit. Whether you enjoy swimming, jogging, biking, or another form of physical activity, you are helping your heart while you are working out.
Poor Diet and Nutrition
You’ve probably heard the old saying that “You are what you eat.” When it comes to heart disease, your diet is one of the best tools that you have in your arsenal. Whole, nutrient-rich foods, such as vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, fuel your body without clogging your arteries. It’s fine to treat yourself to a juicy steak or a rich dessert every once in a while, but a balanced diet and limited calorie consumption helps your body and your heart function properly.
Not Maintaining a Healthy Weight
If you haven’t yet made healthy choices regarding your exercise and nutrition, you might find that the number on the scale isn’t one that you enjoy seeing. Obesity is a major risk factor for heart disease. Even if you have no other risk factors for this condition, your risk is greatly increased if you have a high level of fat in your body, and especially belly fat around your waist. Fortunately, this is something that can often be controlled through a balanced diet and increased physical activity. Even losing just 3 to 5 percent of your body weight can help reduce your risk of heart disease!
Here at In-Pulse CPR, we are confident that knowledge and training are two important tools we can all use to reduce the risk of heart disease. In addition, you can be ready to assist someone experiencing a cardiac episode by completing one of our high-quality training programs with American Heart Association certified instructors.
We all know that cardiac issues can be dangerous and even life-threatening. However, it can be difficult to understand all of the terminology surrounding cardiac episodes. To make matters more confusing, some terms, such as “heart attack” and “cardiac arrest,” are often used interchangeably, even though they actually refer to different issues. You don’t need to become a master of all cardiac terminology, but it is helpful to understand the difference between these two terms so that you can have and share accurate information.
What is a heart attack?
Even if you have friends or loved ones who have experienced a heart attack, many of us still aren’t sure what that term actually means. To put it simply, a person experiences a heart attack when adequate blood flow is not getting to the heart. A heart attack is a circulation problem caused by a blocked artery. When an artery is blocked, oxygen and blood can no longer reach the heart. If the problem is not corrected in a timely manner, the heart cannot return to proper functioning.
During a heart attack, the heart does not normally stop beating. However, damage is occurring, and the damage is proportionate to the amount of time that passes before the patient receives treatment.
Since each person is different, the symptoms of a heart attack can also vary greatly. In most cases, the patient starts experiencing symptoms days or even weeks before a heart attack occurs. However, symptoms can sometimes appear quickly with little warning.
Some common symptoms of a heart attack include:
Shortness of breath
Discomfort in the chest
Nausea and/or vomiting
Back or jaw pain (especially in women)
What is cardiac arrest?
While a heart attack is the result of a heart circulation problem, cardiac arrest results from an electrical problem. Cardiac arrest is a life-threatening issue that is caused by an electrical malfunction in the heart muscle. Since the heart’s pumping action is disrupted by the irregular heartbeat, the heart stops pumping blood to the rest of the body, including the brain and lungs. Therefore, the person stops breathing and is unresponsive. Cardiac arrest can be caused by a heart attack. However, most heart attacks do not result in cardiac arrest.
Prompt treatment is vital to helping a patient survive cardiac arrest. The patient only has minutes for the cardiac arrest to be reversed through treatment. In most cases, cardiac arrest occurs suddenly with little to no warning. Usually, the first noticeable symptom is the fainting that results when the arrest occurs. However, some patients report experiencing these symptoms before cardiac arrest:
Shortness of breath
What should I do if I suspect a heart attack or cardiac arrest?
Fortunately, you do not have to distinguish between cardiac arrest or a heart attack to provide assistance. Calling 911 should always be your first move when you notice these serious symptoms.
Starting intervention before professional help arrives can often be the difference between an emergency and a tragedy. At In-Pulse CPR, we are committed to giving you the training you need to feel confident in administering CPR or utilizing an AED should the need arise. View available classes at www.inpulsecpr.com.
We often hear the word CPR used in casual conversation in child care centers or in hospitals. CPR is short for cardiopulmonary resuscitation. This lifesaving measure is performed when a child or adult has stopped breathing or the heart stops beating. This may happen after certain incidents, such as an injury, choking, suffocation, heart attack, or drowning.
Rescuing an Infant
This rescue effort, when performed on children who are infants, is critical when a baby is having trouble with respiration. In this case, CPR is normally directed to resolve a breathing problem rather than a heart condition. Usually, in these cases, CPR is administered if an infant is choking. CPR should begin immediately.
Following the Format
If someone else is available at the scene, he or she should be directed to call 911 and locate an AED, or automated external defibrillator. Five sets of CPR should be performed before getting additional help. One set consists of 30 compressions followed by two breaths.
If a second rescuer returns with the AED, he or she should follow the prompts on the defibrillator and apply the pads. If you find that the infant is not breathing, is unresponsive or gasping for air, CPR should always be performed.
What Infant CPR Covers
Infant CPR covers medical emergency aid for children 0 to 12 months old. This form of CPR is almost identical to the CPR given to older children.
Therefore, CPR is a combination of chest compressions and rescue breaths, known as mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. CPR is designed to restore oxygen-rich blood to the brain. When oxygen is not present, brain damage or death can occur in under eight minutes.
When Infant CPR is Typically Needed
Besides choking incidents, infant CPR is used for infants in near-drowning incidents or for victims who have succumbed to smoke inhalation or poisoning. Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) can also be prevented through the use of CPR.
Why You Should Enroll in a Course
While you can read about this rescue measure as a parent, you should learn the details of performing CPR by enrolling in a course. While CPR should begin immediately, you still need to determine if it should be performed. This is done by checking the person’s breathing or degree of response.
You owe it to your child to learn CPR, as it only takes eight minutes for anyone with breathing difficulties to lose consciousness or die. What you do to protect your child is just as important as what you don’t do. Therefore, taking a CPR course is a wise course of action.
Why Not Host a CPR Party?
In fact, if you know other parents in your neighborhood with infants, why not ask them to attend a CPR party. Schedule an instructor to show you how to give infant CPR. You can even ask your babysitter to participate. This is a great way to emphasize the importance of life support and infant care. Keep in mind, many instructors (for safety reasons) won’t come to your house, so plan on finding a community space to use like your church or a meeting room at your local library. Often you can use this space without cost.
Reviewing the Steps
When giving CPR to an infant, the following should be practiced.
1. Clear the area to ensure the infant’s safety.
2. Shout and tap to make sure the infant is not responding.
3. Yell for help. If another person is present, have him or her call 911 and locate an AED.
4. Check the infant’s breathing.
5. Five sets of 30 compressions followed by two breaths should be given to unresponsive infants who have stopped breathing, and are gasping for air.
6. Call 911 if it has not already been done.
7. Resume manual CPR.
Applying Chest Compressions
When compressions are given, you need to push in the same manner as you would do when giving CPR to a child or adult. Position the infant on a hard and firm surface. This makes the process simpler. When giving compressions, do the following:
1. After positioning the infant on a firm, level, and hard surface, move any clothes away from the chest.
2. Place two fingers of one hand on the breastbone, just under the line of the nipple.
3. Push down about 1.5 inches or 4 centimeters, at about 100 beats per minute.
4. Permit the chest to recoil before resuming the compressions.
Because performing compressions can be tiring, it is helpful to switch with another person every couple minutes to ensure continued care.
Opening Up the Airway and Giving Breaths
Because most CPR cases involve respiratory problems, it helps to provide breaths. Giving breaths and administering compressions to the chest are both important. A good breath will raise the chest.
Opening Up the Airway
To open up an infant’s airways, you need to do the following:
1. Place one hand on the victim’s forehead,
2. Place a finger on the chin’s bony section.
3. Gently tilt back the head and lift the chin.
Important Note: Never tilt the head too far back as doing so will block the airway. Also, press the bony part of the infant’s chin instead of the soft part, as doing so can also block airflow.
Once the airway is opened, you can give breaths.
1. Take a deep breath and seal your mouth over the baby’s nose and mouth.
2. Blow for a quick second, watching the chest rise. Only a very small volume of air will inflate a baby’s lungs. Don’t blow too hard, as this can damage the lungs. Only a small exhalation of air is required of an infant.
3. Repeat, giving a second breath.
If the chest does not rise after giving the first breath, you will need to re-open the airway, tilting the head while lifting the chin. Try to get a breath while looking for the chest to rise. Do not postpone compressions more than ten seconds when you are giving breaths.
Using a Mask
While giving breaths is usually safe, a mask, if available, should be used. A mask is designed to fit over the victims’ nose and mouth. Just make sure the mask fits properly. Otherwise, a reliable seal cannot be obtained and any effort at giving breaths will prove to be ineffective.
How to Use the Mask
When using a mask to give breaths, follow the steps below:
1. Place the mask over the baby’s nose and mouth,
2. Open the airway, gently tilting back the head and lifting the chin.
3. Make sure the seal is secure between the face and mask.
4. Give a breath quickly and watch for the chest rise.
When Choking Occurs
Choking happens when a foreign object or piece of food lodges in the throat, blocking the airway. Quickly perform back slapping and chest thrusts. Choking may be mild or severe.
A Mild Obstruction
If the obstruction is mild, the infant may be breathing but could be wheezing. He or she may also cough or produce a similar noise. In this instance, stay with the baby and attempt to calm him or her.
A Severe Obstruction
If the obstruction is severe, the infant will appear weak and will not cough. He or she normally will not be able to talk and may, instead, produce a high-pitched sound. The baby may also appear cyanotic, or show a blue color around the fingertips or around the lips. In this instance, time is of the essence. Act fast and follow the CPR steps.
To relive choking, do the following:
1. Hold the baby on your lap, face down, with the head lower than the victim’s chest. The baby should be resting against your forearm, which is placed upon your thigh.
2. Support the baby’s neck and head with your hand, making sure to not place throat pressure.
3. Provide five back slaps between the baby’s shoulder blades, using the heel of your hand.
4. Use both arms and hands and turn the infant toward you so he or she rests on your other arm, which is now placed on your thigh.
5. Use two fingers in the same way you do for administer CPR and provide quick-timed chest thrusts.
6. If the obstruction is still there, turn the baby face down on your forearm, repeating the steps.
7. Continue with this measure until the baby starts to breathe or lacks a response.
Remove the Object If you Can Do So
If you see a piece of food or foreign object in the child’s mouth, remove it if it can be done. Don’t sweep the victim’s mouth with your finger, as you may push the object toward the air passage. After removing the object, wait and check for breathing.
If an infant does not respond, position him or her on a flat and firm surface, yelling for assistance. At this point, check for breaths before beginning CPR. After 30 compressions, open up the air passage, seeking the foreign object. If you see the object, remove it and try to respirate with two breaths.
Infants do not respond when they stop squirming in your arms and take on a limp appearance. Chest compressions and giving breaths must the practiced if the infant stops moving in the interim.
In Conclusion –
As you can see, the above steps can become involved and therefore are important to know. Don’t overlook the importance of learning a life-saving procedure. Doing so will make it possible for you to mange any emergency with more confidence. Learning CPR takes a minimal amount of time, especially when you consider that it can save a life.
We all know that children are the future of our country and our world. Too often, we hear about the negative things that young people are doing, but a group of students in NJ are leading the way when it comes to prioritizing CPR training.
Christian Ventura founded the High School Association of Medical Engineers and Scientists, or HAMES, a student-based non-profit organization that supports youth in their pursuit of careers in health, medicine, and other science fields. Recently, the group unveiled the Student Samaritan Initiative, which is designed to bridge the disconnect between New Jersey state requirements and the implementation of those requirements.
The current New Jersey educational requirements already include a provision that high school students must be instructed in how to properly utilize cardiopulmonary resuscitation and an automatic external defibrillator for live-saving purposes. Unfortunately, whether or not this training is actually taking place is not being tracked.
However, HAMES has come up with a solution. The students are petitioning Legislative District 11 to develop legislation that requires students to present proof of CPR, AED, and First Aid training when they apply for a motor vehicle license. This written proof must be presented to the Motor Vehicle Commission before the road test takes place.
Although HAMES is a part of the public school system, the proposed changes would affect all high school students, whether they attend public, private or home schools. In order to take the road test, students would provide a signed approval document from either their school or an authorized CPR training provider that states the student has successfully completed the course.
In order to help students comply with this potential new requirement, HAMES plans to donate CPR classes to schools throughout every county in New Jersey. In addition to contacting the legislature, the group has also started an online petition to gain support for their plan.
In the United States, more than 70 percent of all cardiac emergencies occur in a person’s home. When more people are trained on how to effectively administer CPR, they can use these skills to assist their parents, grandparents, friends, and even strangers. High school students who are trained in CPR have the benefit of being ready to use these skills throughout their lives.
Here at In-Pulse CPR, we are passionate about the benefits that high quality CPR training can offer our schools, organizations and communities. Please contact us to learn more about how you can bring effective training to your group.
In-Pulse CPR is now offering public CPR certification classes in South Tampa. This new location is only 3 miles from the Air Force Base of MacDill.
Over the past several years we have seen an increase of students from the base at many of our other Tampa classes. By offering a site near the military compound we are looking at increasing our class attractiveness to those who work there.
In-Pulse CPR offers classes at over a dozen sites around the Tampa Bay area. We train upwards of 1200 students every month on CPR. We offer BLS Classes with a 2-yr certification through the American Heart Association. We also offer Heartsaver First Aid and AED classes.
Terms: Navy Operational Support Center Tampa, 6th Air Mobility Wing, 6th MDG, BLS Healthcare CPR, military cpr, wingman cpr
Around 275,000 people, per year, experience OHCA (out-of-hospital cardiac arrest) incidents. This finding was reported by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) in the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine archives. This number pertains to people living in Europe.
U.S. Statistics for OHCAs
It has also been found that a large number of people experience sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) in the U.S. or OHCAs. The number in the U.S. is even greater – about 365,000 per year. Of this number, around 90% end in death. This finding was recently published in the 2018 report, Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics, published by the American Heart Association (AHA).
Passive Leg Raising
The Use of Passive Leg Raising (PLR). According to the NCBI report, the use of a passive leg raising (PLR) during cardiopulmonary resuscitation may assist in increasing the survival rates of OHCA victims. PLR during CPR has been shown to enhance cardiac preload and circulation when chest compressions are performed.
An Easy and Fast Technique
Like performing chest compressions, PLR is an easy and fast technique. Scientists have noted that the greatest benefit was experienced when PLR was performed during the early part of CPR, or prior to the first defibrillation.
Why PLR Works
A study designed to tests the use of PLR hypothetically concluded that elevation of the lower extremities during an OHCA CPR increases patient survival to one month by increasing cardiac preload and circulation to the bran and heart when chest compressions are performed.
Higher Neurological Scores
PLR may be of significant use when hands-only CPR is performed, or CPR that does not include the breaths associated with traditional CPR. One study also confirmed that using PLR during resuscitaiton resulted in higher neurological scores.
Increasing Survival CPR Rates
Cardiac arrest, itself, is a leading cause of death in both the U.S. and Europe. Therefore, any introduction of new techniques to increase survival rates is significant. Just as the name implies, a passive leg raise is a mechanical type maneuver the entails elevating the lower limbs from a horizontal position during resuscitation.
What Happens during PLR or Passive Leg Raising
During PLR, gravity causes the rechanneling of venous blood from the body’s lower extremities, which, in turn, triggers an increase in the left ventricular end-diastolic volume, carotid blood flow, right ventricular preload, and system venous return.
An Increase in Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Elimination
Based on these findings, researchers concluded that using PLR during CPR can improve survival rates. This information is important to nurses who are keeping up on the latest methods when applying CPR. Passive leg raising is useful when someone has fainted and has been shown to enhance carbon dioxide elimination when introduced in CPR.
Reviewing Past Reports
In fact, the first formal guidelines for CPR, introduced in 1974, included a statement that emphasized that at the “elevation of the lower extremities may . . . augment artificial circulation during . . . cardiac compression.” This statement was deleted from American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines in 1992. It is not included in the most recent guides either.
Measuring Chest Compressions
Clinical and preclinical studies support the American Heart Association’s recommendation that chest compressions should be at least 5 centimeters or 2 inches deep. When the chest is compressed too deep or at too fast of rate, the results can be adversely impacted.
The Importance of Maintaining Chest Compressions
Also, it is important to take note – interruptions during CPR, or chest compressions, can be harmful. Without compressing the chest, the blood flow can be negatively affected. In some instances, emergency or rescue personnel may stop chest compressions (in some cases, over a minute) to feel for a pulse, auscultate the chest, intubate or assess the underlying rhythm. Rescuers may forget, when hurried, to continue performing CPR.
One recent evaluation of CPR showed that these kinds of mistakes were indeed frequent and harmful. Nearly 50% of the time, compressions were inadequate, or performed at incorrect depths – all which did not fall in line with American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines.
For instance, about 1/3 of the subjects received compressions at rate that surpassed 120 compressions per minute. When the compression rates were higher—or over the recommended 100 compressions per minutes—the results were poorer.
Maintaining the Proper Compression Rate – Why It Is Important
If the compression rate is too fast, the diastolic filling times may be insufficient and full recoil and compression depth may not be realized. A slight vacuum is created within the thorax during a passive chest recoil, which draws some of the blood back inside the heart and air into the lungs. Blood is then drawn from the extrathoracic to intrathoracic areas, where the heart is partially refilled until the completion of next compression.
Moreover, if a rescuer leans on the chest and prevents it from recoiling fully after a compression, the intrathoracic pressure will surpass the atmospheric pressure. When this happens, it reduces the refilling process in the heart and lowers the ICP (intracranial pressure). A full chest recoil maintains the ICP. To support this information, research with animals has demonstrated that leaning on the chest during resuscitation reduces the perfusion pressures to the myocardium and brain.
Errors Affect Survival Rates
In addition, compressing and decompressing at too fast of rate (over 120 compressions per minute) decreases the venous return time to less than what is needed for refilling the heart. Therefore, these kinds of errors can negatively affect survival rates. As a result, not only is imperative that nurses take CPR classes to learn the correct ways to perform hands-only and traditional CPR, it is essential that other advances be noted in resuscitation methods as well.
Elevating the Head during CPR
For instance, not only is passive leg raising an important consideration, so is learning about the position of the head during the lifesaving measure. For example, by convention, cardiopulmonary resuscitation has been performed for at least 50 years with the patient lying in a supine position. The entire body is positioned on the same plane, or horizontal on the floor.
Enhancing the Blood Flow
Recent research suggests that elevating the head during CPR has a marked beneficial effect on ICP (intracranial pressure) and brain circulation when compared to horizontal placement. When the body is supine and lies horizontal, each compression is related with the generation of waves resulting from arterial and venous pressure.
If the patient’s head is elevated, the gravity drains the venous blood from the brain and sends it back to the heart. This results in increased refilling of the heart after compressions and a reduced compression phase ICP. As a result, studies show that elevating the head during CPR may offer more protection to the brain and increased perfusion or blood flow.
Supplementing Your Lifesaving Skills
Nurses can also get involved in learning methods to enhance post-resuscitation care. However, unless high-quality CPR is performed, these measures cannot be implemented with optimum effect. That is important to remember if you, as a nurse or other healthcare worker, want to supplement your lifesaving skills.
Hillsborough Country Transportation has 1500 drivers who are now required by this new law to be CPR/FA trained. They decided to certify 7 internal staff to become instructors through In-Pulse CPR. They are now teaching 2 classes every week with 37 students each class. At this pace, they are on track to train the whole district in less than 5 months.
In-Pulse CPR is a multi-state American Heart Training Center (TC) based out of Tampa Florida. Currently we have over 200 direct and indirect CPR instructors ready to assist school districts and their transportation services with training on the new CPR law.
The Florida State Board of Education passed a measure requiring all bus drivers be certified in CPR and first aid. According to the new rule: “The operator and attendant shall be provided certified cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and first aid training along with other required pre service training prior to transporting students, and shall receive CPR and first aid refresher in-service training at least biennially.”
In-Pulse CPR directly offers training to over 1200 students every month. Indirectly, through our training network, we train several thousand more.
School districts have three options on training their bus drivers. First, they can send their staff to a public community CPR/FA certification class. [View dates and times] Secondly, for larger groups, they can have a certified instructor come out to their facility to train and certify. Lastly, if they have the staff to warrant it, they can have internal personnel become instructors. Those internal instructors would provide the classes to their network. Smaller transportation providers may prefer one of the first two options, as becoming an instructor has many additional added expenses including equipment and training.
In-Pulse CPR can help you decide on what the best training option would be in your situation.
American Heart Association CPR certification training
The AHA is a Red Cross alternative for a 2 year CPR certification class. Did you know that Healthcare workers are required to retake the American Heart BLS certification class every two years. Not in Healthcare? We have about 30 percent of our students who are not in the medical field. You are welcome to take any of our classes. We have many laypersons who attend including teachers, new parents, scout leaders, childcare, baby sitters, and others.
These classes include:
BLS Provider or also known asBLS for Healthcare Professionals: Basic Life Support requirement: Nurses, dentists, hygienists, nursing students, dental students, pharmacists, emergency medical technicians, physicians, professional rescuer, respiratory therapists or anyone in the health-care industry required to have CPR training.
All non-medical individuals can also take the BLS Provider course, including daycare providers, warehouse staff, massage therapists, lifeguards, teachers, office staff, church staff, daycare providers, safety committee staff, yoga or fitness instructors, parents or grandparents, scout leaders, teens, etc. Healthcare Provider: Has been renamed BLS Provider.
Our CPR classes in Philadelphia are held at the following venues:
Philadelphia Airport Center City Franklyn Mills area Darby / Media North / South Philly West Chester Plymouth Meeting and more.
AEDs are complicated, highly specialized medical devices. As a result, they can be very intimidating and even frightening for people to imagine having to use in an emergency situation. We have all seen the movies where, during a scene of high drama, the device is charged and used to violently revive someone from a near death situation. While AEDs are in fact used to do just that, it would surprise many to learn that using the technology is not as complicated or scary as pop culture might have you believe. In fact, the devices are designed to be quite the opposite as many are built for public use with the consideration that they will most likely not be in the hands of the most highly trained medical professionals.
Here is some insightful knowledge that will hopefully serve to educate and calm those who are feeling anxious about AEDs and their usage:
– You can kill or hurt someone with an AED: AEDs are highly regulated and tested Class III medical devices. What this means is that the FDA needs to approve all aspects of the device to deem it safe. Again, Hollywood may be to blame for this fear as many movies depict characters using AEDs as weapons or to shock and immobilize other people. Thankfully, AEDs are able to analyze the heart rhythm of whoever they are pressed against and simply will not deliver a shock to a person who is not in need of one. The idea of blowing someone across the room with a blast to the chest is pure Hollywood nonsense.
– Only trained professionals can use AEDs: While proper CPR and AED training is an invaluable asset for anyone, you do not need to be a medical professional to properly administer a shock from an AED. In fact, AEDs are equipped with audio and voice prompts made to walk the user through the process. These devices are created to save lives. As a result, they have been designed for ease of use.
– AEDs aren’t necessary in places where most of the people present are young and healthy: While heart attacks are the blocking of an artery that usually occurs in people who are overweight or have pre-existing health conditions, sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a misfiring of electrical impulses in the heart and can happen to anyone of any age in any condition from young children to athletes in their physical peak. A heart attack victim cannot be assisted by an AED, as a physical blockage requires manual treatment. However, AEDs are designed for treating victims of cardiac arrest and are therefore invaluable tools in any environment.
– Using an AED on a person will cause them to violently convulse: Another Hollywood myth. While the person’s shoulders will most likely rise upon shock delivery, their arms and legs will remain stationary and they will not flail about.
– AEDs can shock those who are using them: This is a common misconception. As stated previously, an AED will only discharge if it has determined that the person it is being used by requires it to do so. The user is in no risk of being shocked.
– AEDs are one time use devices: Depending on a variety of factors, AEDs can deliver tens or even hundreds of discharges with proper maintenance.
– First responders are close by so an AED is not necessary: In emergency situations, time rarely feels as though its on your side. Response time can vary and mere seconds can be the difference between life and death for a victim of cardiac arrest. Proper CPR training and an accessible, properly maintained AED are your absolute best resources to prevent loss of life in the event of a cardiac arrest.
Every year National Nurses week honors nurses in May, or from May 6th to May 12th (Florence Nightingale’s birthday). The founder of modern nursing valued a commitment to care and compassion – hallmarks that give nursing its ethical and honest standing.
However, nurses, while greatly valued, still are in short supply in the Sunshine State. Moreover, the Florida Center for Nursing revealed that over 40% of the state’s nurses are close to retirement, which will worsen the current shortage. In fact, experts expect that the demand for nurses will be so great in 2025 that it could cripple Florida’s healthcare system and negatively impact the medical care Floridians receive.
The Demand is Outpacing the Enrollments
If you are seeking work as a licensed or registered nurse in Florida, you won’t have much trouble finding a job. While an enrollment increase was reported by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, it still is not large enough to meet the projected future demand for nurses.
These reports may leave you wondering why the demand is so great. According the statisticians, students at colleges do have a great interest in nursing. In fact, the field attracts many qualified candidates. However, not all the candidates get accepted. Educational institutions do not have the financial means nor enough staff support to produce the pool of nurses that hospitals, nursing homes, or medical centers require.
For example, nursing schools in the US rejected the applications of almost 70,000 applicants in 2014. They simply could not accommodate their educational needs. In two-thirds of the nursing schools, teacher shortages made it impossible to accept additional applicants.
Therefore, the real reason a lack of nurses exists is because schools need more nursing educators. If you are seeking a root cause for the problem, it originates at the college level. Schools have a hard time locating nursing professors, as many of the educators, like nurses, are nearing retirement age. In addition, nurses who are working toward master’s or doctoral degrees, are being swayed to take clinical jobs, such as nurse practitioner, which pay more money – about $20,000 more annually.
What You Can Do to Reduce the Shortage
As you can see, a cycle has developed that needs to be turned around. Any woman or man who wishes to work as a nurse can do something about the current crisis. For example, the choice of a college is critical. Choosing a university without a waiting list is a good way to begin. Also, check the following, when reviewing nursing programs and schools:
Does the nursing program require pre-nursing classes before students are accepted or enrolled? All the training needed for the licensing exam should be included as a standard entrance option for a BSN.
Does the college feature multiple campuses that support its nursing program? When more than one campus of a college offers a nursing curriculum, students normally do not have to sign up on a waiting list to start training.
Does the college’s MSN program offer options for working nurses? If you work as a nurse already, an MSN program should be designed around your schedule. Seek out a program that offers a nursing education specialization or a nursing administration endorsement.
What are the college’s transfer policies? The nursing program in which you enroll should be able to accept credits from most private and public universities and colleges. Make your hard work count by choosing a college that will accept prior academic credits.
Does the college make it easy to go from an LPN to RN designation? If you can find a nursing program that enables you to sit for your licensure exam for practical nursing within a year, so much the better. This faster educational option makes it possible for you to enter the workforce sooner and gives you the chance to study for your RN licensure in the interim.
How is the tuition structured? Your course fees for your nursing program should include all the required eBooks, CDs, and textbooks, including uniform and lab fees. You should be able to clearly see what you will be spending upfront.
Selecting a Nursing Program that You Can Begin Now
Because of the need for nurses, it is important to explore the programs at colleges today. If you want to begin sooner, you may want to consider a diploma program in practical nursing and continue your education while your work. You can also obtain an associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree in professional nursing. Check the specializations offered for master of science nursing degree programs as well.
The best way to combat a shortage of nurses is to become fully proactive. Begin by attending a nursing information session at a college of your choosing. Again, find a program that does not feature a waiting list – a college that will help you get started on the road to a nursing career.
Inquiring about the Costs
Request more information about the programs offered and learn more about the costs and fees. Ask about financial aid and make sure the college offers a detailed educational plan. That way, you will know what to expect in your nursing training and career.
How to Attract More Teachers
With that said, legislators still need to intervene to make working as a nurse educator more attractive. Current nursing instructors suggest that schools can attract more educators by offering an income that is higher, or by paying for an educator’s advanced education degree.
In Florida, technical schools took a stance in February 2019. Representatives from the schools requested that laws be put into effect to add transition nursing programs to curriculums. That way, students who finish a licensed nursing program could continue their nursing education. This move would create more registered nursing opportunities and therefore reduce the shortage. While a Florida house ibll was filed, it did not pass in 2019. Hopefully, it will re-emerge in 2020.
In the interim, it is important for anyone seeking to become a nurse to carefully survey the educational opportunities. Do what you can to get involved in the field so you can make a small, yet significant, difference.
Statistics show that SCA or sudden cardiac arrest can happen to anyone at any age. However, the risk for SCA is greater for the following individuals:
People who are diabetic
People who have had a heart attack
People suffering from hypertension
People with high levels of cholesterol
People who smoke
People with heart disease
An Invaluable Skill
Moreover, SCA usually occurs at home. Therefore, if you have a loved one who is at a high risk for SCA, you need to learn CPR to ensure your family member’s survival. Even if you do not have a high-risk member in your household, CPR can be an invaluable skill.
Coronary Artery Disease
A previous heart attack can lead to an SCA, especially if a large part of the heart was damaged. Also, an SCA is more likely to occur within the first six months following a heart attack. About 80% of cases that lead to death are linked with coronary artery disease.
How Sudden Cardiac Death Occurs
Coronary artery disease is also referred to as heart disease or coronary heart disease. It develops when plaque builds up in the arteries. When the arteries, which, at first, are elastic and smooth, build up with plaque, they become narrow and rigid. As a result, the circulation to the heart muscle is restricted, all which can lead to a noted lack of oxygen. When the plaque ruptures, a heart attack can develop or sudden cardiac death (SCD).
How Coronary Artery Disease (Heart Disease) Develops
Coronary artery disease can develop from a young age. As plaque in the blood vessel walls accumulates, the walls become inflamed, all which elevates the risk of heart attacks and blood clots. In addition, the plaque build-up causes the inner walls of the blood vessels to become sticky. Other substances travel in the blood stream and mix with the plaque. These substances may include calcium, lipoproteins, or inflammatory cells. When this happens, the vessels become narrower over time.
How a Heart Attack Happens
Eventually, a narrowed artery may compensate for the restricted blood flow by developing new blood vessels that travel around the blockage. This is the body’s way of ensuring that blood is delivered to the heart. However, if a person is stressed, the new arteries may not be sufficient enough to deliver oxygen-rich blood. Moreover, if the plaque ruptures, a blood clot may block the supply of blood to the heart. When this occurs, it is called a heart attack.
Blockages that Lead to Strokes
If a blood vessel to the brain becomes clogged, normally from a clot, an ischemic stroke may occur. If a brain’s blood vessel bursts, usually because of high blood pressure, a hemorrhagic stroke usually results.
Angina or Chest Pain
Angina or chest pain can also warn of heart or rhythm problems. Usually, angina is revealed by heaviness and pressure in the chest or a burning or aching sensation in the chest area. Sometimes patients feel a fullness or squeezing along with the pain. This condition is often mistaken for heartburn or an upset stomach.
Learning Hands-on CPR
Today, you can learn hands-on CPR, which does not require mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Therefore, this form of resuscitation makes CPR simpler to learn. Hands-on CPR for adults is given when a person collapses and becomes non-responsive. If this occurs, you first need to call 911. Afterwards, check for responsiveness. Tap the individual’s shoulder and ask if he or she is okay. Also, check for normal breathing.
When Hands-on CPR Cannot Be Used and Conventional CPR Is Employed
Again, if the person does not respond or is not breathing normally, you need to begin hands-on CPR. However, that being said, hands-on CPR should not be used in situations where an SCA is the result of a drug overdose or a near-drowning. In these cases, you need to perform chest compressions combined with rescue breathing.
Performing Chest Compressions
When performing chest compressions, you need to take the following steps:
Place the heel of the hand on the victim’s chest in the center.
Position the heel of the other hand on top of the first hand and lace the fingers together.
Keep your arms straight and make sure the shoulders are positioned directly over the hands.
Push hard on the chest and compress the chest to a depth of at least two inches.
Make sure the chest elevates completely before performing another compression.
Compressions should be performed at 100 per minute.
Keep Performing CPR Until Normal Breathing Is Resumed or Emergency Help Arrives
Keep performing hands-on CPR, stopping only if the person begins normal breathing or an emergency responder arrives and takes over resuscitation. You should also turn over the task to another person versed in CPR, if possible, if you become too tired. If an automated external defibrillator (AED) becomes available, you will also want to stop so the device can be used.
How to Use an Automated External Defibrillator (AED)
When an AED does come available, you want to turn on the device so the machine can provide step-by-step directions. Wipe the patient’s chest dry and affix the pads of the AED. Plug the connector, if required.
Defibrillation with an AED
When using the AED, make sure that no other person is touching the victim. Announce the word “clear” so everyone knows to stand back and away from the victim. If needed, press the “analyze” button. If a shock is recommended, press the “shock” button. Resume resuscitation, performing compressions, and follow the AED device’s prompts.
Why Knowing How to Administer CPR is Essential
Again, knowing this information is important for everyone, as SCD or sudden cardiac death is the main cause of natural death in the U.S. About 325,000 adults succumb to SCD each year – the reason for half the deaths from heart disease annually.
The Results of a Heart Attack
Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is not a myocardial infarction, or heart attack. However, it can happen when a heart attack takes place. A heart attack happens when a blockage develops in one or more arteries of the heart. In turn, the heart is unable to receive sufficient oxygen-rich blood. If oxygen cannot enter the heart, the heart muscle becomes damaged.
A Flaw in the Heart’s Electrical System
Unlike a heart attack, an SCA happens when the heart’s electrical system or rhythm is disturbed. When this occurs, the heart will beat faster than normal or the ventricles may quiver (known as ventricular fibrillation). The blood, in turn, cannot circulate in the body. During the first few minutes of an SCA, the victim loses consciousness. Death usually follows unless resuscitation measures are begun.
Applying an Electric Shock
When an SCA occurs, emergency treatment includes the use of CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and defibrillation. While CPR is a manual resuscitation technique – used to keep oxygen and blood circulating to the brain, defibrillation involves applying an electric shock to the chest.
When AEDs are Normally Used
While emergency teams use portable defibrillators, defibrillators, called automated external defibrillators or AEDs can be found in public areas. AEDs are designed to be used by people witnessing an SCA.
When a person experiences an SCA, certain symptoms are noted. These symptoms may include a racing heart or a feeling of dizziness. However, an SCA can be insidious, as many people who suffer from an SCA do not experience any symptoms.
Most of the SCAs that occur result from an arrhythmia, or an abnormal heart rhythm. The most common of these life-threatening arrhythmias is defined as ventricular fibrillation. Ventricular fibrillation involves a random firing of impulses from the lower chambers of the heart known as the ventricles. When this happens, the heart cannot pump blood, which leads to death, if the condition is not addressed.
Learn CPR Today
Everyone needs to learn how to use an AED and administer CPR. If you have not done so already, now is the time to take CPR and CPR-related training. Give back to your community and make sure you have the skills needed to save a life.
The city of Philadelphia is campaigning to encourage its residents the benefits of learning CPR training. Statistically, the average person in Philadelphia is half as likely to assist a person suffering from cardiac arrest in comparison to other cities nationally.
Because of this campaign, CPR was recently used to save the life of one-year old Jayson Smith, thanks to the efforts of the three Philadelphia police officers and their quick first aid response by applying the necessary CPR needed to save his life.
When the officers arrived at the boy’s home, his eyes were rolled in the back of his head and he was unresponsive. The officers immediately started performing CPR on the child, with one of the officers performing rescue breathing as another officer monitored his pulse. The officer continued the CPR techniques on little Jayson for the next ten minutes until the paramedics arrived and were able to take over the rescue effort and rush him to the nearby St. Christopher’s hospital where doctors on staff could take over.
When we think of using CPR lifesaving techniques, we do not always think that it is going to be a child that needs CPR. However, there are times when a child is in need of this life-saving technique; therefore, the city of Philadelphia would like to urge all its citizens to go online to www.inpulsecpr.com to register for a lifesaving CPR training class right away. It could be one of your loved ones lives that you save by doing so.
The CPR training classes offered by In-Pulse CPR are meant to be fun as well as informative. All participants of the training classes receive a full two-year certification from the American Heart Association. A person can register for a four or six-hour class and there is also First Aid training that is available.
Participants can receive training in CPR certification, AED training, as well as First Aid training throughout the state of Pennsylvania.
Research shows that Philadelphians need to learn CPR. In fact, studies indicate Philadelphia falls behind other cities when it comes to administering this life-saving procedure. That is why it is imperative that Philadelphians begin looking at the importance of CPR training.
Why Everyone Needs to Learn CPR
Most people are under the impression that CPR is a practice that is confined to health care workers or people who work at athletic or sports facilities. However, CPR is a basic resuscitation method that everyone should know.
Hands-on CPR Training
CPR is easy to learn and can save countless lives. Plus, you can use hands-on CPR that does not include breaths. Some people are shy or wary about using mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. However, hands-on CPR makes it possible for you to save someone’s life and keep them breathing until help arrives.
Learn How to Save a Life
The more people who know CPR, the safer everyone will be. Both laypeople in Philadelphia and healthcare providers can benefit from CPR training. Training takes a minimal amount of time and enables a student to learn all there is to know about CPR – compressions, rescue breathing (if the class covers mouth-to-mouth resuscitation), and defibrillation.
A Telling Statistic
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, about 1,100 Philadelphians lost their lives to cardiac arrest in 2015. Many of the deaths, which occurred in public places or at home, could have been avoided if hands-only cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) has been used.
An Instrumental Measure
Indeed, CPR is instrumental in saving lives, as it can be used in a variety of emergencies. CPR can be administered any time a person’s heart stops beating or if he or she suffers from a near-drowning. Again, hands-only CPR does not require that the lifesaver give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation or breaths and has been shown to be as effective as the traditional CPR for saving an individual from cardiac arrest in the workplace, in public, or at home.
Timing Is Crucial
If the heart stops beating, any lack of oxygenated blood can lead to brain damage. This can happen in only several minutes. Moreover, an individual suffering from SCA can die in as little as 10 minutes. However, if CPR is administered, blood can still flow to the organs and brain until responders can provide the equipment needed to restore rhythm to the heart.
A Basic and Easy-to-remember Technique
Any bystander who knows hands-only CPR can be invaluable to a community. This process takes place in two steps. First, the bystander calls 911. He then pushes on the center of the victim’s chest—firmly, using quick compressions—until help arrives. The compression rate should be around 100 compressions per minute. Press over the chest at a depth of about two inches.
Indeed, by-stander CPR is invaluable as well as training in the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED). An AED device is used to restore a heart that is beating abnormally. Cardiac arrest has become a community issue, as cardiac survival rates are unacceptable currently. When a wide range of people know how to administer CPR and use an AED, they can make a vital, if not far-reaching, difference.
How an SCA and Heart Attack Differ
While the terms are often used interchangeably, a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) and a heart attack are not the same thing. A heart attack happens when the circulation to an area of the heart is blocked by either an obstructed or narrow coronary artery. In turn, this blockage results in damage.
Heart Attack Symptoms
Heart attack symptoms usually include dizziness, confusion, shortness of breath, or pain. An SCA happens when the electrical activity of a heart is disrupted, which causes the heart to stop beating. This disruption can result from a heart attack, an inherited condition, or an electrolyte imbalance.
When an SCA occurs, the patient almost instantly loses consciousness. The treatment objective, for an SCA is to maintain blood flow and restore the heart’s rhythm. On the other hand, treatment for a heart attack entails reopening the arteries to clear blockages and o restore the blood’s flow.
SCAs Happen Frequently in the Home
Therefore, when CPR is performed, the goal is to maintain the heart beat until emergency help can arrive. Again, knowing CPR is vital for both bystanders and medical workers, given the latest statistics – statistics that show that most SCAs happen in home settings with a witness present.
Increasing SCA Success Rates – What Typically Works
The effective treatment of SCA requires an automatic response from lifesavers. Usually, this response is more likely to be successful if 911 is called, CPR is begun, and an AED is used. The time between the first chest compression and the SCA incident is critical. Survival rates decrease 10% for every minute CPR is delayed. Therefore, ever second is crucial – from the time of a collapse to the return of spontaneous blood flow.
Can You Perform CPR?
While evidence supports that bystander CPR knowledge along with the use of an AED can substantially increase SCA survival rates, only 3% of the entire US population currently is CPR trained. As a result, many laypeople or bystanders are not prepared to act.
Giving Back the Community
If you live in Philadelphia and want to give back to the community, learning CPR is valuable way to do so. When you are trained in CPR, you will be able to recognize an SCA and know how to respond accordingly.
A Short Learning Curve
It does not take a long time to learn CPR. Therefore, you do not have any reason not to make time to do so. A knowledge of CPR can also be used in emergency situations in the areas of disaster safety, weather safety, water safety, and children’s safety.
Hand-on CPR for Bystanders
While courses for CPR are given in schools and to healthcare providers and employees, they are open, as well, for people who wish to learn how to provide life support using this method. CPR training applies to the resuscitation of pets, babies, children, and adults. Learning hands-on CPR is ideal for bystanders as it easy to retain and remember.
What You Need to Do if Someone Suffers an SCA
Before giving hands-on CPR, responders or bystanders should first look around them, checking the environment and the person. Make sure it is safe for you to continue. Tap the individual on his or her shoulder and ask if he or she is okay. Check to see if they are breathing normally.
Performing Hands-on CPR
Next, call 911 if the victim is not responding. Either that, or ask a bystander to call 911 while you begin chest compressions. Performing hands-on CPR includes the following steps:
Kneel beside the victim
Place the heel of our hand on the chest of the victim
Place the heel of your other hand on top of the hand on the victim’s chest
Lace the fingers together
Position yourself so that your shoulders are situated right above your hands
Keep the arms straight
Push down on the chest, using quick movements, using your body weight
Make sure the compression are at least two inches deep
Deliver about 100 compressions each minute
The chest should rise completely in between each compression
Continue the process until you notice the patient is again breathing or an EMS professional arrives at the scene
Why It Is Important that Everyone Has CPR Training
In some situations, a bystander may become too exhausted to continue. However, if another bystander is present who know CPR, the activity can continue until an AED can be used or an emergency responder arrives.
CPR Training in Philadelphia
Can you see why it is important for everyone to learn CPR? Even in a situation where there is no medical personnel, a life can be saved if people are CPR trained. Statistics reveal that Philadelphia falls behind other cities when it comes to CPR education. According to an article in The Inquirer in Philadelphia, the city’s need for CPR training is acute.
Tripling the Survival Rate
The article added that CPR, when performed within minutes of an SCA, can double or triple an individual’s chance of survival. Indeed, every minute counts when a person falls victim to an SCA. That is why everybody needs to know CPR. An SCA does not just happen in sports facilities, on athletic fields, where people swim, or in the hospital. It often happens at home or can occur in the workplace.
The City of Brotherly Love
If you do not know hands-on CPR or have not been trained in this lifesaving procedure, now is you time to schedule a CPR class. Philadelphia’s motto, called the Philadelphia Maneto, supports the community’s caring nature. The motto, “Caritas fraternitatis maneat in vobis,” when translated, means “Let brotherly love abide with you.” That coincides with the city’s reputation as being the “City of Brotherly Love.”
The American Heart Association has a CPR class this week near you!
Isn’t learning CPR the ideal way to show the type of care that Philadelphians are known to possess? In a short matter of time, you can be certified in CPR. You only need to sign up for a class and start learning. The sooner you do so, the sooner you will realize how CPR can indeed make a difference in your life and to someone who may need your help one day.
Tips for Nurses: How to Stay Calm and Focused during an Emergency or When Giving CPR
Whether you are a nurse who is just beginning your career or have several years, experience, you can become nervous if you need to administer CPR or manage an emergency. How you respond depends on the place where you work, the frequency of code blues, or other emergent circumstances. To perform your best, however, it is vital that you remain calm, regardless of the situation.
Do You Know Where Everything Is?
During any patient emergency, or when the need arises for administering CPR or employing defibrillation, it is essential that you know the placement of the equipment. By scheduling code cart checks, you can further familiarize yourself with all the life saving devices. If you have some free time, or before you begin your shift, check the location of the code cart as well as the ambu bag and oxygen tank.
Make Sure You Are Well Organized
You might also think about creating a diagram of drawer items so you can easily find the supplies and meds you need during an emergency. Laminate your chart so you can keep it intact. Also, check the resuscitation medicines and doses as part of your regular routine. The whole key to handling any emergency situation is to be prepared. When you are prepared, you will feel less anxious and be more valuable to the healthcare team.
Never Apologize When a Patient’s Life Is at Stake
Also, during an emergency, it is better to press the button for help sooner than later. Never apologize if you feel the need to call a code, even if the patient stabilizes during resuscitation. Nurses need to record pateints’ vital signs and administer IVs when resuscitation becomes a priority. It is also important to have the fluids, meds, and defibrillator ready to administer and use.
Is the Patient Breathing
Check the pulse. Is the patient breathing? Is he or she responsive? If the answers to any these questions is “no,” compressions and respiratory assistance (CPR) is necessary while more advanced resuscitation techniques and items are prepped.
Acquainting Yourself with the Defibrillator
While using a defibrillator can, at first, seem rather challenging, its use in ventricular fibrillation induced (VF) cardiac arrests is crucial to a patient’s survival. You should consider the defibrillator as a comforting companion – a device that you can easily check, set up and dial the correct jules when in use.
What Are Your Strengths?
Make sure you focus on your strengths as part of the emergency response team. That means filling out the code document form and using it if you are good at recording or drawing up and administering meds if that is your strong suit.
It also helps, when working as part of an emergency team to engage in closed-loop communications. This form of communications ensures that each health care member knows what he or she is being requested to perform and who is doing a specific task.
This can help in particularly high-stress, fast paced circumstances. For instance, if someone asks you to get an epi, you acknowledge that you are getting the epi. This type of cooperation can do a lot towards calming the situation and keeping everyone on track.
Staying in Practice
To stay prepped for emergencies, it never hurts for nurses to reacquaint themselves with training, such as basic life support (BLS) methods or adult advanced cardiovascular life support (ACLS), or to practice resuscitation or CPR skills with other members of the team.
Prepping Yourself for an Emergency
Scheduling team sessions where each member can practice can be invaluable. Rehearsing a code mentally, as well, will keep each member’s skills up-to-date and increase the level of comfort when an emergency actually occurs.
Ask Questions – Even Seemingly Obvious Ones
One of the vital things to do in an emergency is to ask questions – never assume. For example, if a code is happening, you may wonder mentally if anyone did a certain task. Everyone seems to be in control at the moment, so you reason that the activity has been performed. Even if an inquiry may seem obvious, you should still ask the question.
First responders, regardless of their skill level, may not reason objectively. For example, if a patient, who is being prepped for surgery seems overmedicated, he or she may, instead, be hypoglycemic. Therefore, never assume. Again, ask questions, even if you think the answer may seem apparent. You have to review all angles of a situation.
Debriefings – Why They Are Important
A debriefing should always follow a code. This gives each member of the team a chance to discuss the positive and negative activities than went on during an emergency. For example, you may want to ask if the communication was clear enough or transparent? Was a certain sign not identified early enough?
A Chance to Improve on What You Already Know
On the other hand, you may want to note that responses were immediate and early defibrillation was achieved with success. A debriefing or evaluation gives each emergency team member an opportunity to review an emergency so any communications or behaviors can be improved during future emergencies.
Stay Focused and Work with the Healthcare Team
It is normal to become nervous during any emergency situation, or when a patient’s condition becomes life-threatening. The key is to keep breathing, stay focused, and work with the team. Being prepared will help you do a better job as a health care provider and member of an emergency response team.
Keep Current on CPR Procedures and the Use of Defibrillation Equipment
That is why updating your resuscitation skills is vital to your success as a health care worker. Keep up-to-date on the latest trends in CPR or defibrillation equipment. Keeping current will enable you to increase you confidence level and provide a higher level of care for your patients. It will also assist you in your career and increase your credibility as a member of the medical team.