If you have a job in the medical field, you probably have easy access to CPR training since it's likely to be a mandatory requirement for your employment. If your workplace doesn't offer CPR classes, you can find them available elsewhere, and taking them is something to consider even if you don't work in the health profession. Knowing CPR could save the life of a family member. Here's why taking CPR classes is important and a few things you learn.
Why You Should Learn CPR
Quick action is important for survival when someone has a heart attack. Starting CPR right away could save the life of a friend, coworker, or family member. The delay while waiting on an ambulance could be long enough to cause brain damage or death. You might think you could do CPR since you've probably seen it done many times on television. However, while CPR is easy to do, it has to be done correctly or it can cause damage.
What You Learn In A CPR Class
When you take a CPR class, one thing you learn about is proper hand placement for doing the chest compressions. Your hands must be placed in the center of the chest over the sternum. If they are off to the side, you could crack ribs or cause other internal damage. You also learn the right pace for doing compressions as well as the proper depth and technique. You must press deeply enough to push blood through the heart but not so deep that you cause serious injury. The technique you use is important too. Keeping your elbows locked in the straight arm position helps you have better control over the compressions and it also helps prevent fatigue if you have to do CPR for a long time.
You'll learn how to do CPR on adults, children, and infants. Knowing these different approaches is important because infants need quicker compressions and they are only done with fingers using more gentle movements. When you learn CPR, you practice different scenarios so you're prepared for different circumstances. You practice finding someone unconscious as well as when you witness someone collapse. You'll even learn what to do when an adult or child chokes. The good thing about CPR classes is that you get to practice on a manikin so you get a feel for how much force you should use and how you should follow the steps sequentially to ensure the victim has the best chance of survival.
CPR classes involve lectures and hands-on training. Once you've had enough practice, you perform CPR in front of the instructor so you can be critiqued and certified. Then, you should have the confidence needed to respond quickly in the event of a medical emergency until an ambulance arrives.