CPR Instruction for Students in Grades 7-12

CPR Instruction Mandated for Students in Grades 7-12
CPR Instruction

March 31, 2015 – Students in grades 7-12 are receiving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training in public schools as a requirement of House Bill 897, which went into effect at the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year. The law requires students to receive this life-saving training at least once as a prerequisite to high school graduation.

“Students have the opportunity to learn CPR from qualified individuals spanning emergency services, representatives of the American Heart Association or American Red Cross, and district employees,” Dr. Dana West, Caprock Cluster Director, explained. “This gives our students an occasion not only to learn CPR, but to see how it is used in a variety of career fields.”

In 2013, the 83rd Texas Legislature passed HB 897 which requires the State Board of Education to include CPR instruction as a requirement for students in grades 7-12. The instruction may be provided as part of any course and is not required to result in CPR certification.

Currently, Amarillo ISD is providing students with the necessary CPR training in conjunction with FitnessGram. Starting in the 2015-2016 school year, CPR instruction will be provided in physical education, athletics or FitnessGram for students in the 7th-grade.

All of the healthcare instructors at AACAL are certified Basic Life Support instructors, and Kathy Snider is certified to teach Advanced Life Support for Health Care Professionals. Students in healthcare courses receive four years of training in life saving techniques, and are certified in Basic Life Support for Health Care Providers if they participate in the EMT or EKG Technician courses.

“Even though ‘out of hospital’ statistics for successful resuscitation are low, if one life is saved, it is worth it,” AACAL healthcare instructor Susan Sanborn said. “Many people who perform CPR, do so on family or friends. These skills are invaluable in an emergency.”

Instruction must be provided using training developed by the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross, or using nationally recognized, evidence-based guidelines for emergency cardiovascular care and incorporating psychomotor skills to support the instruction. Medical mannequins will provide students the hands-on component necessary in the CPR instruction.

Sanborn and Snider shared students often come back to AACAL and tell stories of how they used CPR and other life saving techniques in public places. “Each time, the students have reported an increased sense of self-worth knowing they did all they could for the victim.”

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