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Why isn't CPR included in basic educational classes?

Posted
by Dianna11 Dianna11 (Member)

I don't know how far down we should go, but I think CPR should be one of the most important things a young person needs to learn.

I grew up overseas, so I knew not only CPR but first aid since elementary school.

Why is CPR not a mandatory course for school students here in the US?? What is more important than human life?

kakamegamama

Specializes in MCH,NICU,NNsy,Educ,Village Nursing.

Yes, human life is important. CPR is sometimes taught in first aid/health classes in schools. However, the longterm benefit of receive CPR is in question as a large percentage do not continue to live (if resuscitated) the same quality of life they lived prior to their need for CPR. That probably doesn't have anything to do with whether or not or where it is taught, but just an observation. That being said, maybe you could approach someone in a school or other situation (YMCA, Boys Club/Girls Club, etc.), and offer to teach--if you are certified to do so.

Yes, human life is important. CPR is sometimes taught in first aid/health classes in schools. However, the longterm benefit of receive CPR is in question as a large percentage do not continue to live (if resuscitated) the same quality of life they lived prior to their need for CPR. That probably doesn't have anything to do with whether or not or where it is taught, but just an observation. That being said, maybe you could approach someone in a school or other situation (YMCA, Boys Club/Girls Club, etc.), and offer to teach--if you are certified to do so.

I will definitely push this forward. I personally think that CPR should be a mandatory teaching for everyone, young and old.

Wether someone's life will be the same after resuscitation, that remains to be seen. Knowing how and being able to help is a completely different thing.

Thank you for your reply.

Edited by Dianna11

I don't see a huge need to make CPR mandatory in elementary school, as dispatcher assisted CPR is common in North America. Dispatchers are able to instruct previously untrained bystanders with instructions over the phone and the results are comparable to CPR performed by trained volunteers.

CrunchRN, ADN, RN

Specializes in Clinical Research, Outpt Women's Health. Has 25 years experience.

I think it is a great idea.

mmc51264, ADN, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in orthopedic; Informatics, diabetes. Has 9 years experience.

I had to pass a CPR class in high school. I also had to have it as a teacher later. It is a requirement to get into nursing school and stay there.

HouTx, BSN, MSN, EdD

Specializes in Critical Care, Education. Has 35 years experience.

In the US, everything education-related is controlled at the state level, so there can be a wide variation, but many High Schools do require CPR. In addition, school districts usually mandate CPR & first aid training for coaches and other teachers involved in physical education. Sadly, I understand that High School nurses in my neck of the woods are now stocking Narcan as well.

I work as a school nurse - in my district it is mandatory for all coaches, bus drivers & PE teachers to be certified - optional for other staff. I wish it was mandatory for all staff - I am the only nurse on my campus and it would be nice if something were to happen that more of the staff would know what to immediatly do instead of waiting those precious few moments until I arrive.

I do offer CPR training for all staff twice a year - I stress is it good for everyone to know what to do not only for school purposes but for taking care of your own immediate family as well. Our district also started to give the teachers "Professional Developement" hours for taking the class - this has helped alittle, more are inclined to take the class if for nothing else but to fulfill their PD obligations.

I am not sure what is done at the student level. With my own daughter in high school she did take CPR during her health class as part of the curriculum. At the Elementary level - I offer my services to some of the local girl scout troops outside of school for CPR/First Aid certification. I know a few nurses in my district have offered CPR to 5th graders but it was an optional after school type of situation.

BSN16

Specializes in ICU, trauma.

High School i definitely agree should learn basic CPR. I took BLS in a health class when i was in school.

Elementary school on the other hand i don't really think it is appropriate. I have no idea of the statistics but how often do children go into cardiac arrest without an adult present? The chances of an adult going into cardiac arrest is much more likely-and compressions from a 7 year old on a 200 lb adult is probably nowhere near effective enough. So i just dont think it is appropriate, much better that they just call for help

emmy27

Specializes in ER, Med-surg.

I did have CPR in elementary school (as a 12-13 year old). It wasn't mandated, though, our teacher was also a paramedic and certified instructor, and thought it would be good for us to know, so he taught us himself. To this day I've never done CPR outside of work, but they gave us a barrier mask when we completed the course (back when rescue breathing was still encouraged for bystander CPR) and my mom wound up using it to perform bystander CPR later that year. The gentleman didn't make it, but I know she was glad to have had the mask and felt safe to give breaths and know she did all she could.

I think the biggest benefit to taking the course at that age was not that it made me competent to perform CPR right then, but that it familiarized me with the concepts, demystified the process, and made me more confident to pursue CPR training as an adult. After all, knowing that I was able to do something as a kid made it seem much less intimidating as an adult. Making it seem like a basic skill (which it is!) and giving people a background in it may be just the thing they need to feel confident to start compressions in an emergency someday years down the line, even if they haven't kept their cert current.

Buyer beware, BSN

Specializes in GENERAL. Has 40 years experience.

I don't know how far down we should go, but I think CPR should be one of the most important things a young person needs to learn.

I grew up overseas, so I knew not only CPR but first aid since elementary school.

Why is CPR not a mandatory course for school students here in the US?? What is more important than human life?

MONEY!!!

WanderingWilder, ASN

Specializes in Med-Surg.

CPR was required as part of my health class in high school.

SummitRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU + Infection Prevention. Has 9 years experience.

I think 6th or 7th grade is just perfect.

CPR is required to graduate high school in 35 of the 50 states

It is a new drive and the legisation only started kicking in 2015 or may not start until 2016-2018

Click here to see where it is required:

CPR in Schools Legislation Map

Here.I.Stand, BSN, RN

Specializes in SICU, trauma, neuro. Has 16 years experience.

My oldest daughter learned and got certified in 8th grade health class.

High School i definitely agree should learn basic CPR. I took BLS in a health class when i was in school.

Elementary school on the other hand i don't really think it is appropriate. I have no idea of the statistics but how often do children go into cardiac arrest without an adult present? The chances of an adult going into cardiac arrest is much more likely-and compressions from a 7 year old on a 200 lb adult is probably nowhere near effective enough. So i just dont think it is appropriate, much better that they just call for help

CA can happen at any age. Just recently a young girl died while on a transatlantic flight. But it's not just about cardiac arrest. What about them at least knowing the Heimlich maneuver, or first aid (how to stop a bleeding)? Adults are not always present when seconds matter.