CPR Trainer Reflection: Piscataway High School
By Aditya Jain
Walking through the halls of a high school was a familiar experience, but foreign at the same time. As the school bell rang and hordes of students rushed out of their classrooms, Pranya (my co-instructor) and I weaved our way to a science lab at Piscataway High School, guided by three young, well-spoken students. Upon getting to the room, we both introduced ourselves, set up the PowerPoint, distributed a pre-survey, and started up our planned training on Hands-Only CPR and Stroke Recognition.
For the next 90 minutes, I forgot about my upcoming exams, the paper I had due that weekend, and the intramural game I would play in a few hours later. As we presented the prepared information, starting with Stroke Recognition and the BE-FAST acronym, the students of PHS HOSA (a student organization at Piscataway High School) followed along with us, nodding their heads, widening their eyes at our statistics, and raising their hands when a question was asked. Being healthcare-oriented themselves, the students asked intelligent questions about the physiology of cardiac arrest and strokes and actively participated in our concept reviews. While practicing CPR after the presentation, the students looked for cues that they were performing CPR correctly and beamed with excitement when told they had scored highly. A few of the students were even competing amongst themselves, pushing to see who could get the highest score. At the end of the session, many students stopped by to thank us for the information, some asking where they could learn more or become EMTs themselves.
In the past few months, we’ve trained over 15 high schools and 700 high school students in addition to our events at parks, churches, and temples. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this was my first in-person training for a high school, and it was amazing to see how much of a difference this made. It was so rewarding to see the students understand the information we presented, respond to it, and show that they were receiving the message that we aimed to deliver. Bystander confidence in performing Hands-Only CPR is so important, and it feels amazing to build that confidence in these students.
To the students of Piscataway High School, thank you all for being an amazing class to teach and for making this a rewarding experience. We all look forward to teaching here again soon!