When cardiac arrest strikes, every second is crucial. Each minute CPR is
not performed, the likelihood of brain damage increases significantly.
In as little as 10 minutes without CPR, brain damage is expected in a
victim of cardiac arrest, yet only 32% of cardiac arrest victims will
receive CPR from a bystander. The root of this troubling statistic? A
lack of emergency training.
During a cardiac emergency, 70% of Americans feel too helpless to act due
to a lack of training. “The average person isn’t comfortable
in an emergency situation because they’ve never been trained or
haven’t received the proper training on what to do in the event
of a cardiac emergency,” said Sharon Smith, RN, MSN, Wellness Nurse
for Catawba Valley Health System (CVHS)
Health First Center. “In fact, most people wouldn’t even be able to recognize
the signs of someone experiencing a cardiac emergency.” Sharon,
who teaches CPR classes for CVHS, is on a mission to change the attitude
of bystanders through preparation and education.
Sharon teaches American Heart Association certification classes for the
general public, which can be taken by groups or individuals at a scheduled
class. Classes for both adult and pediatric emergencies are available,
and are perfect for parents, church groups, non-medical individuals, caretakers
or anyone who wants to prepare themselves for an emergency situation.
On-site classes are also offered for companies that require employee certification
in: CPR, AED use, First Aid or Bloodborne Pathogens. Sharon’s infectious
energy gets students excited to learn about how to save loved ones, coworkers
or even strangers through CPR. These lessons have already propelled bystanders
into action during an actual cardiac emergency in the workplace.
“I received a call from one of the companies I had taught recently
- a manufacturing plant who had just experienced a situation in which
they had to administer CPR on one of their employees,” said Sharon.“Using
the skills they learned and practiced relentlessly during my class, I
was proud to hear that when the trained staff members were placed in a
real, life-saving situation they all worked together and operated like
a well-oiled machine.”
When she visits a worksite for employee classes, Sharon is also able to
provide tips on how to make the space more emergency-friendly. Additionally,
these on-site classes provide an opportunity for employees to see where
all of the life-saving equipment is located and how to access it in their
The general public is encouraged to call the
Health First Center at 828.485.2300 to find out when the next class is being held. CVHS offers
a variety of certification and non-certification classes that are tailored
to the needs of each company or individual. These classes include:
Friends and Family Class
This class is ideal for the individual or group that isn’t required
to receive certification, but would like to be prepared to act if a loved
one faces a cardiac emergency.
Heart-Saver CPR, AED, and First Aid Training:
This class is offered to both companies and individuals, and is ideal for
those seeking certification for their employees.
Pediatric Heart-Saver First Aid, CPR and AED Training:
For those who interact closely with children or infants, this course offers
certification in pediatric CPR, AED use and First Aid. Both individuals
and companies can take this course.
Healthcare Provider CPR Training:
Physicians, Occupational Therapists, Nurses, Nursing Students, Dental Hygienists
and other healthcare providers can receive certification through this course.
Bloodborne Pathogen Certification:
This course teaches individuals how to handle bloodborne pathogens in the
workplace or at home. It is offered to both companies and individuals.
According to the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation, there are more than
356,000 Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrests (OHCA) each year. Prepare yourself
and those around you for a cardiac emergency by taking CPR classes through
CVHS and obtaining your certifications. To schedule a class for your company
or find one for yourself, call the
Health First Center at 828.485.2300.