By Gianna Rose

In early December 2020, students in Emergency Medical Response classes started a new unit on performing CPR.

Being trained to perform CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation) is one of the requirements for passing the state certified emergency medical responder exam.

In this segment, students learn, through the American Heart Association, how to resuscitate a person with cardiac arrest.

Students focus on learning chest compressions and providing defibrillation with an automated external defibrillator (AED) and rescue breath.

Students learn how to effectively give CPR to infants, children and adults.

Bess Woodhouse teaches EMR and Health Occupation classes at Laramie High School.

When teaching students CPR, Woodhouse likes to focus on the importance of communication with their team members in stressful situations.

“Having really good communication with the people you are working with leads to better outcomes with the patient,” Woodhouse said.

Woodhouse also points out that having good technique is important for effective CPR.

When teaching students this skill, she makes sure that they are pushing hard enough and fast enough to get the best results possible. Woodhouse explained that this is the most important part of CPR for students to remember.

Woodhouse encourages more students to take an EMR or Health occupations class because it can give students who are interested in the health care field a good start in basic emergency care.

“It’s a good starter class to learn basic emergency care for a person, and then you get a state certification. It’s a good thing to have on your resume,” Woodhouse said.

Woodhouse explained that having a certification on your resume could help later in a student’s life when applying for job as a nurse or other position in the medical field.

“A lot of employers are looking for that on a resume especially if you are a CNA [Certified Nurse Assistant] and you go to work in a health care facility. Just knowing that you have knowledge of basic emergency care is a plus,” Woodhouse said.

Woodhouse explained that for CPR, communication is important for trying to achieve the best results. Woodhouse also believes this is true in the rest of her classes and in the real world.

Her goal is to show students that the most important take away from the experience is valuing good communication between team members in emergency situations.

“Good communication can get you far in an emergency situation and I really think you can apply that to the rest of your life too just being able to communicate with your peers and your coworkers effectively will lead to better relationships and get you what you want in your life,” Woodhouse said.

The EMR class offered at LHS is a semester long course that focuses on training students to be proficient in basic EMR care. At the end of the class, students have the opportunity to be certified for their basic EMR skills via a certification test. If students pass this test with above an 80 percent, they become certified.