Why Take CPR Training Seriously?
Why take CPR training seriously? Besides the obvious, your career and reputation may depend on it.
Last year during a ‘vertical patrol’ inside a stairwell, a rookie NYPD officer accidentally discharged his weapon. The bullet ricocheted off a wall, then struck an innocent person who was also in the stairwell with his girlfriend. The bullet pierced his heart. As bad as that is, it gets worse. In the moments while Akai Gurley lay dying, the officer and his partner failed to do CPR. They even argued about who should notify the department, and delayed calling for help long enough that the victim’s girlfriend was able to run to a nearby apartment and have a neighbor call 911. The girlfriend applied pressure to the wound, then did CPR after Akai stopped breathing while their neighbor relayed the emergency dispatcher’s instructions.
Neither officer did a single compression and blamed their inaction on a lack of training. The department is reeling by what was described as a “class-wide cheating system.”
In the subsequent manslaughter trial, it was discovered that the officer’s academy CPR ‘training’ was horrifically inadequate. Testimony revealed that they were provided test answers before the exam. They each spent less than 2 minutes on a manikin, and there were about 300 recruits with 8 CPR manikins! Fast forward from that academy CPR class… one person is dead, 2 officers fired and the Instructor, also an NYPD officer, is on administrative duty while their CPR training is investigated.
No doubt this is an extreme and incredibly sad example of alleged short-cuts and woefully inadequate training. It’s upsetting, however, to think this is going on at any level.
Unfortunately, there are Instructors who cut corners, or worse – cut the whole thing. Maybe it’s because the client wants to get out early, maybe it’s their workplace culture, or maybe the instructor just doesn't care. Or maybe all of the above. Too much of the time we’re focused on the short term, but doing the right thing requires long-term thinking.
As instructors, when we hear and read about these instances we have to ask ourselves if we are doing the right thing. When we do the right thing (i.e. meet the course requirements and objectives) it’s easy to validate the training when it comes under scrutiny. When things aren’t done right, the consequences down the line can be devastating.
Do the right thing - Take CPR Training Seriously
Doing the right thing isn’t always easy. When it comes to training responders, however, it’s just not that hard: follow the curriculum, meet the objectives, ensure everyone understands, and work more with those who are having trouble. Then maintain accurate course records that reflect your actions.
So, the next time your client asks, “Are you sure we need to do that all that? The last instructor was here for half the time and we got the cards…” What will your answer be?