Chest compressions aren’t the usual form of exercise kids get in their physical education classes. That’s what they get, though, when the doctors from NSU show up for their potentially life-saving workshop.
“Cardio-vascular disease is the number one killer across the world, about four out of five people that have a cardiac event, it happens at home, so by training these students, if they’re at home and something happens to one of their family members, they’re able to make an impact,” said Dr. Darren Cohen of the Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine.
The college started doing outreach classes last year at two Broward County high schools, Cooper City and Stranahan. They’ve taught hundreds of kids the basics of CPR, infant CPR, how to save someone who’s choking, and how to use an AED, which stands for Automatic External Defibrillator. They’re learning how to save lives in their PE classes.
“If you can save one life, or if one kid out of the 600 in here ever gets to use this, that’s a great thing that they know what they’re doing,” said Cooper City High PE teacher Paul Megna.
“You know I was expecting like the basic classes, maybe knowing how to do a pushup but now i’m learning how to actually save lives, so that’s pretty cool,” said student Amanda Suris-Diaz.
NSU’s medical school teaches its first and second-year students to become basic life support instructors, so the workshops are largely conducted by the doctors-in-training, who feel like they’re providing a community service.
“I also like the mentoring aspect of it,” said medical student Jenna Varner. “A lot of the students have an interest in health care, so by seeing the med students from NSU they ask us questions about how we got there and what our life is like in medical school.”