Learning Basic Life Support in a Clinical Setting
Written by Shalom Adams and Allen Tsiyer, 5th semester students
During our Introduction to Clinical Medicine course at AUC, students are required to take a Basic Life Support (CPR) class led by our own faculty and certified American Heart Association instructors. The team consists of physicians, nurses, and paramedics that serve the local community. This class certifies you in CPR for two years, as it would for anyone that takes a CPR class. However, the class holds greater importance to us as medical students, as it allows us to maintain certification through the two upcoming years of clinical rotations.
The timing of this course could not be better: Not only is it effective in its own right, but we are also able to apply knowledge learned in the classroom to build a greater understanding of the physiology behind CPR and first aid.
Throughout medical sciences, we have slowly been introduced to the team approach of medicine. The team approach is more clinical, the true way you would practice in a physician setting. So during the course, we were taught not just basic CPR, but also team CPR, which included identifying roles and taking appropriate steps to ensure better patient outcomes if cardiac arrest were to occur. Having members of the community teach us with our faculty really drove this message home.
Even more so, being taught by medical professionals from the community allowed them to pass along valuable experience and knowledge that is applicable to our future. We were able to discuss various patient scenarios, including those that we would encounter in hospitals in just a few months’ time. In the past, CPR was a matter of certification “just in case.” Now, it’s become so much more, as we are about to encounter situations in which we might have to perform CPR at the least expected times.