Students at Baylor College of Medicine are learning about patient care and life saving measures, but it doesn’t stop there - they are also sharing that knowledge by volunteering their time to give back to the community. Medical students have organized free one-hour CPR training sessions and have been growing the program since its creation four years ago.
“The idea is to go out into the community and teach people how to react in an emergency situation,” said Jake Valentine, third-year medical student and director of operations of Baylor’s MassCPR program. “For a lot of people, their biggest nightmare is to be around someone who collapses and not know what to do.”
Students involved in MassCPR adapted their curriculum through the American Heart Association, and have simplified their teachings to just two steps. In conjunction with Heart Month 2016, they worked with the Texas College of Emergency Physicians on a statewide effort, Texas Two Step, that emphasized the two most important steps of CPR: calling 911 and starting compressions.
“It’s really just two steps, you start compressions and call 911,” said Valentine. “When we go out and teach this, we want to make it a one-time thing that they can learn how to do.”
Although participants of MassCPR cannot offer CPR certification, they are able to help the community gain knowledge and be well trained to handle a life threatening medical emergency.
“More people in the community can learn to potentially save lives and gain the assurance of being prepared if they were to ever find themselves in a life threatening situation,” said Valentine.
The program started in 2013 reaching less than 200 people, but it has since grown. Organizers have expanded their outreach across Texas to over 4,000 members with 580 members of the Houston Community.
“I would be ecstatic if we could double those numbers for next year,” said Valentine. “Even if we can just repeat the same number and help teach that many people in the community about CPR, that would be great.”