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Essay by: ISP107   

We are a community in every sense of the word – as a group of friends, as a family, as students in a nursing program, even strangers on the street – communities are found in every setting and, in every setting of our lives there are people who may at any given time experience a medical emergency and need our help. Help made available to another can give them a fighting chance, and often can save that person’s life.

Imagine if one day you got a phone call from a professional healthcare worker telling you that your family member, friend, or fellow classmate has successfully made it to the hospital because when they needed help someone was there with the capability and willingness to assist them, thereby helping them get to the advanced medical care they needed, just-in-time? Or what if Instead of that phone call, you receive a call from the hospital and the healthcare worker begins telling you how sorry they were but your loved one did not make it to the hospital on time because unfortunately help did not reach them in time, and no, there was no one on the scene that was able to help them.

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation – CPR. The American Heart Association reports that 92% of sudden cardiac arrest victims die before reaching the hospital. That is a staggering number and one that could easily be improved upon. By the shear willingness of an individual who decides that today is the day they stop turning their backs on someone in trouble for fear of not knowing what to do or from their fear of getting involved; they decide to take the courageous stance to reach out to this person who is experiencing a medical emergency and helps them in any way they can. I bet it would be a lot easier to do if we stopped to really look at this person unknown to us, and see this person as someone’s mother, father, sister, brother, or child.

Did you know that the practice of CPR has been around since the 1740’s? We have had this opportunity to obtain a skill that could actually help a fellow human being take another breathe of life, give them the ability to be with their loved ones one more day; or, have one more conversation with a friend; to give them back all these things we take for granted and wish we hadn’t until we no longer can because here we are – face to face with our mortality or another’s who reflects back to us our own mortality through a life-threatening emergency. I would hate for any of us to have to reflect back on the day we felt inadequate to help another in need simply because we didn’t think we could or that we should have been able to if we had only taken that CPR class we kept thinking about but never followed through on. It could have made all the difference in the life of someone’s loved one.

Time for us to come together as a community – a community of friends, families, classmates, and those who once were unknown to us and say, “Yes, I will be there for you and help you when you are in need of my help!” CPR classes are held regularly through the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross, at our local schools and community centers. Let’s stand as a community and say “Yes” I have been trained in CPR and I will help when I am called upon in case of a medical emergency.

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