Rising to the challenge

Capstone Scholars Program staff get CPR certified for World Heart Day

In recognition of World Heart Day (Sept. 29), the staff of the university’s Capstone Scholars Program has completed training and is now certified in cardio-pulmonary resuscitation.

Patrick Hickey, the program’s faculty principal and a professor in the College of Nursing, came up with the idea for his seven-person staff to learn CPR as a group after considering the need for more trained personnel on campus. Hickey has worked as an emergency room nurse and with an ambulance service and has performed CPR innumerable times throughout his 42-year career.

“I was at the Dutch Fork Cinema with my wife a few months ago when a child was choking in the lobby,” he says. “I was able to clear the boy’s airway, and stabilize him until the paramedics arrived, but I was disappointed that no one else stepped forward in that big crowd of people that was watching. It caused me to wonder about the level of preparedness of my staff and my colleagues.”

According to World Heart Day cardiovascular disease accounts for nearly half of all noncommunicable disease deaths and is the world’s No. 1 killer. Hickey is encouraging faculty and staff members to consider completing CPR training to ensure timely response to potential heart attack and choking incidents on campus.

“Faculty and staff members across campus should ask these questions: Where is the closest automated external defibrillator? What would we do if someone collapsed at work?” Hickey says. “It’s not difficult to become CPR certified — in fact, new guidelines have made it even simpler — and it can save someone’s life.”

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