At my last class …

I’m sure I’m not the only instructor who has had class participants tell them about their last CPR class. Hopefully they are awesome stories… but most often they’re not.

This is a sampling of things I’ve heard recently.

    Student: “At my last class …”

  • we didn’t use the dummies. How come we have to use the dummies?
  • we were done in an hour. How come your class is longer than that?
  • we didn’t use an AED. The instructor just showed us a picture of one on their phone.
  • we didn’t give breaths in CPR. The instructor said no one does that anymore.
  • we didn’t have to demonstrate high-performance team CPR in the BLS class.
  • I only had to tell the instructor what I would do, I didn’t actually do anything.
  • the instructor said if we didn’t break the persons ribs we weren’t doing it right.
  • I paid a lot less, it was cheaper, how come you charge so much?
  • the instructor seemed really intimidating and made us all uncomfortable.

And there are more, I’m just not remembering some of them.

My replies to all of this are that yes, all class participants have to demonstrate the physical hands-on skills of CPR and BLS. I can’t teach CPR in less than an hour, it takes time to explain, demonstrate, and have you practice all the skills. Everyone will learn how to use an AED with hands-on practice. We still give breaths in CPR, for infants and children this is really important. But I’ll have you use both barrier sheets and pocket masks to keep everything clean. Can you break ribs? Yes. Will you always break ribs? No. Breaking ribs or cartilage is not always an valid indicator of the quality of your chest compressions, that’s why we’re using feedback devices in class. I use a lot of supplies to teach a CPR class – books, cards, disposable supplies like mannequin lungs, barrier sheets, and training valves. I have to buy replacement pads for the AED trainers after a few classes and I have to pay the rent and utilities for my classroom. When you add all that up I’m not really making much, teaching CPR is not a lucrative career path. But I believe in what I teach and think its important for you to learn so I invest in good equipment to train you properly and safely. Every class – whether you take it from me or another instructor – should be safe and supportive learning environment. No one should feel threatened, uncomfortable, or nervous taking a CPR, BLS, or First Aid class.

What have you heard or said about your last CPR class?

If you’re an instructor … what interesting stories have you heard from your students?
If you’ve been in a CPR class, what comments would you have for your instructor?

Feel free to leave your comments, I’ll add them to the post!

At my last class …
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