Introduction: CPR for CNAs: Saving One Life at a Time
Studying to become a certified nursing assistant can be rather difficult. I know this well because I’ve been through this myself. The great amount of information you have to cram in your head may seem to be impossible to embrace at times. However, thousands of people successfully complete their CNA training and pass the necessary exams. This means that every person can do this if they really try hard.
One of my friends is currently attending CNA classes, and he has recently come to me for help. It turned out that his training course doesn’t cover CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) techniques thoroughly because they believe their trainees should get a separate CPR certification. This is why my friend asked me for guidance, as he doesn’t have the time to attend another course at the moment. In order to help him, I drew up a simple guide on performing CPR. Today, I want to share this guide with you. Perhaps, someday it will help you save someone’s life.
Step 1: Call for Help
Even if you are a medical specialist yourself (though a low-ranking one), the first thing to do in an emergency situation is to call for help. CPR is an emergency measure that can keep a person alive a bit longer, but it won’t remove the problem that caused someone to go into this death-like state. This means that you need to ensure that qualified doctors and nurses arrive with the necessary tools before you start doing anything. In a perfect case scenario, you should send one of the passersby to seek help while you are concentrating on trying to get the patient’s heart to start beating again.
Considering how important these techniques are, be sure to find CNA classes that teach them properly or take a specialized CPR training course.
Step 2: Start Chest Compressions
Place the heel of your hand in the middle of the patient’s chest. Cover it with your other hand (your fingers should be interlaced). Now, you can start compressing the patient’s chest. Your movements need to be precise and above all, regular. Compress the chest for about two inches and let it recoil completely, then start over. You need to do one hundred compressions per minute. This procedure will imitate a person’s heartbeat in an attempt to get their heart to start over.
Don’t be scared if you hear some pops and soft cracks. It’s a normal reaction of a person’s body to forceful chest compression. This mustn’t stop you because even if you manage to crack the patient’s rib, saving their life is more important.
Step 3: Start Rescue Breathing and Repeat the Cycle
After you perform thirty chest compressions, tilt the patient’s head and lift their chin to clear their airway. Then pinch their nose, seal your mouth over the patient’s, and give them a breath big enough to get the chest rise. If it’s possible, use a CPR mask. It will be perfect if there is another person to assist you by performing rescue breathing while you are focusing on chest compressions.
If after giving the victim two rescue breaths, they still don’t start breathing on their own, repeat the compressions. The cycle mustn’t be interrupted. Every thirty compressions are followed by two breaths. Maintain the pace of 100 compressions per minute.
Step 4: Use an AED (optional)
AED, or automated external defibrillator, is a device that is supposed to jumpstart the person’s heart by giving the patient small electrical jolts. An AED is used as a more effective replacement for CPR. However, if you don’t have access to this machine immediately after you see the person collapse, you will need to perform CPR for at least a minute before using it on the patient.
Despite the fact that CPR seems simple, performing it is very difficult because you will be working under extreme stress. Remember, you cannot allow yourself to panic in this situation. The patient’s life is literally in your hands. Thus, you must perform the necessary procedures until help arrives.
Check the patient for signs of natural breathing every two minutes. To do this, you will need to stop the compressions. In case the patient still cannot breathe on his or her own, restart the cycle and repeat it as long as necessary.