The population for this workshop teaching pediatric cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) was held at Bible Baptist Church in Chikasah, Oklahoma. It was held in the Fellowship Hall of that church. The class was targeted for young to middle-aged adults. All of the participants had young children and had expressed an interest in learning pediatric CPR. Those who enrolled ranged in age from 19 to 40 years and included both male and females. The class was completed on October 9, 2005. This room was spacious enough for the activities of the class. It was well lit and well ventilated. It had enough chairs, wall space for displaying charts and other information, and had sturdy tables on which the CPR dummies could be placed for illustration purposes. There was enough room for people to work in pairs without crowding.
The instructor determined the needs of this group by interviewing several people in the targeted group. She talked to selected parents of young children in the congregation and determined that a significant number of parents did not know how to use CPR if needed on their small children. The participants were mostly Caucasian from lower-middle or middle class background. Most had graduated from high school, and many had attended at least some college. English was the native language for all participants, so there were no language barriers. The parents interviewed were first-time parents who knew little about CPR and who did not know that CPR for small children was not quite the same as CPR for adults.
The instructor used a combination of materials from Red Cross and the American Heart Association, supplemented with other information gathered by the instructor. The instructional environment included marker boards, printed materials for the classroom, two Red Cross CPR dummies (one of an infant and one of a toddler), and review materials with illustration to take home. The class included handouts that resembled some of the illustrations and materials used in the class. They illustrated the basic steps of pediatric CPR. The participants were instructed to keep these materials on their refrigerators or some other prominent and easily found spot for easy reference in an emergency. Red Cross provided the CPR pediatric dummies used for this class.
When the course was completed, the instructor evaluated the participants to see how well they had mastered the material using discussion and a short questionnaire. The participants were able to verbally explain pediatric CPR in clear and accurate ways. They were able to successfully demonstrate pediatric CPR techniques on the dummies. They were able to explain when to call 911, and demonstrated an increased knowledge about the home environment and the potential hazards for infants and small children that might be present in their homes. They could identify accurate vs. inaccurate statements about CPR for small children. The students also observed the instructor performing CPR correctly or incorrectly and pointed out her errors. Thus their skills were evaluated in a variety of ways.
The participants voiced the opinion that this course provided valuable and needed information. They felt that the printed materials were useful and that actual practice on dummies gave them confidence. Some participants voiced the opinion that they appreciated the relaxed atmosphere in which the class was taught. This was easy to achieve because the instructor and participants already knew each other and might be harder to achieve if the instructor were teaching relative strangers, but participants felt that this friendly atmosphere really enhanced the class. The evaluation process of prompting verbal explanations as well as demonstrations of CPR techniques on the dummies seemed to be a good evaluation procedure. The instruction was particularly valuable because of its potential to maintain life support until emergency help could arrive. The only real limitation with this instruction is the limitation present with all emergency training: such skills are easier to use in practice situations than in a real-life emergency. Nevertheless, the participants left with significantly more information about dealing with life-threatening pediatric emergencies than they had before taking the class, so the class was judged a success by both the instructor and the participants.
The evaluation results at the end of this course were judged to be quite high. Each participant was able to explain what he or she was doing and why, and all could execute CPR techniques, both by themselves and with a partner, with confidence. The instructor determined that 100% of the participants mastered the skill of pediatric CPR. During the evaluation phase the parents expressed that they had had a high motivation to learn the skill, since all were parents. The students expressed a variety of opinions, but all noted that they had risks pointed out to them that they previously had not been aware of. As an example, none of the parents in the class realized that a baby can drown in just a few inches of water. One parent commented that when they drained their child's wading pool they did not always bother with the last few inches of water but would not make that mistake in the future. The instructor noted that the parents did not sound as if they were now in a constant state of worry, and believes that such a balance should be maintained in a CPR class. She concluded that scaring parents unduly might not result in a positive educational experience for the participants. In a more relaxed atmosphere all of the participants mastered the skills needed to perform pediatric CPR.
Teaching parents a procedure that could potentially save a child's life is a tremendous responsibility, and the instructor worked hard to prepare for teaching this class. Preparation included a variety of activities. The instructor gathered information from a variety of sources. The hospital education director provided materials and obtained the Red Cross pediatric dummies. The instructor made sure the printed materials were easy to read and set them at a fourth grade reading level so that difficulty reading would not prevent a parent from mastering the skills. The instructor was a Registered Nurse, certified for Acute Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) as well as certified as a Basic Life Support (BLS) instructor. The instructor looked for a wide variety of materials, going to such organizations as the American Heart Association. Since the instructor was well versed in CPR, she also looked on the Internet for useful materials, carefully evaluating them before considering them for use. She set the classroom up ahead of time, walked through it and considered where each activity would take place. She made note cards for each activity to make sure nothing important was left out and to ensure that instruction flowed in a logical order. She built review of previous materials into new information so that the participants had multiple exposures to important concepts.
The instructor was able to relate to the needs and concerns of the students in the class because she is a mother herself. Because of that, she was very aware of the hidden hazards present in every home and the need for parents to be as prepared as possible. The instructor understood the importance of knowing pediatric CPR from her professional training and experience as well. All of this gave her a broad base from which to present the information to her students. The instructor drew on personal experiences but also incorporated humor, realizing that learning even extremely important information can still be fun and enjoyable. The short break provided in the middle of the class seemed effective, and the instructor noted that parents tended to keep talking about what they were doing in the class during the break. She took this as a sign that the parents were highly interested in the material being presented.
The one difficulty presented in this workshop was the schedule. The participants were all…