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Creating Responsible Citizens: SWAG Hosts Nurse Michelle Thomas for CPR Education


a group of students learning CPR
SWAG CPR Crew
At Students With A Goal (SWAG), we believe that every moment is an opportunity to learn. That's why we're always looking for ways to expand the horizons of our students and teach them valuable new skills. Recently, we were fortunate enough to have a very special guest join us for our LeadersLounge event. Michelle Thomas, a nurse and the owner of Anointed Heart CPR Services, LLC, gave a powerful presentation on the importance of CPR and how it can save lives. In this blog post, we'll share some of the highlights of her presentation and explain why we're so grateful to have had her speak to our students.

a group of students listening to CPR presentations
SWAG students listening to CPR presentations
For many of our students, CPR was something they'd heard of in passing, but they didn't know exactly what it entailed. Nurse Thomas began her presentation by explaining what CPR stands for, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and what it involves. She went through a step-by-step tutorial on how to perform CPR and reviewed the different situations in which it could be needed. Many of our students were surprised to learn that CPR isn't just for people who have had heart attacks, it can also be used for drowning victims, choking victims, and people who are unresponsive for other reasons. Before long, the entire room was fully engaged in the presentation, eagerly soaking up every bit of valuable information that Michelle had to share.

One of the most important points Nurse Thomas emphasized was the importance of quick action. In the case of someone in cardiac arrest, for example, every minute that passes without intervention decreases the likelihood of survival by 7-10%. By teaching our students how to perform CPR, we're not only giving them a valuable skill that they can use to save lives, we're also helping to make our communities safer and more prepared. This is especially important in underserved communities, where resources may be limited and emergency responders may not be able to arrive promptly.

As Nurse Thomas' presentation neared its conclusion, she devoted a substantial segment to the crucial subject of Automated External Defibrillators (AED). She expertly demonstrated its utility and emphasized the need for students to follow the device's instructions meticulously. This segment served as an enlightening experience for many students.
The significance of AEDs came alive for the students, particularly the football athletes, when they recalled the harrowing incident involving Damar Hamlin. The memory of Hamlin collapsing on the field and requiring hospitalization was vivid in their minds. The fact that his life hung in the balance, needing resuscitation twice, underscored the severity of the situation.

This real-life example brought home the importance of CPR and AED usage. For many students, this was the moment they truly grasped the lifesaving potential of these devices and procedures.

a student learning CPR
Practicing CPR
At SWAG, we're always striving to give our students the tools they need to succeed in life, not just academically, but in all aspects of their lives. That's why we're so grateful to have had Nurse Thomas come and speak to our students about CPR. By teaching them this valuable skill, we're creating a new generation of responsible citizens who can make a real difference in their communities. We're excited to have Nurse Thomas come back and certify our students, so that they can be fully equipped to help in an emergency if the need arises. Thanks, Nurse Thomas, for sharing your expertise with us, it's truly appreciated.
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