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NRHS CPR level updated to prepare jobs in health care

With many students at New Richmond High School interested in pursuing a job in the health care field, it only seemed logical to update the school’s health care courses to offer dual credit with WITC.

“Health care is a growing need across the country and many jobs are available in this area,” principal Tom Wissink said. “We also have many students interested in the health care field. The added class curriculum offers dual credit with WITC and launches students into areas from CNA, EMT/firefighter technicians through nursing and even advanced medical training like a physician's assistant or doctor.“

The added class curriculum that will be offered for dual credit in Basic Life Support CPR, which will be offered in Jacon Eckert’s health occupations class at the high school. The BLS CPR is meant for health care providers and is a more advanced level of CPR than a student who wishes to go into a health care career will need.

“There are a few more advanced techniques that students will need to learn,” Eckert said. “They will need to know how to use an ambu bag to help give breaths. They will need to be able to look for a pulse, which is not necessary with the basic CPR instruction. They will need to be able to demonstrate partner CPR as well. While these are not the only changes, these changes do add more complexity to CPR.”

According to Eckert, his health occupations class (which has 23 students in it this year) will start to learn the more advanced level of CPR next semester.

“We have been working on this in partnership with WITC for about a year,” Wissink said. “The success we had with the welding academy was a model. We knew developing a health care pathway was important based on student interest and the growing needs and jobs in the health care area.”

In order to get everything ready for the new level of CPR, the district realigned its curriculum to fit with the WITC course, complete some additional training with its teachers and work through certification issues.

“It is more advanced but our teachers will be trained in it so they can provide instruction and support to students,” Wissink said. “The course is both technical and hands-on. Most students are interested in going into the field and highly motivated. If you are willing to work hard, they will do great.

“Jeanne Germain from WITC, myself, Patrick Olson, Jess Ferguson, Joan Simpson, and teachers Jason Eckert and Renee Kaczmarski were all involved in making the switch to the more advanced level of CPR. It was a team approach and partnership that took some careful planning.”

Jordan Willi
Jordan Willi is a reporter for the New Richmond News. Previously, he worked as a sports reporter at the Worthington Daily Globe in Worthington, Minnesota. He also interned at the Hudson Star Observer for two summers and contributed to the Bison Illustrated sports magazine at North Dakota State University.
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