First on the scene: WHS students earn first responder certificationPublished 6:44pm Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Several Washington High School students were certified to save lives last week. As part of the school’s sports medicine course, students took part in an eight-hour training session to earn First aid/CPR/AED certification.
Eleventh-grader Patrick McCloud said he was more than willing to have the training, even though it was not required for the course.
“CPR and AED (automated external defibrillators) can save a life. It’s a good class and many don’t know about it,” he said. “I’m blessed to have this opportunity.”
This was the first time students were given the opportunity to be certified in the areas. Ronda Smith, an education instructor with Vidant Beaufort Hospital, and David Crosby, director of fire training and special projects at Beaufort Community College, were guest instructors.
In previous years, sports medicine instructor Kim Rogers went over the material but did not have professionals come in and did not offer certification as an option.
“I am very grateful that they were willing to come into the school and spend an eight-hour shift. And Principal Russell Holloman has been really receptive to having guests come,” Rogers said. “For a lot of these students, it’s opened up their eyes to new careers.”
Students take sports medicine as an elective. The certification is not part of their final grade in the course. Rogers said the students volunteered for the eight hours of training.
The student trainers are required to attend sports practices and games where they assist certified athletic trainer Jeff Mault and volunteer first responder Darwin Woolard.
Mault is the only certified trainer who works in the county. Holloman gave him the freedom to build the program of the last two decades.
Rogers said it was rare to have an onsite certified athletic trainer in a public school, rarer to have one return after retirement to continue helping students.
“We work together really closely with the student trainers. Me in the classroom, Jeff on the field and Darwin everywhere,” Roger said.
The student trainers sit on the sidelines and are the first to help an injured player.
Leslie Parker attends every football practice and every game. She loves the rush she gets when she responds to an injury and knows exactly what to do.
“It’s rewarding to see all of your hard work pay off,” she said.
A lot of athletes have shown interest in sports medicine. Rogers works with their schedules by assigning them to sports that take place during different seasons. They were assigned to basketball games once their season ended. A cross-country runner will cover wrestling matches after his season is up.
“We spread them around,” Rogers said. “They’re enjoying it.”
Students take the elective for a number of reasons. Haley Hutchins got involved because she wants to be a physical therapist.
“I felt like it would give me a little background on it,” she said.
The biggest challenge for her has not been the first aid, but “dealing with the smelly buses and locker rooms.”
Diagnosis can sometimes be a challenge for the student trainers because they are triaging peers.
“I like this course because it’s hands-on,” said junior Quonaisha Jennette. “It feels good, you know, to have the skills instead of just the book smarts.”