“Man, I can’t have crunchy peanut butter; I’m allergic to peanuts! I can only have regular peanut butter.”
I actually had someone say this to me in D-Hall one day. As someone with a medical background, it’s needless to say I was astounded. The lack of basic medical knowledge within the Longwood Community is frightening. If someone is allergic to peanuts, then wouldn’t they already know to avoid peanuts? And if they did ingest peanuts and suffered an allergic reaction, what would people around them to? Would they know to call 911 or administer an epi-pen? I asked around to my friends and classmates that in the case of an emergency, what would they do? The most popular response was “freeze”. EMS and first responders are trained to react because they have received years of specialized training. The common factor of all EMS personal is basic training.
Basic emergency medicine is easy to understand and practice. What I am proposing is a seminar that is mandatory for freshman to attend during New Lancer Days that will teach them the basics of what to do in an emergency situation. Part of the seminar with include CPR certification, and training on how to control bleeding, how to administer the Heimlich maneuver on a chocking victim, and what the signs and symptoms are of alcohol and drug overdose. By learning these simple responses to an emergency situation, lives can be saved.
Longwood prides itself in making Citizen Leaders out of its students. By teaching students basic first aid, they are now the first line of defense in protecting fellow classmates. By knowing the basics of first aid, students will be ready if anything where to happen to another student, faculty member, or guest. I’m not saying they should be able to read an EKG or tell the difference between a normal sinus rhythm and a myocardial infarction nor do they need to know how to backboard a patient or apply an air splint. By knowing how to control bleeding, how to work an AED, how to perform CPR, and how to deal with someone if they have had a bit too much to drink, students will be leaders in their communities here at Longwood and at home.
On April 16th, 2007, a shooter entered the Engineering department of Virginia Tech and killed 32 students and faculty members. This will forever be a tragedy in the eyes of American people. It took only minutes for police to arrive on scene, but much longer for any kind of EMS personal to get to the victims because there was still an active shooter on campus. They key is being prepared for something like this to happen on any college campus. If incoming freshman at Longwood University were to receive basic medical training, lives could be saved in the event of another school shooting.
After this tragedy, many colleges and universities instituted on campus rescue squads. Large schools like Virginia Tech, University of Richmond, and University of Virginia have an organization on campus that provides emergency medicine to its students. According to the National Collegiate Emergency Medical Services Foundation, there are 21 schools in the Mid Atlantic Region (DC, DE, MD, VA, WV) that have on campus rescue squads (National 2013). Longwood is a small school with a rescue squad only 3 minutes from campus, but the idea is still the same. If a large amount of students on campus had some very basic medical training, the response time for initial medical intervention will be cut drastically.
New Lancer Days are designed to help new freshman become accustomed to life as a college student. While these days are already busy, it would be possible for an hour seminar on how to do CPR and how to recognize alcohol and drug overdose. Simple training over the course of an hour can be affective in everyday life once the semester starts. Having this required seminar for all incoming freshman, Longwood will promote citizen leaders and create sense of trust and community among its students.
This link will take you to the NCEMSF page of the Mid Atlantic Region:
The National Collegiate Emergency Medical Services Foundation is a non-profit professional organization that is designed to connect collegiate EMS companies across the country. It is currently run by George J. Koenig, Jr. and has a variety of conferences that EMS members can attend to help refine skills and promote unity. The main point of this website is to provide a bridge between different EMS organizations that are separated by geographical barriers. I have looked at the statistics that this organization offers on how many collegiate EMS organizations are currently providing care to their students. These statists show that there are campuses that focus on their student’s safety after the Student Health Clinic closes. By providing solid numbers of campuses in the Mid-Atlantic Region that provide emergency health services to it students, other colleges and universities can create their own, similar, organization.
Work Cited (MLA):
“National Collegiate Emergency Medical Services Foundation.” NCEMSF. Buchan Consulting LLC, n.d. Web. 10 Sept. 2013. <www.ncemsf.org/resources/ems-organization-database/groups-listed-by-region/united-states-ems-organizations/mid-atlantic-region >.