Tennessee requires H.S. juniors and seniors to learn CPR before graduating

Posted at 5:33 PM, Dec 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-12 20:41:45-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Tennessee requires public high school juniors and seniors to learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training at least once before graduating.

Seniors at KIPP Nashville Collegiate High School spent Wednesday afternoon learning life-saving techniques through a medical director and "how-to" instructional video.

Seventeen year old Dylan Johnson wants to be a physical therapist when he gets older. He said learning the techniques is important for his career and life.

"Just having such a vital skill in your arsenal and being able to react immediately is really important. I have had family members who have had strokes because of high blood pressure and knowing that if I was there I could have reacted," he said.

Johnson said the two-hour course also taught students how to work well under pressure.

"I think because it's in a school environment it's very like relaxed and you're able to be calm and you're not thinking about it in a way that's really frightening," he said.

While students do not end up certified after the course, they walk away feeling more confident.

Medical director of KIPP Nashville, Andrew Abreo, said allowing students to continually practice through simulation-style education will allow them to feel comfortable learning those skills.

According to the American Heart Association, about 90 percent of people who experience an out-of-hospital heart attack die. 45 percent of victims survived when a bystander administers CPR.

The school received a grant from the Phoenix Club of Nashville to buy the equipment needed to teach the class.