BTEC Health and Social Care students learning lifesaving skills
A new cohort of BTEC Health and Social Care students are beginning their studies at OSFC by learning lifesaving skills. Over a series of lessons, volunteers from HeartStart Oldham have been teaching students how to provide emergency assistance in life-threatening situations. These simple skills could one day help our students save a life.
The students have been learning how to put each other in the recovery position and by using resuscitation manikins, they have been learning the essential steps to take if they came across an unconscious casualty. As well as practicing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), the students have had a unique opportunity to learn how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED) to administer a shock to restart a casualty’s heart. Thanks to HeartStart’s partnership with our Health and Social Care department, 60 more young people are now trained in their use.
HeartStart Oldham are a voluntary initiative that have trained over 8000 local people in lifesaving skills and have been delivering workshops to students at OSFC for the past 13 years. Alan Whitehead, the secretary of HeartStart Oldham, believes that this training is incredibly valuable and said that “Oldham Sixth Form College was the first success the charity had getting local people trained in lifesaving skills”. This has now led to an Oldham-wide initiative training students and staff in primary and secondary schools. Alan is incredibly committed and convinced this training makes a difference as “1000 people die per week in the UK before they get to hospital; the CPR techniques we are teaching these Health and Social Care students would increase a casualty’s chance of survival from 25% to 60%”.
Health and Social Care course leader Lisa Monaghan, who has been working with HeartStart Oldham for the past 12 years said, “It is something I am passionate about continuing as it is a confidence builder and a valuable experience as some of the students I teach hope to go into nursing and similar careers”. Lisa added that it is “valuable not only for the students but also for the community” and some previous students have actually used the skills they learnt in real-life situations. This session has taken place during the students’ first week at OSFC, which tutor Gemma Neild thinks is a “fantastic ice-breaker which encourages students to work together”.
A group of new students agreed “it gets us comfortable with the class as we have to work with people from other schools we haven’t met before”. The students get a certificate at the end of the course, so just a few days in students have already got something to put in their portfolio, which is beneficial when applying to universities”.