A new cohort of 60 A Level 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. There is currently an Oldham-wide initiative to make AEDs publicly available and soon a defibrillator will be available in a locked cabinet in each of the Saddleworth villages. 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 10 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”. New student Denise Correia De Matos 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 and Denise said that “just a few days in we have already got something to put in our portfolio, which is beneficial when applying to universities”.
If you’re interested in a Health and Social Care course and would like to develop life-saving skills at OSFC, come and visit us at our Open Days on Saturday 15 October or Saturday 19 November.
To learn more about Health and Social Care A Level and BTEC courses at OSFC, or to apply now, please visit www.osfc.ac.uk/courses/social-science.