North Texas Daily

Mandatory CPR classes proposed

Mandatory CPR classes proposed

March 06
22:51 2013

Joshua Knopp / Staff Writer

Two Texas politicians have introduced a bi-partisan bill that would require high school students to take a 30-minute CPR course before graduation.

If Republican Rep. John Zerwas, a medical doctor, and Democratic Sen. Juan Hinojosa’s bill passes, every high school graduate will learn basic CPR and how to operate an automated external defibrillator, a device that resets the heart’s electrical signals  during heart rhythm abnormalities.

UNT kinesiology, health and recreation professor Curt Fowler currently has four 32-person classes that are completely filled, and continuing education lecturer of kinesiology, health and recreation Laura Walker has one class of her own.

Fowler teaches CPR classes at UNT. He said he didn’t think the passing of the bill would change how many people take his class.

“I don’t think it would affect my class that much in terms of students coming because my class isn’t just about CPR,” he said.

According to the American Heart Association, knowing CPR can help people save lives – likely lives of people who are close to them.

If the bill passes and every high school student learns basic CPR, Fowler said it could only be a good thing for students.

“It can make the difference between life and death,” he said.

Fowler said his classes almost always fill up and the university is considering opening online sections of the class.

According to UNT’s Public Access Defibrillator Program, AEDs are in 60 of the 70 buildings on campus.

In addition to heart attacks, his class also covers first aid for breathing stoppages, blood loss, shock, strokes and seizures.

Pre-biology sophomore Yazmin Ruvalcaba reinforces Fowler’s lack of concern for his class’s future because she is re-learning CPR in his course.

Ruvalcaba said the class should “definitely continue” regardless of the bill’s passing.

“I had taken a class before, but it’s a good memory refresher,” she said. “I think [the class] should [continue], because not everybody’s going to know.”

Kinesiology senior Natalie Doggette, who had also previously learned basic CPR while working at a day care and as a baby sitter, said the class’s emergency management aspects were also important.

“I guess you learn when you’re coming upon a scene how to handle it instead of freaking out,” she said. “I think the biggest thing the class teaches you is to not be scared. If you’re scared, you’re going to get sued or hurt them worse.”

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