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JU nursing students help educate hundreds at a Jacksonville high school

On the afternoon of Oct. 13, 2021, the manicured, lush grounds of the Bolles Upper School were inundated with 400 high school students. 

But this was no ordinary school day. 

Instead of traveling from one classroom to the next, these students moved from station to station as they learned how to use tourniquets on foam pool noodles filled with faux blood, perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on plastic infants, and do chest compressions on mannequins.

This special event occurred four months after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill requiring all Florida high school freshmen and juniors to receive at least one hour of training in CPR. The bill, known as HB 157, also encourages elementary and middle schools to provide CPR education to sixth and eighth graders.

According to the CDC, 90 percent of individuals who go into cardiac arrest outside a hospital will die, but administering CPR in the first few minutes of their cardiac arrest will double or even triple their chances of survival. 

The American Heart Association instructs CPR performers to push on the victim’s chest 100 to 120 times per minute to the beat of “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees. Oftentimes, mouth-to-mouth resuscitation is not necessary. Regardless of your knowledge of CPR, the CDC urges you to call 911 if someone goes into cardiac arrest.

At the Oct. 13 Bolles event, among those assisting with teaching the students how to save lives were six Jacksonville University nursing students, Sadae Davidson, Chase Ewing, Adrienne Hendley, Trinity Murray, Emily Seiter, and Karen Wallace.

“Going to [the] Bolles School was a fun experience for me,” Murray said. “[I enjoyed] being able to teach over four classrooms full of students about how to start an IV and take blood pressure… The staff [were] very kind and…also [were] intrigued with how to perform the task as well.” 

According to Jacksonville University Assistant Professor of Nursing Nancy Robinson, she spoke with Bolles’ lead school nurse, Linda Tyre, and they arranged for nursing students in NUR433, the Community Health Nursing course, to “go to Bolles and give presentations in health classes as part of their community clinical placements.” 

She also organized for the six students’ trip to Bolles on October 13, as well as for their return trips to the Lower, Middle, and Upper Schools for additional demonstrations on cough hygiene, first aid, and blood pressure.

“Another student shadowed Linda Tyre to learn the role of the school nurse,” Robinson said. 

Robinson and the six students say they hope that this partnership with the Bolles School continues. The nursing students who went to these events say that they enjoyed the overall experience. 

“If I could, I would do it again,” Murray said. 

She and the other students found it a wonderful opportunity to work with the kids, and they would love to go to any potential future Bolles events where they could continue to help children learn how to save lives.

By Halley Powell, Student Writer