NMSU students and other members of the Las Cruces community took to the activity center on Feb. 5 to take a CPR certification course. The importance of being CPR certified was highlighted during the certification event.
Stephanie Ortiz, lifeguard instructor, says she chose to become CPR certified after a personal experience. “I remember when I was younger — that’s why I got my certification — my sister started choking at a Chinese restaurant and she was already turning purple, and the lady from the table next to us was able to get the grape out,” Ortiz said.
The attendance at these certification events has certainly been impacted due to the COVID pandemic. “It has been impacted since we need to have a smaller classroom and everyone has to have their own dummies and we don’t have a lot of dummies. Some people are also too scared to come into the classroom,” Ortiz said.
The advantages of being CPR certified are not being ignored, however. “It benefits [the attendees] in all types of ways. They know what to do with someone that’s choking because that happens a lot. It helps with anything because you never know when an emergency will pop up. Anyone can go into a heart attack or a stroke and if you’re there you can help them out,” Ortiz said.
The attendees of this certification aren’t always just students. “I’ve gotten about four or five [attendees] that are just school teachers or are helping out at nursing homes and need to be CPR certified,” Ortiz said.
NMSU freshman Alexandra Miller works at the rec center on campus and says that her job was the reason she became CPR certified. “[I became CPR certified] just in case anything happens while we’re working with people collapsing or anything else that can happen when you work out too much,” Miller said.
The CPR courses are available for anyone to take. “It’s open to everyone,” Ortiz said. “It’s mainly the students that work here because they have to be trained in CPR. We do get a lot of elderly people here so it’s just in case they have a heart attack or stroke while working out, which is pretty common, but it is open to anyone.”
There are multiple sessions offered throughout the semester.
“We have about three to a semester, so that way we get everyone who’s been working or who’s new to the job all certified,” Ortiz said.
The CPR certification course costs $85 and all costs are due at registration. In order to be recertified, a cost of $40 applies. In order to be eligible for recertification, a current CPR certificate must be provided or a certificate which has expired in the previous 30 days.
Required materials for the course include a participant manual and a resuscitation mask. Future dates for the certification course are Mar. 5 and Apr. 9. All courses are held at the NMSU Activity Center Room 201.