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Five Resuscitation Training Workarounds for Staff with Back and Spinal Issues

Our customers recognize the value in training staff on Voice-Assisted Manikins (VAMs) to ensure that standardized quality CPR is being learned. They often ask how their organization can assist staff with physical limitations or challenges to be successful in the completion of BLS or ACLS Hands-On Sessions using Voice-Assisted Manikins. TriHealth (Cincinnati, OH) has developed a very successful HeartCode BLS Program.

Even if several staff have physical challenges, they are still required to maintain BLS certifications. Over the past few years they have worked to develop best practices to support staff to successfully complete Basic Life Support certification on the VAMs. Here are some practice and certification tips for staff members who are challenged by Back and standing issues:

  1. Get close to the Adult VAM and spread your legs as if you were going to lift something heavy. The wide-base provides additional support.
  2. Use an aerobic wide-base stepper to elevate body over the VAM allowing shoulders to be directly over the heel of the hands during compressions. Lock your elbows.
  3. Do NOT use arms/neck/back/shoulders to perform compressions. Instead, keep arms/neck/back/shoulders stiff and bend at the hips to perform compressions. Stick your bottom out behind you and imagine you are trying to hit someone behind you.
  4. Take a wide stance with your legs like you are going to lift something heavy and angle your body slightly so you feel more natural when placing fingers on the Infant VAM chest. Hold on to the hand performing compressions with the second hand to reinforce support and strength of both hands and arms to perform effective compressions.
  5. If staff members have difficulty bending at the waist, keep arms and back straight with the hands in correct position on chest and bend knees while angled outward slightly to give compressions. (Like doing squats).

This post excerpts an article in our recent eBook, High-Quality CPR: Breathing New Life into Your Training Program. Learn more about HealthStream solutions for improving resuscitation outcomes.

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