When medical students and their emergency-medicine physician mentors found that the City of Norfolk had the low 16 percent rate of return of spontaneous circulation after cardiac arrest as compared with the national average of 34 percent, they decided to take action. Their concern over cardiac arrest responses and deaths in the region resulted in the development of a service-learning project that qualifies medical students as certified Bystander CPR Instructors who work with an interprofessional team including community stakeholders to conduct trainings in high-risk communities.
As part of the project, EVMS students ride along with Norfolk Fire and Rescue personnel to see firsthand some of the challenges faced by their first-responder colleagues. The students perform a needs-assessment survey and use GIS mapping to determine training areas of greatest priority. Students have surveyed more than 200 respondents so far. Two sample findings: 11 percent think that CPR could be delayed until the ambulance arrives and only 80 percent believe they would know if someone needed CPR. The 41 students enrolled have trained more than 370 community members to date. One anecdotal success: The day after training, a Norfolk City employee witnessed a cardiac arrest, responded appropriately, and saved the person’s life.
Learn more about EVMS Medical Education Service Learning requirements.
INQUIRIES Email: ServiceLearning@EVMS.EDU