Fifth graders from the Nahalim School in Southern Israel visited Rambam Health Care Campus at the beginning of June to learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
Israelis living near the Gaza border have been suffering from rocket and mortar shell fire at their communities for years, and must remain on high alert to save lives. Children born into this complex reality are often forced to deal with difficult, stressful scenes in security rooms and bomb shelters with no real ability to help, increasing their sense of helplessness.
As part of a program for gifted children, fifth graders from the Nahalim School in the northern Negev were assigned a research project on the topic of their choice. The research projects are designed to sharpen the students’ research skills and foster their independent learning. This year, the students’ research, led by their teacher Tamar Bar-Chai, related to medicine. Performing basic resuscitation, and simulated practice of real-life situations was part of the project. Their teachers contacted Rambam’s Resuscitation Coordinator, Ilana Siman Tov Dodeles, to see if the students could visit Rambam and learn how to perform CPR. The high point of the study was a workshop conducted by paramedic and physician’s assistant Anton Kruger from Rambam’s Department of Gastroenterology. The children received tools for diagnosing the first signs of a person with no pulse, and learned when and how to perform CPR. During the workshop, Dr. Arthur Kerner, a senior physician in the Interventional Cardiology Unit, spoke with the children about the importance of massage during resuscitation, and Mirit Barzilai explained the importance of resuscitation from her world as a nurse.
After the workshop, the children visited the Technion's Faculty of Medicine, adjacent to the hospital, and learned what a research lab looks like. At the end of the day, these children, who routinely face stressful situations, noted that they now felt prepared to take responsibility, and were no longer afraid of situations where they might need to step in to save someone’s life.