Trent Hagan: Crisis response is everyone’s duty

At times, there is no white lab coat necessary to save a life.

Because training to teach you to respond to medical emergencies is so accessible, students should take a larger role in our campus’ safety and medical well-being by learning basic patient care in emergency situations.

All GW students have access to trained rescuers, of course, but those moments between the onset of an emergency and the arrival of medical professionals represent a critical window of time for the victim’s survival.

It doesn’t take the experience of an Emergency Medical Technician to administer CPR. In fact, many of the defibrillators located throughout campus verbalize automated step-by-step instructions so that any untrained citizen can administer effective shocks.

Cardiac arrests are by no means the only scenarios that call for the helping hand of a first responder.

Medical emergencies can arise when students overdose or binge drink, and a student trained emergency response could potentially be the difference between life and death for an ill student. Instead of panicking when discovering a passed out, unresponsive friend, a student trained to react would know to turn the unresponsive friend on his or her side and look for a blocked airway – critical steps in preventing chocking.

Foggy Bottom’s Emergency Medical Response Group offers a range of CPR and first aid certification classes throughout each academic semester. Such training is open to all students and provides the skills required to respond quickly and efficiently to those critical incidents when every second counts.

Students wishing to secure a more extensive knowledge base should enroll in GW’s EMT-Basic Clinical Summer Program. The University also offers similar courses during both the fall and spring academic semesters for full credit value.

On the streets of D.C., heroism exists far beyond the walls of the emergency room. Whether you wear a white coat, a business suit or a backpack, the ability to save a life is well within the hands of any community member.

Trent Hagan is a freshman majoring in political science.

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.