Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation in Schools: School Nurses' Perceptions of Barriers and Recommendations for Integration

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation in Schools: School Nurses' Perceptions of Barriers and Recommendations for Integration

Author: 
Sylvia F. Carlson
Program of study: 
Ph.D./NUR
Abstract: 
Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a leading cause of death worldwide. Out of hospital cardiac arrests (OHCA) are witnessed approximately 50% of the time. Of that 50% of witnessed OHCA from SCA, only 36% receive cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Early CPR has shown to greatly improve the survival rate of OHCA. A trained bystander is more likely to perform CPR on a victim. A younger person is more willing to initiate and perform CPR on OHCA victim. High school students are a suggested group who could be trained in CPR as a possible solution to increasing trained bystanders. California K-12 School Health Curriculum recommends CPR training. However, CPR is not being taught in schools. This qualitative descriptive research study explores school nurses’ perceptions on the barriers and recommendations to integrating CPR in schools. Individual interviews of 11 school nurses from a professional school nursing organization in Los Angeles, California were conducted using semi structured questions. From a thematic analysis of the data, school nurses suggested funding, time, and knowledge deficit as barriers for integration of CPR skills in schools. Identified recommendations included education about CPR skills and teaching methods, CPR training in schools, and advocacy by school nurses to accomplish it. This information can advise district and schools administrators, teachers, and school nurses when implementing CPR training in schools.
Dedication: 
This dissertation is dedicated to the students of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and school communities where they live. Thank you to Principal Jeannie Gamba and Principal Joe Nardulli for your support to teach CPR skills at your schools. To the students at Reed Middle School and Vista Middle School, it was my honor to train your students. To my mother, Gertrude, who made sure that I was raised and educated in the Catholic faith. My faith in God brought me to the calling of nursing. I thank God for allowing me to live another day to serve his people. To my children, Sarah, Beth, Russell, and Eric, who are the loves of my life, my purpose for being. They stood by me through two degree programs, MSN and PhD, without voicing any complaints. I love you. You are the best! I hope that I have set a positive example that you can accomplish anything you want at any age. To my brother John who said that he knew that I could do it, I appreciate your reminders to get it done and get on with my life. My friend Randy kept asking if I was working on my paper and reminded me that I could take a vacation after I completed it. To my daughters Sarah and Beth who supplied distractions for my sanity. My sons Russell and Eric prepared meals when time was limited and checked on me frequently to see if I needed anything. Thank you for all your help to finish this dissertation. To my professors at the University of Virginia’s (UVA) School of Nursing who shared their knowledge that helped form me into the professional nurse that I am today. Mr. Jefferson’s University (UVA) gave me my life’s career that I have practiced since graduation. I am and will always be “a Hoo” at heart.
Acknowledgements: 
When seeking a dissertation committee, you hope that you find individuals that connect with your topic and methods. The following researchers guided me through this dissertation process. My chair, Dr. Charlene Romer, lent her expertise and patience along the way. She volunteered to take over as chair after a futile and frustration year. She ignited the light in me when she completely understood what I wanted to accomplish and how to achieve it. The guidance that she gave was invaluable. When I was ready to give up, she reassured me that qualitative research gathers such depth to a subject and I was on the right track with my study. I am very thankful for your time and your calm demeanor. My sincere gratitude is extended to you. Dr. Rebecca Beck-Little joined the committee towards completion of this dissertation. You have my deepest appreciation for assisting with my efforts. Dr. Francine Nelson saved the day by stepping in as a committee member at the last minute, so I could perform my oral defense. You are a lifesaver. During my first residency, I had the pleasure of being assigned to Dr. Linda Amankwaa’s group. She shared a wonderful statement that resonated in my mind the entire time. She repeatedly told us, “You can do this”. These words were my mantra that motivated me from start to finish.