Having all doctors and nurses at a hospital certified in Basic Life Support (CPR) is a standard initiative in the U.S., and in most countries around the world—but not Haiti. Nevertheless, Haitian staff and directors at St. Boniface requested everyone be certified and now, 67 doctors and nurses at the hospital, as well as all physical therapists, have passed the course.
Earlier this year, as part of ongoing efforts to improve the quality of medical care in Fond des Blancs, the Haitian staff suggested finding a way to implement CPR certification measures. Cheyenne Medical Center and Physicians For Haiti stepped up, and have been responsible for the instruction, testing and provision of supplies. Sandra Guidry, M.D., of Cheyenne Medical Center, led the first session of training and calls the initiative an “important step forward” for the staff at St. Boniface. During the initial training group with two doctors and three nurses, the staff even had an opportunity to use their new CPR techniques on a Code Blue, or a patient requiring resuscitation.
Much like in the U.S., staff members prepping for CPR testing are given materials two weeks ahead of time to prepare. There are testing classes twice a day in order to ensure that staff are officially certified with American Heart Association protocol, the same protocol that the U.S. uses. Guidry says the expectation is for all staff with patient access to maintain certification with recertification every two years.