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Now it is time to teach to schoolteachers: The long road to the Schoolteacher BLS Teaching Curriculum

  • Cristian Abelairas-Gómez
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author at: Faculty of Education Sciences, C/Xoan XXIII, s/n, 15782 Santiago de Compostela, Spain.
    Affiliations
    CLINURSID Research Group, Psychiatry, Radiology, Public Health, Nursing and Medicine Department, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Spain

    Health Research Institute of Santiago, University Hospital of Santiago de Compostela-CHUS, Spain

    Faculty of Education Sciences, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Spain
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  • Antonio Rodríguez-Núñez
    Affiliations
    CLINURSID Research Group, Psychiatry, Radiology, Public Health, Nursing and Medicine Department, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Spain

    Health Research Institute of Santiago, University Hospital of Santiago de Compostela-CHUS, Spain

    Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, University Hospital of Santiago de Compostela-CHUS, Spain
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  • Robert Greif
    Affiliations
    Department of Anaesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Bern University Hospital, University of Bern, Switzerland

    School of Medicine, Sigmund Freud University Vienna, Vienna, Austria
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      Dear Editor,
      The support of the European Resuscitation Council (ERC) on the Kids Save Lives (KSL) initiative is evident in the current 2021 ERC resuscitation guidelines. The “Systems Saving Lives”
      • Semeraro F.
      • Greif R.
      • Böttiger B.W.
      • et al.
      European Resuscitation Council Guidelines 2021: systems saving lives.
      and the “Education for Resuscitation”
      • Greif R.
      • Lockey A.
      • Breckwoldt J.
      • et al.
      European Resuscitation Council Guidelines 2021: education for resuscitation.
      chapters pay to KSL the attention that deserves in both ways, schoolchildren and schoolteachers basic life support (BLS) education. Following that, it is now clear to us that schoolchildren must be considered a target population to be educated in BLS, since it was associated with increased bystander resuscitation rate, and their schoolteachers should be the children’s adequate BLS-trainers. In this regard, it is important to distinguish among “training” and “education”. While training refers mainly to acquire both knowledge and skills, education is based on the comprehension of the whole teaching content and its practical relevance and impact. In the context of cardiac arrest, education refers not only the capacity to perform BLS skills, but also to attitudinal and emotional factors like willingness to act and self-confidence. In this sense, educating (but not only training) schoolchildren will be the way to reach one of the aims of the KSL initiative: the perception of BLS as any other useful daily life skills such as swimming or riding a bike.
      • Böttiger B.W.
      • Lockey A.
      • Georgiou M.
      • et al.
      KIDS SAVE LIVES: ERC Position statement on schoolteachers’ education and qualification in resuscitation.
      In parallel with KSL, over the last years consensus has been built on the role of schoolteachers as the adequate trainers to educate schoolchildren also in BLS. They are considered as the ideal multipliers for resuscitation training in schools.

      Wingen S, Rott N, Dirks B, et al. Training of teachers as multipliers for resuscitation training in schools. Notfall + Rettungsmedizin In press, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10049-021-00870-4.

      Schoolteachers core competency is to adequately teach skills, knowledge, and behavior as they learned didactics and methodologies for children's teaching. Thus, who better than them to teach BLS to schoolchildren? However, little is known about how BLS education is integrated as part of schoolteachers formation. At this point, the question is open if a “Schoolteacher BLS Instructor Course” or a “Teach the Schoolteachers Course” is needed or how such training might be integrated in their curricula, as it was suggested by the KSL ERC position statement on schoolteachers’ education.
      • Böttiger B.W.
      • Lockey A.
      • Georgiou M.
      • et al.
      KIDS SAVE LIVES: ERC Position statement on schoolteachers’ education and qualification in resuscitation.
      The design of these schoolteachers BLS formation should answer, at least, the following questions: where schoolteachers should be taught? How long should/could be such a “course”? Who could teach to them? What contents should be included?
      The first questions might determine to reach a high proportion of schoolteachers educated in BLS. Recommending BLS-teaching to be included into schoolteacher curricula would result as the best way to finally teach most of schoolchildren. This would mean that BLS-teaching need to be included into schoolteachers university curriculum and career development with the aim to educate most of schoolteachers,
      • Böttiger B.W.
      • Lockey A.
      • Georgiou M.
      • et al.
      KIDS SAVE LIVES: ERC Position statement on schoolteachers’ education and qualification in resuscitation.
      • Abelairas-Gómez C.
      • Schroeder D.C.
      • Carballo-Fazanes A.
      • et al.
      KIDS SAVE LIVES in schools: cross-sectional survey of schoolteachers.
      and their education would not depend on voluntary courses.
      As in some European countries schoolteachers have to teach first aid,
      • Abelairas-Gómez C.
      • Schroeder D.C.
      • Carballo-Fazanes A.
      • et al.
      KIDS SAVE LIVES in schools: cross-sectional survey of schoolteachers.
      and in real life schoolteachers might have to attend other emergencies more frequently than a cardiac arrest, integrating BLS education and its teaching into the broader “First Aid” teaching might be a further step to consider for above mentioned curriculum adaptations for schoolteacher formation.
      In summary, we propose the ERC should consider creating a Task Force to address the BLS education of schoolteachers and to specifically design and implement an ERC Schoolteacher curriculum or course. The Kids Save Lives ERC Position statement
      • Böttiger B.W.
      • Lockey A.
      • Georgiou M.
      • et al.
      KIDS SAVE LIVES: ERC Position statement on schoolteachers’ education and qualification in resuscitation.
      is a great first step, but more specific guidance and syllabus might booster schoolteachers’ BLS education and their BLS teaching abilities to teach more children on European uniform high quality levels: Right now it is time to Teach BLS to schoolteachers!

      Conflict of interest

      Robert Greif is ERC Board Director of Training and Education.

      References

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        • Greif R.
        • Böttiger B.W.
        • et al.
        European Resuscitation Council Guidelines 2021: systems saving lives.
        Resuscitation. 2021; 161: 80-97
        • Greif R.
        • Lockey A.
        • Breckwoldt J.
        • et al.
        European Resuscitation Council Guidelines 2021: education for resuscitation.
        Resuscitation. 2021; 161: 388-407
        • Böttiger B.W.
        • Lockey A.
        • Georgiou M.
        • et al.
        KIDS SAVE LIVES: ERC Position statement on schoolteachers’ education and qualification in resuscitation.
        Resuscitation. 2020; 151: 87-90
      1. Wingen S, Rott N, Dirks B, et al. Training of teachers as multipliers for resuscitation training in schools. Notfall + Rettungsmedizin In press, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10049-021-00870-4.

        • Abelairas-Gómez C.
        • Schroeder D.C.
        • Carballo-Fazanes A.
        • et al.
        KIDS SAVE LIVES in schools: cross-sectional survey of schoolteachers.
        Eur J Pediatr. 2021; 180: 2213-2221https://doi.org/10.1007/s00431-021-03971-x