By Angela R. Wilson/American Red Cross of Alaska
Many jobs require up-to-date lifesaving skills – from health care providers and first responders, to teachers and babysitters. Though, those of us who do not face health emergencies every day can also benefit from American Red Cross lifesaving skills training. With a wide array of first aid, babysitting, and swimming and water safety courses available, the Red Cross can provide you with the training and skills you need to prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies.
American Red Cross Training Services aims to provide students with best-in-class health and safety training programs, products and tools, to prepare them to react and possibly save lives during emergencies. The ultimate goal of the Training Services program is to educate class participants on the skills needed to improve their confidence to save lives in emergency situations in the workplace or in their communities.
Sophia Metters is an American Red Cross Training Services instructor that teaches a variety of courses at the Red Cross of Alaska Regional Headquarters in Anchorage, as well as at additional locations throughout Anchorage and Wasilla, Alaska.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, course protocols have been altered to care for the safety of both instructors and Red Cross class participants nationwide. Even with these modifications, the Red Cross continues to offer essential Training Services courses, which help medical professionals and other health workers stay current on their certifications during the pandemic.
Metters continues to teach in person three to four times a week, while exercising current federal and state-recommended COVID-19 safety precautions, such as:
- The number of class participants has been cut in half
- Proof of screening must be in place before taking an on-site course
- Participants must have their temperature taken and hands washed before entering the lecture room
- Participants must maintain a distance of six feet from others
- Participants must wear a mask and gloves
Red Cross training courses help participants develop a strength of knowledge and confidence, while building trust within the realm of safety awareness and preparedness for disasters. In order to build that level of strength, a uniformed curriculum nationwide is not enough.
Training Services programs across the nation must also integrate instructors with a number of qualities – compassion to help others, a desire to educate students with the hope of saving lives, a sense of pride in the services they offer, and last but not least, an assurance that the mission, values and vision of the American Red Cross are met.
The Red Cross of Alaska has the privilege and the honor of working with Metters. Her passion to help others is beyond the regular standards of being an instructor.
“I love helping people save lives and I love meeting new people,” Metters said. “One of the most rewarding things about being an instructor is hearing stories of people responding to emergencies because of the training they received from me.”
Some of the Red Cross courses Metters instructs are:
- Instructor training courses that satisfy the requirements of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), such as a bloodborne pathogens training course, which is designed for those who are at risk of exposure to blood and other bodily fluids in the workplace. The course teaches how bloodborne pathogens are spread, how to avoid exposure and what to do if exposed to infectious material.
- Basic Life Support (BLS) course provides participants with the knowledge and skills they need to assess, recognize and care for patients who are experiencing respiratory arrest, cardiac arrest, airway obstruction or opioid overdose.
- Babysitting courses teach that though every situation is unique, there are some universal skills and techniques that every babysitter should have:
- Care for Infants and Children
- Basic First Aid
- Child Behavior
- Age-Appropriate Activities
- Emergency Protocols
- Growing Your Business
- Adult and Pediatric First Aid, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), Automated External Defibrillator (AED) courses incorporate the latest science and teach students to recognize and care for a variety of first aid emergencies such as burns; cuts; scrapes; sudden illnesses; head, neck and back injuries; heat and cold emergencies; and how to respond to breathing and cardiac emergencies to help victims of any age – adults (about 12 years and older) and pediatric (infants and children up to 12 years of age). Students who successfully complete this course receive a certificate for Adult and Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED, which is valid for two years.
- Wilderness courses are designed to teach individuals how to deal with emergency situations by using first aid skills in delayed-help environments.
Other in-person and online courses offered include:
- OSHA-compliant CPR, AED and First Aid
- CPR/AED for Professional Rescuers Instructor Bridge
- Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Training
Any instructor in our society hopes to fill a void in their community. That hope feeds their passion. “I believe the courses I teach meet the needs of the community,” Metters said.
To learn about and sign up for available Red Cross Training Services courses, please visit https://www.redcross.org/take-a-class.