Franklin Tech health students bring classroom knowledge to GVNA seniors

  • Clients at the GVNA Adult Day Health program in Greenfield try out CPR after it was demonstrated by Franklin County Technical School health technology students Stephanie Pearson and Jon-Curtis McDermott, at right. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

  • Franklin County Technical School health technology student Bianca Tinkham demonstrates CPR to clients at the GVNA Adult Day Health program in Greenfield. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

  • Franklin County Technical School health technology students Stephanie Pearson and Jon-Curtis McDermott, at right, demonstrate how to apply a tourniquet at the GVNA Adult Day Health program in Greenfield. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Published: 2/18/2020 4:51:59 PM

GREENFIELD — Students in Franklin County Technical School’s health technology program gave seniors in GVNA’s Adult Day Health program a lesson in CPR, applying a tourniquet and splinting a broken arm during their most recent visit last week.

The health technology class has been visiting GVNA about once a month this year, according to the class’ instructor Christina Guevin-Gurney.

Most times, the students help the center’s clients with community service projects, or lead activities like chair yoga, she said. On a recent visit, the students worked with the seniors to stuff teddy bears for patients at the Shriners Hospital for Children in Springfield.

Last week’s visit, though, was different because it was a presentation on material the students had learned through school.

“Our (clients) love to learn, so we thought it would be appropriate to have (the students) come in,” said Julie Clark, GVNA’s activities director, who also happens to be an alumna of Franklin Tech’s health technology program.

Guevin-Gurney said the presentation helps the students master their material, and that the public speaking helps them prepare for their senior capstone, a culminating project that they present at the end of the year before a panel of judges.

The students demonstrated three techniques for treating emergency injuries: stopping bleeding using compression and a tourniquet, splinting a broken arm and CPR.

The techniques as demonstrated by the students have real practical applications. Franklin Tech’s class gives students a certification to do certain kinds of work with the American Red Cross, Guevin-Gurney said. Students who graduate from the health technology program typically go into health-related occupations, ranging from Army nurses to psychotherapists, she said.

The CPR methods demonstrated by the students are notable. Franklin Tech transitioned this year from the old CPR training dummies to new computerized ones that give precise measurements of the students’ chest pumps and breaths, Guevin-Gurney explained. Franklin Tech received the new machines through a grant, she said.

On the new machines, a digital display gives a measurement of the speed of the chest pumps. A green light turns red if it’s too fast or too slow.

Guevin-Gurney, who is also a registered nurse, demonstrated one of the new machines, pumping the dummy’s chest with one hand and looking the opposite direction. The light stayed green.

“I’m perfect because I’ve been doing it so many years,” she said.

Students at Franklin Tech learn CPR in a single session that takes all day.

“They do it until they get it right,” Guevin-Gurney said. By the end, “they’re exhausted.”

Reach Max Marcus at
mmarcus@recorder.com
or 413-930-4231.




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