Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

November 2, 2013

Raceland students combine Spanish studies with CPR

RACELAND — Some students at Raceland-Worthington High School learned three key questions they may need to ask if they ever are faced with providing emergency first aid.

The questions are:

¿Estas bien?

¿Cuando paso?

¿Que problemos medicos tienes?

The students, all enrolled in upper-level Spanish, were practicing CPR Thursday as part of a study unit to learn the Spanish equivalents of English medical terms and phrases.

Teacher Zenaida Smith assigned the unit to motivate her students to continue foreign language study. Some of her students are planning careers in the health industry, and learning the lingo is just the sort of real-world application to show them studying Spanish has concrete benefits.

The CPR instruction was courtesy of Marty Johnson, a paramedic and emergency medical services coordinator for the Kentucky Fire Commission. Johnson coordinates fire rescue training, and his son Novan is one of Smith’s students.

It was Johnson who prioritized the questions, which in English mean, more or less, are you O.K., when did the problem start and what sort of medical problems have you had in the past.

Johnson brought training dummies and other materials to class so all 20 students could practice. The students all are motivated and already proficient in Spanish, so the most difficult element of the instruction was the chest compression, which proved surprisingly strenuous for the teenagers.

The instruction was far more than a classroom exercise; Johnson said once they’d completed it the students would be certified as competent to administer emergency CPR.

Smith hopes they also will see practical reasons for continuing to study Spanish. That is important, because upon completion of her upper-level classes, they will have surpassed foreign language requirements at many colleges and universities, she said.

Knowing medical terms and how to communicate with patients is a clear benefit, said Olivia Strehle, a senior who plans to study psychology in college. “I feel it would be very helpful if I’m in an area with many Spanish-speaking people,” she said.

The unit also made study more interesting because it went beyond rote memorization. “These are real-world things you’re going to need to know,” she said.

Johnson, who took Spanish in school and retains a rudimentary amount of vocabulary, said the Spanish-speaking community is extensive enough that emergency workers in the region commonly encounter patients or their families who don’t speak English.

Knowing their language can save lives because in emergency care, time is precious. Minutes spent puzzling over the meaning of words or sending for an interpreter can mean the difference between life and death.

Smith, a native of Panama for whom Spanish is her native language, receives calls from time to time, including in the middle of the night, requesting her services to interpret in such situations.

MIKE JAMES can be reached at mjames@dailyindependent.com.

 or (606) 326-2652.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • jeremymccombs.jpg Jeremy McComb enjoys Tri-State's limelight

    Jeremy McComb’s career has been a wild ride, especialy in the last week.
    The lead single from his latest album was released on iTunes last week and it was a huge success right from the start.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Festival to showcase new plays

    The ACTC New Play Festival will feature 10 student and faculty written plays (short scenes, monologues, ten-minutes, one acts) that will premiere at 8 p.m. April 25 and 26 and at 2:30 p.m. April 27 at J.B. Sowards Theater on campus.

    April 17, 2014

  • 0420mongol1.JPG A ride to remember

    Riding 50 miles a day is no big deal to Amy Whelan.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0418melodies.jpg Melodies & Masterpieces returns Friday

    Anyone strolling through downtown Ashland at lunchtime Friday will have a chance to enjoy the artistry of one of the area’s most-respected guitarists as Chris Kitchen kicks off the return of the Melodies & Masterpieces series on Judd Plaza.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0418odell.jpg MSU professor appointed state geographer

    Dr. Gary O’Dell, a professor of physical geography at Morehead State University, was named state geographer in January.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bill to benefit AK Steel

    During the 11th hour of the General Assembly, a bill extending important sustainable incentives for AK Steel’s Ashland Works was pushed through for approval Tuesday night.
    House Bill 483 was created to extend the plant's incentives provided by the Kentucky Industrial Revitalization Act in 2004.

    April 16, 2014

  • Pathways begins autism services

    Pathways has extended its community outreach in a big way by providing services for families facing autism.
    Lena Harmon, central director for the company's Kentucky Impact Youth Council, said these services can save families the trouble of being added to long queue lines in Cincinnati and Louisville.
    Harmon said she has heard some families testify having to wait up to 12 months for appointments in faraway cities.

    April 16, 2014

  • Russell academic new dean at OUS

    Nicole Pennington chose a two-year community college degree track in 1991 because she wanted to enter the nursing work force with as little delay as possible.

    April 16, 2014

  • 1936 Indian lasting wedding gift

    When it came time to present his future wife with a symbol of his undying devotion, Virgil Erskine gave her a 1936 Indian motorcycle instead of a diamond ring.
    “I’ve always called it my wedding present. It’s my diamond ring,” said Charlene Erskine, explaining she and her husband were married at Sturgis, S.D., in 1983, found the antique Indian Sport Scout in 1984 and had it restored and on the road in 1985.

    April 16, 2014

  • Boyd Democrats take floor at Elks

    Boyd County Democrats met at the Elks Lodge for a matchup between candidates for two of the hottest primary races in Boyd County: sheriff and judge-executive.
    The candidates, sponsored by the Boyd County Democratic Women’s Club, each took to the podium to face the crowd Tuesday night and discuss the candidacy and platforms for the race that is still over a month away.

    April 15, 2014