PVMHS Student Assists In Saving Life

February 15, 2018

    Nicole Venuti is a senior in the Medical Assistant program here at Peabody Veterans Memorial High School.  Nicole has often expressed excitement about being able to work in a profession in which she can positively influence and elicit change in individuals’ overall well-being.  Her dedication to the healthcare industry is expressed through her volunteer service at Lahey Clinic Hospital and community sponsored blood pressure clinics, as well as through a paid summer internship at Boston Children’s Hospital.  Nicole is a motivated student with a superb work ethic.

    On January 13, 2018, Nicole was completing her shift as a cashier at Market Basket.  It was late and most of the customers and employees had left. When she and another employee (James Dean) heard a scream from the back of the store, they investigated and came upon an individual who was lying on the floor. A quick assessment revealed this individual was not breathing and did not have a pulse.  Nicole immediately sprang into action, performing “Hands Only CPR” while the other employee called 911. Nicole performed CPR until there was a pulse noted, at which time the Middleton Ambulance arrived and assumed care of the individual.

    Nicole reported that her medical training at Peabody Veterans Memorial High School provided her with the knowledge and ability to jump in and assist this individual. Nicole stated “It was my first instinct to help.”  Nicole went on to explain that this was a life changing experience that made her realize how important CPR really is.

    Nicole and her fellow Medical Assistant classmates were inspired by Franklin Marcelino to write a letter to the Governor of Massachusetts in support of House Bill 3773, which requires all high school seniors to have CPR and AED training as a graduation requirement. In September, Franklin, who is also a senior in the Medical Assisting program at Peabody High School, chose to do his senior Medical Assistant Research project on the importance of Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation. Through his research, Franklin discovered only 21 states have adopted CPR training in school.  Currently Massachusetts has House Bill 3733, which was referred by the Joint Commission of Education, to make this training mandatory.  However, to date, it has not been voted in.  Franklin reports that funding would be a challenge for high schools in making this a graduation requirement.  However, if schools get creative and use CPR trainers within their school, such as the PE and Health instructors, the cost would be considerably less. Franklin also pointed out that every 40 seconds someone has a heart attack, and 85% of all heart attacks occur at home.  And, for every minute without CPR, and or AED intervention, the chances of survival after a heart event decrease by 7-10%.

    Franklin and Nicole have expressed that CPR Certification and AED training as a high school requirement for graduation should be viewed as a “no-brainer.” “Education is key to survival.” Franklin stated “You never know when these skills will be used, but you want to have them just in case it is your loved one.”

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