A team of two students knelt on the floor at Willard Grade Center, with a mannequin placed between them.

One student watched as the other child placed his hands on the dummy and practiced hands-only CPR, The song “Staying Alive” played on a cell phone belonging to Mercy EMS clinical educator, Curtis Mitchell, as the student performed 30 chest compressions on the mannequin.

“Count out loud to 30,” Mitchell said as the student worked on the dummy, causing a clicking noise in the dummy’s chest. “I can’t hear you. You’ve got to count loud.”

After a few minutes, the student who was working on the dummy stopped and the other student took a turn. 

Other teams of students also lined up in the middle of the classroom, practicing CPR on their dummies.

Mitchell taught a class of fifth-graders how to perform hands-only CPR and save someone who is choking Friday morning at Willard. The class was the first in a series of health care-related lessons that Mercy Hospital Ada has designed for Ada students.

Learning about health care

Mercy Hospital Ada is teaming up with Ada City Schools as part of the school district’s Career Kick Start program, which promotes STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) learning, according to a Mercy news release. Mercy staffers collaborated with teachers to create comprehensive lesson plans based on health-related subjects

Mercy is working with the school district to provide insights and topics for students in kindergarten through high school.

“I am very excited to announce the beginning of Mercy working hand in hand with Ada City Schools,” Jamie Rankin, manager of Mercy’s women and infants unit, said in the news release, “I absolutely cannot wait to share and support this program and these students.”

The school district and Mercy launched the program with a CPR lesson Friday at Willard. Other lessons will focus on diagnosing and managing diabetes, germs and hand sanitation, first aid awareness, medical imaging and the effects of vaping.

District officials are excited about the partnership with Mercy, said Superintendent Mike Anderson.

“Not only will this collaboration provide important health information, it will allow health professionals to discuss possible career opportunities with students,” he said in an email to an Ada News reporter. “We appreciate Mercy’s willingness to prepare engaging, hands-on learning opportunities for our students in the area of health and wellness.”

Eric Swanson is the City Hall and general assignment reporter for The Ada News. He spent 15 years working at the Dodge City Daily Globe in Dodge City, Kansas, before joining The Ada News’ staff in 2012.

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