Three professional staff members become certified CPR and first aid instructors.
From left, Christina WooChing, Elena Fajardo, and Nikki Reifschneider display mannequins and a training AED used used in a CPR certification class.
CORAL GABLES, Fla. (September 19, 2016) – When the Patti and Allan Herbert Wellness Center found itself in need of CPR and First Aid instructors, it took some creative brainstorming to find the appropriate solution: three Herbert Wellness Center professional staff members stepped up to the plate and became certified instructors. Elena Fajardo, customer service manager, Nikki Reifschneider, assistant director of fitness and personal training, and Christina WooChing, assistant director of wellness programs, knew that by becoming certified instructors, the University of Miami would immediately become a safer community.
CPR and First Aid classes are free for Herbert Wellness Center student employees, and all emergency care courses are available to the public regardless of membership at the Herbert Wellness Center.
“As a fitness professional, I feel I am always in a position where patrons around me could potentially need CPR/AED or First Aid,” says Reifschneider. “I realized that not only is it necessary that I be certified, but that my fitness room staff and personal trainers be certified as well.”
Two eight-hour days of off-campus training tested the three women’s knowledge of what they thought they knew about CPR and First Aid, and taught them ways to organize fun and engaging classes.
“The best part about the training was the team-bonding experience I had with Elena and Nikki,” says WooChing, the newest member of the Herbert Wellness Center team. “We can now support each other in our staff positions and in teaching. We are already planning to co-facilitate some sessions.”
As professional staff members, and now as instructors, Fajardo, Reifschneider, and WooChing are working to create a safer community for UM students, faculty and staff. The women are also excited to give back to the students under their own roof. Every Herbert Wellness Center student employee has access to free CPR and First Aid training. With additional instructors, more student employees will learn how to quickly and appropriately respond during emergency situations, both on duty and in their everyday life.
“I want to make our facility and the UM campus as safe as it can be,” explains Fajardo. “It is important that our student staff is highly trained and prepared to expertly react to any emergency.”
The Herbert Wellness Center is one of the Coral Gables campus’s busiest facilities. Almost everything within its walls involves some level of physical activity. Thinking fast and feeling confident when responding to an emergency is imperative. CPR and First Aid classes equip participants with the preparation and skills to handle high-pressure situations. The Herbert Wellness Center operates under a high service standard of safety, and with three new emergency care instructors, that standard was just raised to new heights.
“The fact that we can potentially save a life or help in a crisis—who wouldn’t want the ability to do that?” adds Reifschneider. “I know if something were to happen to me, I would want a certified individual to step in and help.”
All emergency care courses are open to both members and non-members of the Herbert Wellness Center and are offered several times throughout the semester. For more information about emergency care courses or to register, click here
Learn proper CPR technique, AED use and relief of choking in adults, children and infants. Upon completion of the course, those enrolled receive a two-year certification from the American Red Cross.
• Wednesday, October 5 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
• Saturday, November 5 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
• Monday, November 14 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
• Saturday, December 10 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Learn how to manage illness and injuries in the first few minutes until professional help arrives.
• Wednesday, October 26 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
• Tuesday, November 8 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
• Wednesday, December 7 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
“UM is an active and dynamic campus,” says WooChing. “There are some situations you cannot plan for, so you never know when these simple, easy-to-learn skills could save someone’s life.”