Break the Ice: Ways to Transform Workplace Acquaintances into a Team on onebeatcpr.com

Break the Ice: Ways to Transform Workplace Acquaintances into a Team

From CPR training to cooking competitions, there’s something to fit every company

A company is only as strong as its team. And a team is only as strong as the bonds between its members. As eye-rolling as some corporate bonding exercises can be, there are fun and inspiring alternatives, including CPR training. Read on for a sampling of our favorites.

Make the office fun again

You need not fly your team to Maui or buy out Fenway Park to give them valuable team-building opportunities. Introduce one or more of these office-based ideas to give their day-to-day a needed shot in the arm.

  1. Show off their culinary chops. Cooking competitions have become a staple of TV and are relatively easy to transform into activities that require strong leadership and quickly-learned cooperation. Pick a category (brunch! Greek! tropical!) or an ingredient (chickpeas! Twinkies! kale!) and let the creative juices flow.Ultimately, it’s up to the team whether the adventure ends up fantastically delicious or a flambéed disaster. And while not everyone on your staff likes to cook, it’s safe to say most of them like to eat. So set up a judging panel for those team members who aren’t Emeril or Giada.
  2. Work games into the daily calendar. Not everyone has the time (or desire) to get up from their desks and join that cutthroat game of Jenga or seven-card stud by the reception desk. But give employees the option to sign up for a slot as part of their regular work week and space may magically start to appear in those office calendars. Any concerns about lost productivity can be assuaged by increased rapport among your team plus some much-needed time to rest some brain muscles (and stretch others).
  3. Get personal. Simple bonding games such as Two Truths and a Lie allow your staff to get to know each other but within boundaries that they themselves set. It’s up to the individual which “truth” they decide to share, which allows them to open up in a safe environment. While ideal as an onboarding tool, it can also be a great brainteaser for long-term staff, as they will need to come up with new “truths” that their colleagues don’t yet know.

Get out of the office

As fun as you can make your home base, sometimes your team needs fresh air and a change of venue. Give these out-of-office adventures a try.

  1. Volunteer. Donating time towards a good cause is good for personal karma and also great for team bonding. Children’s hospitals, soup kitchens, and wilderness beautification are just a few of the many options out there that welcome large groups. Also consider allowing your staff to use their professional skills (copywriting, website design, marketing) to help short-staffed nonprofits.
  2. Underwrite a mystery dinner. At the end of a long day (or week) a nice dinner out can be just the thing to allow your employees to blow off steam and break bread as an extended family. The twist here is that the location and guest list will remain a mystery until the night of the event. Mix and match different teams to a variety of restaurants or staff members’ houses. Throw in an added perk with after-dinner drinks or dessert at one location so everyone can reconnect and share stories.
  3. Discover someplace new. A great night out can be perfect for some, but not all. Parents with young kids, people with two jobs, and many others may be much more likely to participate in a daytime outing. So take the day, pile into cars or a chartered bus, and explore a new place. That quaint town by the lake, an unusual museum, or even a nearby nature walk followed by lunch.

Train them to save lives

In addition to the obvious health and safety benefits to good CPR training, there are some extra perks that make this an even more appealing team-building option.

  1. Save lives, increase morale. Many businesses struggle to combat the “punch the clock” mentality that can set in for employees who may only see your company as a direct deposit blip on their digital bank statement. That mindset can quickly change once staff members put their lives in each other’s hands. In addition, most CPR classes require group participation and pairing off in teams, a great way to spend quality time and build trust with co-workers.
  2. Get to know your first aid kit. For the vast majority of people, the first aid kit that hangs on the wall or sits lonely next to the microwave in the break room is a passive comfort but little else. Training turns that plastic box of unfamiliar contents into critical tools that can save a life. Seconds matter after an accident and if your staff has a firm grasp of the tools at its disposal, the safer everyone will be. And a group setting ensures that coworkers will hold each other accountable for the information – you all learned it, you all need to own it.
  3. Serve your community. When your staff walks away from an afternoon of CPR training with their workplace comrades, they will now be equipped to make a valuable safety contribution in their homes and communities. Something this simple, and seemingly self-serving, can make your company a force for greater good on the local level. This benefit can’t be measured on a balance sheet but will be made real by the confidence and security felt by those who “punch the clock” for you every day.

One Beat CPR can be a key partner in this valuable team training for your organization, and it can be done offsite or we can bring the classes to your workplace. Learn more through our online resource guide.

The ABCs of AEDs on onebeatcpr.com

The ABCs of AEDs

What you need to know to save lives

We’ve seen it in movies and on TV dozens of times. Grandpa collapses in a shopping mall, mom faints at the airport, or young John from sales loses his balance at the gym and suddenly passes out. A friend or relative leaps into action and they start CPR. In real life, more often, folks are may also reach for an Automated External Defibrillator (AED).

What is (and isn’t) an AED?

A defibrillator is a medical device that stops fibrillation, an erratic heartbeat, by distributing an electrical shock or pulse of approximately 300 joules to the heart. This restores the heart to normal by stopping its uncontrolled trembling. The AED was developed in 1965 by Frank Pantridge, a physician at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

The goal was to allow lay people without medical training to use this technology to assist those in the midst of sudden cardiac arrest or who experience arrhythmia (an uneven heartbeat). Frank was of the firm belief that anyone who could perform CPR could operate a defibrillator. Further, he advocated that they are installed beside fire extinguishers, as life was more important than property.

The original prototype ran off car batteries and weighed close to a whopping 155 pounds, compared to today’s models which have a relative feather-weight of just over four pounds. He first installed the “portable” defibrillator in an ambulance, which allowed for patients experiencing cardiac arrest to receive treatment prior to arrival at the hospital. The technology quickly spread to the United States.

One common misconception about AEDs is that they can be used when the heart flat lines, or ceases to beat at all (diehard fans of ER or Grey’s Anatomy can be forgiven this false assumption). Defibrillators typically don’t completely restart the heart, they reset our body’s natural pacemaker so it functions properly.

An AED is also not to be confused with similar devices, such as Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators (ICDs) or Wearable Cardioverter Defibrillators (WCDs). ICDs are battery-powered devices that are surgically implanted under the skin and connect to the heart via thin wires. They monitor the heart and send a shock if they detect an abnormal rhythm. WCDs perform similar functions but can be worn underneath clothing as a combination garment and monitor.

How does an AED work?

While the very concept of saving another person’s life can be daunting for most of us, the modern AED has been designed to make this miraculous task surprisingly simple. Each AED contains adhesive pads with electrodes which the user attaches to the victim’s chest. This is a simplified system based on hospital defibrillators, which use conductive gel to move the electricity along and hand-held panels with plastic handles to prevent medical professionals from experiencing the shock.

Proper placement of these pads is key to effectively assist the victim. There are two basic options:

  • Place one pad above and to the left of the heart, the other below and to the right.
  • Place the pads in front of and behind the heart.

The electrodes provide the AED’s computer with crucial information about the heart’s rhythm, that allows it to determine whether an electric shock is necessary and then to provide that shock. AEDs can be used on adults and children as young as 12 months (some devices have specially-sized pads for kids).

When should I use an AED?

Time is of the essence when a person goes into cardiac arrest. Most incidents stem from ventricular fibrillation (VF), a rapid and unsynchronized rhythm that begins in the heart’s lower chambers, or ventricles. Experts estimate that a victim’s chance of survival drops by seven to 10 percent every minute that a normal heartbeat isn’t restored.

First, be sure the person is actually in cardiac arrest. If you see them faint or come upon them already unconscious, confirm that they don’t respond to speaking, shouting, or shaking. In the case of an infant or young child, avoid shaking and instead give them a gentle but firm pinch. Check for breathing and a pulse. If neither is present, call 9-1-1, begin CPR, and seek out an AED.

You can often find AEDs in settings where crowds gather, such as schools, airports, gyms, malls, pools, hotels, and sports venues. They are easily recognizable and look much like a large first-aid kit, often with a heart logo emblazoned on the front.

Clear other bystanders from the immediate area, as touching the victim can interfere with the AED’s readings. Most AEDs provide voice commands that take you through each step of its use. Again, CPR is a key tool and should be administered before or after a shock. The device will likely instruct you when to begin CPR.

The effectiveness of AEDs can be profound. The American Heart Association estimates that survival rates double when bystanders use AEDs before emergency responders arrive. One Beat CPR can be a valuable partner in your organization’s AED purchases and training. You can learn more at our online store and resource guide.

What's in Your First Aid Kit? on onebeatcpr.com

What’s in Your First Aid Kit?

In case of a medical emergency, you’ll be glad you checked

At one point or another, it’s happened to all of us. We hurt ourselves, go dig out the first aid kit, and quickly discover that what we need isn’t in there. Not only is this frustrating, but it could also end up being a real problem for a serious injury.

Most homes and workplaces have first aid kits, but how often does anybody really check to see whether it’s well-stocked or replace missing items? In the event of an emergency, this small box may make a huge difference, which is why it has to contain the essentials.

How to choose the right kit

Before you know what your first aid kit should contain, it’s important to think about your situation. If, for example, you have young children, you’ll want it to include things like a thermometer, bulb suction device, and maybe some colorful adhesive bandages. If you do a lot of hiking or camping, you’ll want to consider a larger kit with items such as tourniquets that can help with more severe injuries. If you drive a lot, it may be a good idea to keep your kit in your car or get a separate one.

What every kit should have

No matter who the kit may be for, it is important that it at least has the basics. The Red Cross has an extensive list of what this should include and the quantities. Here’s a brief rundown:

  • Gauze
  • Bandages
  • Medical tape
  • Aspirin
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Cold compress
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Tweezers
  • First aid instruction book

First aid kit tips

Keep it in a centralized spot

The only thing worse than not finding what you need in a first aid kit is not being able to find the kit at all. Whether at home or in an office, everyone should know where it is and be able to get to it quickly.

Check it regularly

You just never know if somebody may have taken something out of the kit, which is why it should be checked periodically.

Make replacements

Certain things in the kit – like creams and ointments – have expiration dates. Replacing these items before they become old or ineffective is important.

What businesses need to know about first aid kits

All businesses have to adhere to the regulations of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and one rule stipulates that “adequate first aid supplies” must be on hand. Although the agency doesn’t have specific first aid kit content requirements, employers need to “ensure that reasonably anticipated supplies are available.”

Businesses also have to augment their kits if need be for changing circumstances. And if there is a chance that employees will come into contact with blood or other infectious materials while using any first aid supplies, an employer needs to provide personal protective equipment, including gowns, gloves, and masks.

So, which kit should you buy?

This one is really up to you. There are numerous first aid kits available, and most of them can probably give you what you need. This guide covers some of the best kits for the home, office, and car. The important thing is that you don’t buy a kit and then just forget about it (or forget where you put it).

And you should know how to effectively use everything in it. At One Beat CPR, we offer a class that will help you learn what to do in the event of an emergency, including how to handle broken bones, stings, and bleeding. Check out our first aid class schedule here and if you have any questions, please contact us.