Month: October, 2014

Saving Lives-One Class at a Time

October 28, 2014 Cheryl Smith AED, CPR, CPR Training, First Aid

Dedicated Instructors

What is it that makes a great CPR Instructor?  What characteristics must one have to turn a potentially boring CPR requirement into a wonderful learning experience that can help people save lives?

The instructor must have passion.  Unfortunately, several CPR instructors are not passionate about their teaching.  Many are only interested in getting the student in and out the door.  This results is a class that is uninteresting and repetitive.  Instructors set the mood for the entire class and if they are not enthusiastic and eager in their teaching, then the students lose interest to learn.  At CPR Choice our instructors are not only passionate but dedicated to making class engaging and well communicated.

Second, the CPR instructor must have a good sense of humor.  CPR and First Aid can be very heavy subjects.  If the atmosphere is too serious, the class will not be enjoyable.  Tactful humor is very important to keep the tone light so that the information can be retained.  However you never want to downplay the importance of learning the skills correctly.  Our students constantly tell us that they never imagined a CPR class could be fun but that CPR Choice proves otherwise.

Most importantly, the instructor must be knowledgeable.  Our instructors don’t just take a one day course to be an instructor.  They are mentored by experienced instructors for an extensive period of time.  They spend weeks observing and co-teaching so they can learn the best ways to teach a CPR course that is organized and professional.  Many of our instructors are EMTs, first responders, firefighters and lifeguards with years of hands-on experience and enjoy sharing it.  All of our instructors are accredited through the American Heart Association and American Safety and Health Institute.

At CPR Choice, we aren’t pretentious and don’t need to drop large medical terms in order to teach CPR. In fact, our style of interaction, repetition and breaking down the parts seems to resonate with re-certifications as a fresh approach without overwhelming first timers.  We guarantee that our instructors are great TEACHERS.  Teaching is a special skill and while we respect hands-on CPR experience, being an engaging presenter/trainer is equally important.  Anyone can turn on a video and hand out CPR cards but at CPR Choice we pride ourselves in being good TEACHERS and COACHES.  No matter if you have taken CPR 20 times or if it is your a first time, we will make it a comfortable and informative class that you can enjoy.  We guarantee it!

CPR Choice Staff

Learn more about our CPR Choice staff.  With over 50 years of experience we guarantee it is the best CPR training in East Tennessee.  We are now offering CPR training in Knoxville and the Tri-cities.

Don’t believe us though, read our testimonials and see what our customers say about our CPR and First Aid courses!

The Real Spooks of Halloween!

October 27, 2014 Cheryl Smith Awareness and Prevention, Children's Health


It’s hard not to get spooked by all the Halloween safety tips and warnings that appear this time of year. The good news is there are some simple ways to keep your little pumpkin safe.  Here are some Halloween safety tips to keep your family “spook” free!

Jack-o-Lanterns: Older children can learn to cut pumpkins and light candles with adult supervision.  Younger children can help scoop out the seeds and draw designs on the pumpkins with a marker.  Also be careful of the pumpkin seeds, they can become a choking hazard for little ones.

Dress for safety:  According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, two of the most common reasons why children end up in the emergency room on Halloween include eye injuries caused by sharp objects and burns from flammable costumes.   Even though cuteness counts, be sure to help your child pick a costume that is flame-resistant, not too long or loose or have any pieces that can get caught on or in something.  And avoid props, such as swords, unless they are short, soft and blunt.

Skip Masks:  Avoid anything that can obstruct their vision, such as a mask.  Be creative and add face paint to complement their costume.

Be a beacon:  Pedestrian and vehicle incidents double on Halloween as compared to other nights.  If your plans include trick or treating in the evening, remember to choose a bright-colored costume.  Another great option that allows your little goblin to be more visible is to add reflective tape or glow necklaces, bracelets to their costume.  And don’t forget your flashlight!

Candy Check: On average about 12,000 children a year are treated in emergency rooms as a result of a choking incident.  Parents should inspect all candy before children are allowed to eat it, paying attention to any candy that is not sealed tightly or the packaging is ripped or cut.  The majority of Halloween candy that causes the highest risk of choking includes hard candy, nuts, raison, fruit snacks, gum or anything gooey or sticky, such as caramel or taffy.  Also, be careful with nonedible treats too that can cause choking hazards, for example little balls or marbles.

Keep these tips in mind, and leave the spooking to the haunted houses!

Are you ready to give yourself a treat and learn a few tricks with CPR Choice? Sign up for a First Aid, CPR and AED class today!

Halloween Safety


A Child Is Choking! Basic First Aid

October 27, 2014 Cheryl Smith Children's Health, Choking, CPR, First Aid

Choking ChildWe all hope we will never be put in the position of having to save a child’s life, but it could happen. Children of all ages test their physical limits and get caught in all kinds of dangerous situations. They choke on food or candy, fall off bikes and playground equipment, and take a leap into water unsupervised.

Here are a few steps to explain the basics of first aid for choking, but do yourself a favor and don’t rely on this as your sole source of information. Set aside a few hours to attend a class with CPR Choice to learn the proper techniques. Techniques differ depending on the age of the child, and doing them improperly can be harmful- learn the right technique today!

Children under a year old:

  • Turn infant facedown over your forearm or on your lap if you can’t manage the forearm position, hold their jaw with one hand to support the head, which should be lower than the chest.
  • Using the heel of your free hand, deliver five quick slaps between the shoulder blades.
  • If still can’t breathe, try chest thrusts: While holding your baby, turn face-up, keeping the head lower than the chest. Place two fingers in the middle of the chest and give five thrusts.
  • Repeat with back blows and chest thrusts until the object is visible and you can remove it.

Children over 1 year old:

  • Stand behind the child with your arms around their waist.
  • Make a fist with one hand, placing the thumb side against the child’s stomach above the navel, but below the rib cage.
  • Grasp the fist with your other hand and quickly thrust inward and upward.
  • If your child becomes unresponsive, instruct someone to call 9-1-1 and begin CPR immediately.

Toddlers & Older Children:

  • If your child is still making sounds, tell them to cough, which may dislodge the object. (Don’t try to remove a foreign object unless you see it, or you could push it farther into the airway.)
  • Ask “Are you choking?” If they nod yes or can’t respond, they need help.
  • Give five back blows, bending them forward and provide five sharp back blows with the heel of one hand in the middle of the back between the shoulder blades. Check with the child after each blow.
  • If the obstruction does not clear after the back blows, give five chest thrusts. Place one hand in the middle of the back for support and the heel of your other hand in the CPR compression position and give five chest thrusts, slower but sharper than CPR compressions.  Check with the child after each thrust.
  • Call 9-1-1 and alternate between back and chest thrusts if the object is still lodged.
  • Perform CPR if the child becomes unconscious.

Learn the proper techniques to save a life, it very well could be a loved one!  Check out our calendar to find a class for individuals or complete the form for on-site group training.  We guarantee it will be the best CPR class you have ever taken!  We currently serve the Knoxville, Maryville and Tri-cities area of Tennessee (TN).  Visit one of our websites for specific information for your area.

Boo! Trick or Treat!

October 27, 2014 Cheryl Smith Awareness and Prevention, Children's Health

Halloween is just arouTrick-or-Treat1nd the corner and is the 2nd largest holiday in America!  Trick or treating has become customary on Halloween and includes children dressing up in costumes venturing from house to house asking for treats with the question “Trick or Treat?”.  In fact, the word “trick” refers to a “threat” to perform mischief on the homeowner or their property if a treat is not given.  So, the majority of households are gearing up to deliver treats to all the ghouls that will dare come to their door.  According to the National Retail Federation, it is estimated that Americans will spend $6.9 billion this year for Halloween, with $2.5 billion spent on costumes.   Who can resist a cute Winnie the Pooh knocking on your door holding a pumpkin treat or treat bag?

As you start to think about your treats, here are some ideas that will satisfy all your super heroes, ghosts and ghouls:

Be creative in your treat options and look for healthy alternatives:

  • String cheese
  • Bagged pretzels
  • Homemade trail-mix/granola
  • Bagged carrots

Be sensitive to children who have food allergies or digestive issues, here are some wonderful “non food” alternatives:

  • Halloween-themed pencils and erasers
  • Sidewalk chalk or crayons
  • Spider rings
  • Glow sticks, bracelets or necklaces
  • Bubbles
  • Stickers

A new initiative geared to children with food allergies is the Teal Pumpkin Project. About 15 million Americans have food allergies, which means roughly 1 out of 13 children that knock on your door this Halloween will be affected by allergies.  By displaying a Teal Pumpkin, this notifies trick or treaters and parents that non-food treats will be available.  Created by a mother who has children with food allergies, this is a great way to promote awareness and offer a holiday season without the fear!


Be safe this year and Happy Halloween from CPR Choice!

How to Wash your Hands

October 16, 2014 Cheryl Smith Awareness and Prevention, Children's Health, Disease Prevention, Men's Health, Women's Health

With flu season around the corner and all of the talk of spreadable disease it is very important to wash your hands!  Washing your hands is the single most important thing you can do to prevent the spread of many types of illness and infections.  Clean hands can stop germs from spreading from one person to another.

  • Wet your hands with warm running water.
  • Apply soap.
  • Lather the soap and rub your hands together with the soap. (Be sure to lather your entire hand including between your fingers, under your nails, wrists and the backs of your hands)
  • Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds.
  • Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  • Dry your hands using a clean paper towel and turn off the water (If there is not a towel available, use your forearm to turn off the faucet and use an air dryer)

    If soap and water is not available then you may use waterless hand sanitizer until you can wash your hands properly.  Hand sanitizer is not a substitute for hand washing.

When dealing with any blood or bodily fluids make sure to use universal precautions.  Always treat all blood and bodily fluids as though it is potentially infectious and protect yourselves by using personal protection equipment such as gloves, gown, mask and face shields.


Join the Promise

October 15, 2014 Cheryl Smith Awareness and Prevention, Breast Cancer

Have you signed up? Race for the Cure, Oct 18th!

cure 2The Knoxville Susan G Komen Race for the Cure is scheduled for Saturday, October 18, 2014. The 5k run/walk is celebrating 18 years and is one of the Knoxville affiliates largest fundraiser, with 75% of all the proceeds staying here in our community. The Knoxville affiliate serves 16 counties in Tennessee, including Anderson, Blount, Campbell, Cock, Grainger, Hamblen, Jefferson, Knox, Loudon, Monroe, Morgan, Road, Sevier, Scott and Union, providing education, screening and treatment support for those diagnosed with breast cancer. This affiliate plays an important role in our community and needs our support!

Survivor Spotlight – Liza Graves- 18 year survivor, former Lady Vols basketball player, avid runner, true friend

Liza Graves understands the fear of diagnosis and treatments. She was diagnosed in October 1996 at the age of 39. The diagnosis led to a bilateral mastectomy, five to six months of chemotherapy and reconstructive surgery.   As a friend, I’ve watched her offer love, support, and an ear to anyone that she feels needs to hear her story. What a comfort to relate to someone who has been in your shoes, walked your same path and has an amazing spirit.

In her recent interview with the Knoxville News Sentinel, recognizing breast cancer awareness month, Liza explained that her cancer diagnosis helped her prioritize and make better choices. She lives her life with a different perspective as a result of her diagnosis. Things that might have been a burden before she now embraces with open arms, for example milestone birthdays.

Look for her on October 18th at the Race for the Cure in downtown Knoxville. She’ll be leading the pack of survivors, cheering on her “teammates”, fellow cancer fighters and survivors, and mingling with the crowd before and after the race. You’ll feel her spirit and be inspired—we promise!

Join us on Saturday, October 18th at the World’s Fair Park. Registration starts at 6:30am and the 5k starts at 8:30am. For more information go to

Join the promise! Make a difference!

Girls Night Out – CPR Party!

October 12, 2014 Cheryl Smith Awareness and Prevention, CPR Training, First Aid, Women's Health

Do you love girl’s night out?  How about planning a girl’s night out that could save a life!  Host a CPR party! CPR Choice wants everyone to learn CPR!  Host a party with 8 people and get your class for free!  We guarantee it will be fun and can be done in the comfort of your own home.  Do your friends, family and kids a favor and learn how to save a life!  CPR Choice challenges you to get educated!   Gather your book club, your Mom’s lunch group, your children’s play date group and your close friends & family to schedule a CPR Party or join one of our existing classes as a group.


Cardiac arrests are more common than you think, and they can happen to anyone at any time!  In fact, according to the American Heart Association 88 percent of cardiac arrests occur at home.  To simplify the numbers, that means 4 out of 5 cardiac arrests happen in your own home and the life you save could be a loved one!  Effective bystander CPR provided immediately after sudden cardiac arrest can double or triple a victim’s chance of survival, but sadly only 32 percent of cardiac arrest victims get CPR from a bystander.

If you are faced with a cardiac emergency:

  • Immediately call 911.  Give specific details; “I have a male, approx. 46 years old, experiencing chest pain”
  • Start chest compressions at a rate of 100 per minute.  Push hard and fast in between the nipples on the lower portion of the sternum.
  • Get the AED.   If you are out in public, look around for an AED.  More and more businesses are adding them to support an emergency.

Having confidence in your ability to perform CPR and to use an AED is the best way to prevent unnecessary deaths. CPR Choice is your source to learn the skills needed to save a life!  It is a very small price to pay versus watching the ones you love pass in front of you. Sign up today!

CPR to the beat of “Stayin’ Alive”

October 12, 2014 Cheryl Smith AED, CPR, CPR Training, Hands-Only CPR

The American Heart Association (AHA) has two simple tips for anyone around you that goes into cardiac arrest.  Call 9-1-1 and push hard and fast in the center of the chest to the beat of the classic disco song “Stayin’ Alive”.    Cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR can more than double a person’s changes of survival, and “Stayin’ Alive” has the right beat for Hands-Only CPR (    The 1977 Bee Gees’ song has the perfect beat for performing CPR because the song contains 103 beats per minute.  This is close to the recommended chest compressions of 100 beats every 60 seconds.

This campaign introduced by the AHA has created a series of videos available on YouTube to help spread the word.  Ken Joeng, an actor, comedian and also a licensed physician in CA stars in one of the promotional videos and urges people to pay attention.

CPR courses are so important and it is crucial that every American learn these skills.  Sign up for a class today!  CPR Choice offers classes that are fun and engaging and allow each student lots of hands-on experience.  Do not hesitate to learn CPR, you could make a difference, you could save a life! We offer classes for anyone!  Including: BLS for healthcare providers, Heartsaver CPR & AED, and Heartsaver First Aid.


A Month of Pink!

October 12, 2014 Cheryl Smith Awareness and Prevention, Breast Cancer, Women's Health

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month! An annual international health campaign organized by major breast cancer charities every October to increase awareness of the disease and to raise funds for research its cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure.   The campaign also offers information and support to those affected by breast cancer. Everyone is affected by breast cancers- men and women, families, care givers, friends, co-workers….Statistically 1 in 8 will have breast cancer in their lifetime.

As most of you are awabreastcancer (1)re the pink ribbon is an international symbol of breast cancer awareness. Pink ribbons, and the color pink in general, identify the breast cancer brand and express support for woman and men with breast cancer. The first known use of a pink ribbon in connection with breast cancer awareness was in the fall of 1991, when the Susan G Komen Foundation
handed out the pink ribbons to participants in its New York City race for
breast cancers.   By 1992, it was adopted as the official symbol of National Breast Cancer Awareness.

A variety of events around the world are organized in October, including walks and runs, and the pink illumination of landmark buildings. For all you sports fans, I love that the NFL joins in too!   They promote breast cancer awareness by incorporating pink on and off the field!

How can you reduce your risk?

  1. Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity may increase the risk of developing post-menopausal breast and ovarian cancers. Women who weight 40% or more above normal weight are advised to choose a diet rich in green leafy vegetables, fruits and whole grains and low in processed foods, sugars and meats.
  2. Get fit. Remember moderate exercise also improves the immune system’s ability to protect the body against unhealthy cellular activity. So, you don’t have to do strenuous exercise to see benefits!
  3. Limit alcohol consumption.
  4. Quit smoking.
  5. Get checked. Women should perform self-exams, get regulator clinical examples and schedule regular mammograms. Early detection is the key and provides the best change against breast cancer.

Talking to your doctor about your risk of breast cancer, especially if a close family member of yours has had breast or ovarian cancer, can help you both decide when and how often to get a mammogram.

Join us in the effort to raise awareness about the importance of early detection of breast cancer. Look for events in the area to get involved in and provide support!

Why Should You Choose CPR Choice?

CPR Choice, Knoxville Real Testimonials

"Best CPR Class I've ever attended."

"This is the BEST CPR class I have ever been to. As an RN, I’ve been to lots over the years. HIGHLY recommend this one!"

"I highly recommend CPR Choice for healthcare provider certification! It was easy to schedule and Cheryl kept the class interesting and informative. This was by far my best experience taking a CPR class. Thanks Cheryl!"

"I have been taking an annual CPR class for about eight years now, and never before now have I felt like I had such a complete grasp on the material."

"Best CPR class I have taken as an RN in 10 yrs! The instructor, Kristy, was the best instructor! Systematic approach to teaching with tons of energy and obvious interest in teaching CPR. Thank you!"

"I'll be back in two years for renewal! Thanks CPR Choice!"


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