Month: November, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

November 26, 2014 Cheryl Smith Blog, Holiday

Happy Thanksgiving from CPR Choice!

As you are busy prepping for a Thanksgiving feast with family and friends, CPR Choice wants to wish you a day filled with love and memories!   Thanksgiving Day in the south is a house full of family and friends enjoying a full menu including turkey, ham and all the fixings and a day focused on all the things you are thankful for and sometimes take for granted.

To help our family focus on the quality of our time together, we set some family goals that will hopefully become tradition for Thanksgiving weekend and we wanted to share:

  1. Disconnect- Make a pact with your family to avoid all technology, only exception is to call and wish someone a Happy Thanksgiving. Take the time to actually interact, be engaged and catch up with your family and friends.
  2. Cook together- We think this is a wonderful opportunity to spend quality time with loved ones and even pick up some tricks in the kitchen. Allow your children the opportunity to help with cooking too and build some sweet bonds that will last a lifetime.
  3. Take pictures- We love photos and documenting our time together! Capture the kitchen moments, the naps and the crowd around the TV watching football!
  4. Play games/watch movie- create a tradition to watch a movie together every season and/or play a family game. Again this is a great way to make some memories, especially with children
  5. Nap- Don’t forget to rest & cuddle with your loved ones! If you have the opportunity, create a stress free situation where you and your family can be completely relaxed. Our worlds move at such a fast pace, take advantage of some down time with the folks you love.
  6. Make a plan to give back- supporting our community is important to CPR Choice and we want our entire family to be involved in helping “give back”. Our plans for the next year include focusing on volunteer opportunities in our community, helping our local food banks, and supporting local Christmas charities.  Currently we are collecting peanut butter for 2nd harvest food bank.  Bring a jar of PB to class and get a $5 discount!

CPR Choice challenges you to set some goals for you and your family this year too!   Happy Thanksgiving from our CPR Choice family to yours!


Who Needs CPR Training?

November 25, 2014 Cheryl Smith AED, CPR, CPR Training, First Aid, Uncategorized

Who needs CPR training
We think that is about the easiest question we get asked–EVERYONE!  At CPR Choice we believe that everyone should be trained in the life saving skills of CPR & AED.  You never know when you may need to do CPR or give first aid.  Statistics show that if you do need to perform CPR, chances are it will be on someone that you love! Everyone can benefit by being prepared.

Learning CPR isn’t mandatory for most people.  However, for many it is required of their job and very important that they be proficient in their CPR skills.

Healthcare Providers

Hospitals require their clinical staff to be trained.  Obviously doctors, nurses, EMT’s, paramedics, firefighters and those that work on the front lines of emergency medicine need to be trained.  It is also highly recommended that ANYONE that has a clinical license or touches patients should be certified.  This may include: pharmacists, physical therapists, dental assistants, chiropractors, and other medical personnel.


Again for obvious reasons lifeguards need to be trained and maintain their certifications.  Whether they are teaching swim lessons at the local YMCA, managing a water park or actually guarding the Atlantic Ocean it is mandatory. Many lifeguards also have to take emergency oxygen courses and first aid.

Personal Trainers/Fitness Instructors

Exercise is good for the heart, right?  Yes it is!  However, it is important that personal trainers and other group fitness instructors learn CPR.  Just in case that cardio workout throws you into cardiac arrest, we want them to be prepared.

Teachers/Bus Drivers/Coaches

You would think that this would be more apparent, yet it is not required for all teachers and school personnel to be trained.  We think it should be! Some kids spend more time with their teachers and coaches than anyone else.  We highly encourage all school staff to be trained.  Are you on the PTO committee??  Bring this up at your next school meeting.  We provide training for public and private schools.

Private Business

We recommend that people that work in the hospitality industry put this at the top of their list.  It is a good idea for hotel staff to be trained in CPR and for hotels to have an AED on site.  Also, where do you think most people choke? Restaurants!  Restaurant staff should also be trained.  However, the list doesn’t stop there!  Banks, retail stores, convention centers, movie theaters, and other entertainment venues should train a portion of their staff.

Daycare Staff

For some reason, while it is not required of school teachers it is required of daycare staff.  Daycare and preschool providers are required by the state to be trained in both CPR & First Aid.  Since they are taking care of such precious cargo it is so important that be familiar with these skills.

Employers with OSHA/Safety Requirements

Many employers are required to train their staff in CPR & First Aid; that is why we offer on-site training at your location.  These professions may include: manufacturing, construction, electrical staff, and those at high risk of injury.

Scout Leaders & Scouts

Since scout groups are often participating in fun adventures and campouts it is a good idea for leaders to be trained in both CPR & First Aid.  If a kid twists his ankle on a hike or cuts himself making his pinewood derby car we want leaders to be prepared.  Scouts also can receive merit badges for both CPR & First Aid.  We would love to train your boy scout or girl scout troop!


Even the self-employed should consider CPR training, especially those that welcome customers into their homes. You need to be prepared, just in case an emergency were to occur.  Whether you are throwing a party for pampered chef, selling insurance or giving massages you should protect yourself from any moral and financial liabilities. Knowing you have the skills required to save a life, if needed, is the best insurance policy of all.

Everyone needs CPR training! Our goal is to deliver high quality training and to create a casual, fun atmosphere. We make sure that all students feel confident in their ability to perform the life saving skills we teach.  

BLS for Healthcare Providers Heartsaver CPR/AED Heartsaver First Aid

American Heart Association

New CPR Choice West Knoxville Location

November 25, 2014 Cheryl Smith AED, CPR, CPR Training, First Aid


Join us for the next CPR Class at our new West Knoxville location!

Our new address is:

CPR Choice
9111 Cross Park Drive, #D200
Knoxville, TN 37923

We have moved in and are offering classes starting December 13th for CPR & First Aid! As we celebrate our first ten years providing CPR training to the Knoxville area’s healthcare providers and community, we are SO excited and thankful for this opportunity to expand.

Check out our training room! Here is a photo of the area where our CPR classes will be held. Comfortable seating for up to 24 people and equipped with flat screen television & white board. We are thrilled to have this more permanent location that will provide a nice learning environment for our students.

Our new CPR Choice location in West Knoxville!

CPR Choice’s new location in West Knoxville, is centrally located to all of the areas we serve! Our service areas include: Knox, Anderson, Blount, Roane, Loudon, Sevier counties and more.

The new CPR Choice office and training center is directly off Cedar Bluff Rd, near I-40. For your convenience, we also have training locations in North and Downtown Knoxville areas, the Maryville area, and locations in the Tri-Cities area.

For groups of eight or more, we’ll come to your site! Contact us if you need any help scheduling the best class for you. Remember to choose CPR Choice, the best choice for all your CPR training needs!

We teach several different American Heart Association and ASHI classes.  
Check out our calendar and registration page for more information and to sign up for a CPR class!

BLS for Healthcare Providers
Heartsaver CPR & AED
Heartsaver First Aid

A Woman’s Heart

November 24, 2014 Cheryl Smith Awareness and Prevention, Disease Prevention, Heart Health, Women's Health

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States – about 1 in every 4.

Heart-Disease-prvention-and-Weight-Loss-Armageddon-Weight-Loss-The-best-weight-loss-DVD-program-for-women-and-menAlthough this statistic shouldn’t shock most women, it usually does. That’s because most women, more than half, don’t realize this scary truth. More women die each year in the US from heart disease than all the cancers combined. Many women think of heart disease as a “man’s disease” even though about the same number of women and men are claimed by it every year. And about 64% of women who die suddenly from a heart attack showed no previous symptoms.

Awareness of the severity of this epidemic has to change for lives to be saved. Knowledge is power and knowing the risk factors and symptoms is key.



Risk factors include:

  • High Blood Pressure
  • High Cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Family History
  • Smoking
  • Stress

Controlling these risk factors often means hard changes in lifestyle and diet but surely they are better than any of the results of a heart attack or stroke.

Paying attention to symptoms is another important step. As women, we are often likely to disregard or minimize symptoms, but this is our body’s way of trying to tell us to get some help. And although women often experience chest pain, other symptoms for women are easy to overlook.

Symptoms include:

  • Extreme Fatigue
  • Jaw, neck and shoulder pain
  • Lightheadedness and clamminess
  • Nausea and indigestion000_Heartattack.rev2

You know your body ladies. Pay attention and listen to what it is trying to tell you. We have to take care of ourselves before we can take care of anyone else. Women can be a powerful force to reckon with especially when they get behind a cause, so we need to encourage each other to learn as much as we can, educate others, and make changes.

For more information about heart disease in women visit:


SOMEthing is better than Nothing

November 19, 2014 Cheryl Smith AED, CPR, Hands-Only CPR, Liability


So you had the opportunity to take a CPR class that was offered at work. You come out of the class feeling pretty confident about your skills …..30:2, head-tilt-chin-lift, chest rise… it! Glad you know it, hope you never have to use. But now it is a year down the road. The certification is good for two years but you’ve already forgotten some of what you learned. If someone suddenly collapsed in front of you would you feel comfortable acting?   If you don’t remember everything from you class would you do more harm than good?

This is a common concern for many people who have been trained in CPR but not had real world practice. According to the American Heart Association, when interviewed , bystanders said panic was the major obstacle in performing CPR. This was one factor that led to the AHA releasing updated guidelines in 2010 that allowed for the option of Hands-Only CPR. . Hands-Only CPR is CPR without the mouth-to-mouth breaths. It consists of 2 easy steps:

  • Call 9-1-1
  • Push hard and fast in the center of the chest


Studies reviewed by the AHA reported that adults who experienced cardiac arrest and received Hands- Only CPR were more likely to survive than those who didn’t receive any type of CPR. Simply stated, doing something is better than doing nothing! The easy to remember Hands-Only technique may help remove barriers for people who want to help but feel unsure of their ability. So don’t let fear inhibit your ability to help save a life. Take action and make a difference.

For more information about Hands-Only CPR you can visit the America heart Association website

CPR for Pets

November 17, 2014 Cheryl Smith CPR, Pet CPR and First Aid

We sure do love our pets.  Most people think of them as another member in their family.  However, most pet owners don’t know how to give their animal CPR.  CPR for cats and dogs is very similar to CPR for humans.  Because CPR can be harmful on a healthy dog, be sure that the animal is unconscious and the risk of being bitten by the animal is not present.

1. Lay the dog on it’s right side.  Check for breathing by looking for chest rise or listening near the animals head.  Look for any obstructions; if one is present remove it by sweeping with your finger.

2. Open the dogs airway and give several rescue breaths: For large dogs: close the animal’s jaw tightly and breathe into the nose. The animal’s chest should rise. Give 4-5 rescue breaths. For small dogs and cats you may be able to cover the nose and mouth with your mouth as you breathe.

3. Check for a pulse.  You can check this in the wrist area of the animal or at the femoral artery.

4.  If there is no pulse, perform chest compressions.  The rate of chest compressions varies with the size of the animal. (Dogs over 60 lbs: 60 compressions per minute, Animals 11 to 60 lbs: 80-100 compressions per minute, Animals 10 lbs or less: 120 compressions per minute)

4. Alternate breaths with compressions.  The ratio of compressions to breaths should be 15:1. Continue doing this until the animal responds or begins to breathe on its own.  Continue to watch for signs of life.

5.  Get your animal to a veterinary hospital as soon as possible!



CPR Choice – Your BEST CHOICE for CPR Training!

November 17, 2014 Cheryl Smith CPR Training

teachingCPRWhy is CPR Choice your best choice for CPR?  To put it simply…We are not in the business of handing out CPR cards, we are in the business of teaching CPR.  Now at first this may not seem like the answer you want but it is the answer that we tell our customers and friends all the time.  Let me explain.

People call us every day wanting to sign up for CPR classes or to schedule a training at their office.  One of the most frequently asked questions is, “How long is the class?”  Our response is usually around 3 hours.  Occasionally the other person on the phone gasps and says, “3 hours?  My last class was only 30 minutes.”  This literally pains me.  Being an instructor for almost 15 years I know that it is impossible to cover the content thoroughly in that much time; even if I was training a paramedic or ER nurse that uses the skills regularly.  There are two main reasons that people take CPR classes: to get a CPR card or to actually learn CPR.  Sadly many classes offered will not satisfy both.

Things to look for in a good CPR program:

  • Most importantly it should have a good instructor!  The instructor needs to be knowledgeable and not just able to pop in a video and press play.  While audio-visual aids are necessary it is important to have instructor that can answer questions and help guide you through the practice sessions.  The CPR instructor should be passionate and enjoy teaching.  We strongly believe that it takes a special person to be a good TEACHER and we mentor our new instructors for months.
  • CPR classes need adequate space and equipment.  I recently taught for a group that told me their last instructor didn’t bring any CPR manikins.  WHAT?!?  You must have manikins in order to properly learn the techniques.  CPR Choice provides a low student to manikin ratio so time isn’t wasted with 3-5 people sharing one manikin.  The manikin really is important as it can help aid you to make sure you are pushing the chest hard enough during CPR compressions and that you are breathing adequately to make the chest rise.  AED trainers should also be provided during training.
  • Cleanliness is next to godliness, right?  Make sure that the equipment is clean and that proper barriers and masks are provided so you aren’t spreading germs.
  • Proper amount of time is necessary.  Most of our classes cover adult CPR, child CPR, infant CPR, 2-rescuer CPR, choking, unconscious choking, and AED.  3 hours really is necessary to cover the material properly.
  • The class is fun, engaging and easy to understand!

How to recognize a poor CPR program:

  • The instructor does not come prepared with proper CPR equipment, videos and materials.  If you simply just have to show up, sign the roster, pay the fee, maybe take a quick test and receive the card this is not a good CPR class.  The instructor should have the desire to teach and for students to learn.
  • The CPR class does not actually provide real training and instruction but only provides a CPR card.  The CPR instructor is just handing out CPR cards in order to earn some quick cash.
  • The class is 100% online.  Most of these CPR classes are scams and you can read more about them here.  Don’t waste your money as these classes do not provide you with a card from American Heart Association, Red Cross or ASHI.

If you are actually wanting to learn CPR, find a proper class with staff that take pride in teaching these important life saving skills.   CPR is one of the most important medical skills that you will ever learn (even for healthcare providers).  You should always seek out the best CPR training that you can.  You never know when you may need it and I wouldn’t want someone doing CPR on me that simply watched a video online or paid a fee and got a CPR card.  Don’t cut corners on this training even if you think you’re just doing it as a job requirement or to meet some OSHA standard.  One day you may need it and you’ll wish you made the best choice-CPR Choice!

To sign up for one of our CPR training classes please check out our calendar here!
We offer a variety of AHA and ASHI classes every week including BLS for Healthcare Providers and Heartsaver CPR & First Aid.

Our students agree it’s the best CPR course they have ever taken!  Read their testimonials.

ABCs of Diabetes

November 14, 2014 Cheryl Smith Awareness and Prevention, Diabetes, Heart Health


During the month of November, several Diabetes association’s partner together to build awareness and provide support for people who live with diabetes.  The national Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) and its partners promote “Be Smart About Your Heart:  Control the ABCs of Diabetes” to help people with diabetes learn they are at greater risk for heart disease, and also how they can lower the risk by managing the ABCs:  the A1C test, Blood Pressure, Cholesterol and Stop Smoking.

ABCs of Managing Your Diabetes

  • A: A1C Test- the A1C test is a blood test that measures your average blood sugar over the past three months
  • B: Blood Pressure- Blood pressure is the force of your blood against the wall of your blood vessels.
  • C: Cholesterol- There are two kinds of cholesterol in your blood: LDL and HDL. LDL or “bad” cholesterol can build up and clog your blood vessels. I can cause a heart attack or stroke.
  • S: Stop Smoking- Simple enough!

As a complication of diabetes, heart disease is the world’s number one killer, killing 17.3 million people per year, we encourage you to improve your heart health and learn CPR.  CPR paired with an automated external defibrillator (AED) can greatly increase someone’s chance of survival if experience cardiac arrest.  Heart disease can hit anyone at anytime!  Be prepared to help a loved one, co-worker, or friend if the time ever arises and they need CPR.

Make a heart choice, an easy choice and use CPR Choice to learn today!  We offer the best CPR classes in East Tennessee.  Proudly serving Knoxville, Maryville, Oakridge, Lenoir City, Sevierville, Johnson City, Morristown, Kingsport and Bristol!  Find a CPR course near you! 

November: Diabetes Awareness Month

November 12, 2014 Cheryl Smith Awareness and Prevention, Diabetes, Heart Health

Diabetes-Awareness-Month-November-6November is Diabetes Awareness Month! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1.9 million adults in the United States are diagnosed with diabetes every year.  Affecting men and women of all backgrounds and ages, diabetes can cause serious health complications, including blindness, kidney failure, heart disease, stroke, and the loss of lower limbs.  During National Diabetes Month several organizations and groups rally together to bring awareness, education and support for helping our communities adopt a healthy lifestyle.

Most commonly diagnosed in young people, type 1 diabetes has no known method of prevention.  However, it can be managed with regular exercise, good nutrition, and proper medication.   Type 2 diabetes accounts for roughly 90 to 95 percent of diagnosed cases of diabetes in adults, and the risk of developing it is commonly associated with older age, obesity, physical inactivity, and a family history of diabetes.

Here are a few simple steps that will make a huge difference in your commitment to managing and/or preventing the disease:


  • Eat Whole Foods– The easiest way to ensure you are eating the right kinds of foods- avoiding processed foods all together. Whole foods include vegetables, fruits, nuts, eggs, and lean meats. When grocery shopping, make it a point to spend a lot of time in the produce section and avoid the middle of the store where packaged foods are found.
  • Exercise for 30 Minutes Each Day– We know it can be difficult to make time for yourself to exercise, but you owe it to your family to do this! Create accountability, engage family and friends to help you get active and stay that way!
  • Cook at Home– Even if you like to add a bit of extra butter to home-cooked meals, it will still be far healthier than anything you could order in a restaurant. On average, a meal consumed while dining out will cost you a minimum of an extra 200 calories.
  • Portion Control– Try filling your plate with 2/3 of what you think you need. Then wait 15 minutes before going back for seconds. This is the amount of time your brain and body need to communicate you are full. You will be surprised at how satisfied you feel if you allow your body the time to process food without over-indulging.
  • Avoid Alcohol– The main ingredient found in alcohol whether it is wine, beer, or spirits is sugar.
  • Read Nutrition Labels– If you choose to purchase packaged foods, get into the habit of reading nutrition labels. You may find disturbing information once you start to study the nutritional content and ingredients.
  • Track Numbers Daily– It has been proven that tracking your daily food and water intake is one of the best ways to make progress towards goals. When faced with a cupcake following dinner, it’s easy to forget about the piece of pie you ate after lunch. Many people are surprised to see how much they consumed over the course of the day when they look back at their log. Look for helpful Smartphone Apps to make this an easy and efficient process!Start today with these simple steps! Stay tuned for more helpful information throughout the month!

Start today with these simple steps! Stay tuned for more helpful information from CPR Choice throughout the month!

Movember! Time to MO’ UP!

November 12, 2014 Cheryl Smith Awareness and Prevention, Men's Health

movember_letterhead copy

Movember is the month formerly known as November, where men and women across the globe join together to raise awareness and funds for men’s health issues – specifically prostate and testicular cancer initiatives. Once registered at, men grow and women support a Mo (Mo is Aussie slang for moustache, where Movember began) for 30 days, getting friends and family to donate to their efforts.

What is the Movember Foundation?

The Movember Foundation has become the leading global organization committed to changing the face of men’s health. The challenge to men includes them growing moustaches during Movember (the month formerly known as November) to spark conversation and raise funds and awareness for men’s health issues, specifically prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health problems.

The Movember community has proudly raised over $550 million and provided funding for over 800 programs in 21 countries.  This work is saving and improving the lives of men affected by prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health problems.

Why Get Involved?

Because 1 in 2 men will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime, 1 in 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and testicular cancer is the most common cancer in males between the ages of 15 and 35.

Who knew all that hair growth was for such a worthy cause! Let’s take care of our men and support Movember!

Last year my brother-in-law took Movember to the next level!  Check out his pics below!
Which look do you like best?

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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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