When Mommy Isn’t There

April 17, 2015 Cheryl Smith Awareness and Prevention, Children's Health, Choking, CPR, CPR Classes, CPR Training, First Aid, First Aid + CPR Classes

babysit nannyCaring for children is a privilege for those who are called to do it. It is also an enormous responsibility and one that caregivers should be as prepared as possible to undertake. Being able to care for a child in their own home provides a comfortable, familiar environment for the child where they feel safe and secure. However, according to the CDC accidental injury is the leading cause of death in children under 14 in the United States and more of these accidents happen at home than anywhere else. Being certified in CPR and First Aid arms caregivers with the skills they need to act in a timely manner if an accident happens.

The leading reasons children under the age of 4 are seen in the emergency room include falls, being struck by something, allergic reactions, poisoning, burns, and being cut or pierces by something.  Although most of these can be seen as preventable, anyone with children knows they are quick, curious, and often times fearless. Accidents can happen even when parents are in the same room with a child. CPR and First Aid training equips nannies and babysitters to immediately respond to these situations and many more and get the child the time sensitive medical help they may need until parents can be notified and get to their child. For parents, knowing their caregiver has these skills gives them piece of mind when they are leaving their children.

Preventing accidents is always the first priority, but in the event they do……and they will……happen, feeling confident in your ability and knowledge to handle the situation is invaluable in keeping the child calm, comforting them and getting them they help they need until mom and dad can be there.

Sign up for a Pediatric CPR & First Aid class today!

Dogwood Arts – Art, Culture & Natural Beauty

April 17, 2015 Cheryl Smith Events, Uncategorized

Knoxville dogwoodsIt’s April, that means the Dogwood Arts Festival is here! The kick-off celebration starts today and offers a variety of events and festivities.  Dogwood trails, live entertainment, arts, crafts and live music.  Market Square will be buzzing, starting today, with vendors and local craftspeople and it is worth the trip to visit and meander thru the tents and people!  Actually the fun doesn’t end in April, Dogwood Arts has blossomed into a 12 month celebration to sponsor and celebrate our region’s art, culture and natural beauty.  Here’s a full list of events:

Dogwood Arts in April

April 1, 2015 :: A Very Special Arts Festival

April 2, 2015 :: SYNERGY [Student Art Exhibition & East Tennessee Art Educator Exhibition] Openings

April 3, 2015 :: Art in Public Places Knoxville and Regional Fine Art Exhibition Openings

April 8, 2015 :: Dogwood Luncheon

April 8-26, 2015 :: Dogwood Trails, Open Gardens & Camera Sites and Walking Trails

April 10-12, 2015 :: Rhythm N’ Blooms

April 11, 2015 :: Chalk Walk

April 11-12, 2015 :: Dogwood Art DeTour

April 17-19, 2015 :: Dogwood Arts Festival on Market Square

April 25 & 26, 2015 :: Featured Open Gardens

April 25 & 26, 2015 :: Bikes & Blooms

Knoxville Film Festival

September 17-20, 2015 :: Knoxville Film Festival

Bazillion Blooms

December 5, 2015 :: Bazillion Blooms

House & Garden Show

February 12-14, 2016 :: House & Garden Show

Take some time out of your schedule and enjoy all the events!  For more information visit www.dogwoodarts.com!  Enjoy!




Spring Cleaning- Are You Ready?

March 31, 2015 Cheryl Smith Charity, CPR Classes

spring cleaningSpring is in the AIR!

Spring has finally arrived in East Tennessee, and I am so thankful to see tulips coming up, daffodils, and color blooming everywhere. The change in the seasons is one of the reasons I love East Tennessee. We have distinct seasons and the reoccurring theme is we always love to see one end and another begin. With the unexpected winter we had including lots of snow and ice, warmer weather and the official change of seasons is a welcome sign!

Along with the change in landscape we also are welcomed with increased pollen, spring storms and weather alerts and the urge to spring clean! For me spring is always a great time to de-clutter your house, your garage, your car, work- every place you touch daily! Our lives are filled with so many material objects and clutter adds up fast. Here’s a few tips on how to de-clutter your world:

  1. Start with a list! It helps you stay on task and you get such a great feeling when you can mark a completed item of the list! I break the list down to house, garage and outside attention. Every year my list includes every room, it’s a great way for me to go back and ensure that any clutter that has accumulated over the past year is cleared and in most cases it’s an easy check mark for me! It also allows me to see items I need to work on, such as new bedding or new nightstands and I can be on the lookout in my shopping adventures. And that’s a new list of “Wants” or “Upgrades”.  It’s nice to have these items in mind as your shopping, especially at different seasons so you can cash in on the sales! Remember though- if you add items, you need to subtract them too!
  2. Set up a few buckets or boxes before you start- 1. Things you will keep but need a home, 2. Things you can donate- these are items you haven’t used but are in good shape and can benefit others and 3. TRASH! Don’t be afraid to throw things away!!
  3. Get detailed in every room- organize and de-clutter closets, cabinets, drawers, everything. If you haven’t used it in a year decide how to get rid of it- donate or trash!
  4. Be realistic about completing this project! If you have a busy schedule, which most of us do, set aside a few hours a week to work on your list. You’ll see continuous progress, which will help you keep your motivation, and things will be so much easier for you moving forward. For example, having a place for frequently used items, such as car keys, bills, shoes, etc. will save you time, energy and help reduce your stress. Now I know we all need that!

I promise once you start this process you will become addicted to the feeling and it will be harder for you to slide back into old habits. A perk could also include your ability to think past your day-to-day and dream about ways to give back to others, or focus on a dream or hobby that you didn’t have time to focus on before.  CPR Choice is doing just that, we are continuously looking for ways to offer additional classes that fill a functional need as well as ways to offer our services back to our community! 2015 will be exciting and we want you there with us! Stay tuned for more information….

April Showers Bring May Flowers

March 29, 2015 Cheryl Smith Awareness and Prevention, Preparation and Disaster Planning


Spring is finally here! As we welcome pollen, weather alerts and potentially damaging storms to East Tennessee, CPR Choice wants to make sure you are prepared. We have outlined a few reminders and items to prep before our weather changes, and we know it will.

If a storm is forecasted in your area:

Get your medical emergency kit ready. CPR Choice teaches basic life-saving skills including First Aid and provides suggestions in class regarding the items needed and why for an effective medical emergency kit.

Here’s a list of the minimum items needed:

  • Solar blankets
  • Pain relievers, Benadryl
  • CPR mouthpiece
  • Gauze pads and bandages
  • Band aids
  • Gloves
  • Antiseptic and alcohol preps
  • Antibiotic ointments

Check your surroundings. Trim back any tree limbs, clean out gutters and drains, check your roof for damages that will need to be repaired or covered in the event of a storm.

Charge all your electronics, in case you lose power.

Restock your Emergency Supply Kit. Check to make sure you have enough water, unperishable foods, flash lights, extra batteries, and a battery-operated radio. A good rule of thumb is to have enough food and water for at least 3 days.

Make sure you understand all the weather terminology before severe weather is in your area.

Create an evacuation plan to avoid confusion during a storm and this makes sure all family members can meet at one location.

If a storm is approaching your area:

  • Tie down any outside items, such as grills, lawn furniture, and trash cans.
  • Unplug any expensive items.
  • Close the windows, doors and drapes. This will protect you in case the windows break for any reason.
  • Take cover! If a tornado warning has been issued, find the inner most point in your home or basement for safety. Make sure you bring your cell phone and/or weather radio to determine when it will be safe to come out.
  • Comply with the authorities—if they advise for you to evacuate- do it!

After the Storm:

Is everyone safe and unhurt?

Evaluate any damage to your home and property.   Take pictures and take steps to avoid additional damages. Contact your insurance agency as soon as possible to help you start the process for repairing any storm damage.

Spring storms move in fast in our area and preparation is the key!  Another skill needed regardless of the weather is basic life saving skills including First Aid, CPR and AED training.  Everyone should be skilled in First Aid, CPR and AED.  CPR Choice offers classes for individuals, families and corporations. Please contact Cheryl Smith at info@cprchoice.com to schedule an on-site group class at your location or visit our website KnoxvilleCPR.com to register for a class as an individual at one of our many locations. Learn more about us: CPR Choice, LLC

Race Time in Tennessee!

March 29, 2015 Cheryl Smith Events, Men's Health, Uncategorized, Women's Health

knoxville covenant marathon

Congratulations to all the runners, walkers and volunteers who participated in the 2015 Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon weekend.   In its 11th year, Knoxville welcomed over 7000 runners and walkers to the streets of Knoxville this cold Sunday morning. If you’re a runner and/or walker or both this race offers something for you. A marathon, half marathon, 5k, 2 relay options and a kids run.  We also saw a lot of race teams today.  Team t-shirts and groups of teams were sprinkled through out the race, all supporting their business, employers and running groups.  What we loved was the fact that these teams, training behind them now were holding each other accountable and supporting each other every step of the way.  This is the exact reason why Covenant Health uses this race as a motivator to help people improve their overall health and help bring an awareness of the importance of physical activity and quality of life.

Even though the race course can be challenging and has grown to become one of the largest competitive road races in East Tennessee, this race is my favorite of all time!   The finish line is in Neyland Stadium, home of our Tennessee Volunteers, and you get to enjoy your victorious finish on the 50 yard line! It is such a thrill to see yourself on the jumbrotron and see the crowds in the stands cheering you on!

Again, congratulations to all the participants who ran today and a big thank you to all the countless volunteers and medical staff that were present before, during and after the race.  CPR Choice hopes to see you all next year!

Click here for WBIR’s photo album of today’s race.




Is it Time to Recertify?

March 25, 2015 Cheryl Smith AED, CPR, CPR Classes, CPR Training, First Aid, First Aid + CPR Classes, Hands-Only CPR

CPR re-certified

Congratulations! You enrolled in a CPR class and completed the course requirements. The class provided you with the knowledge to offer first aid, administer CPR and use an AED to help potentially save a life. During your class, you learned the importance of CPR because about 88% of all cardiac arrests occur at home, which means your skills will more than likely be used on a loved one. All the topics and hands on application are crucial steps in preparing you to potentially save a life and help stabilize a patient until medical help arrives. It’s literally a life saver.

The American Heart Association suggests a CPR re-certification every two years to make sure you are up-to-date on the latest techniques and it’s a great opportunity to refresh on your basic skills. Two years can go by so fast and your memory of some of the techniques may have faded.  CPR Choice offers a variety of CPR classes to re-certify you and make sure you have the most up-to-date information.

Regain your 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. Re-certify and sign up for a CPR class today!

Helmets Save Lives

March 25, 2015 Cheryl Smith Awareness and Prevention, CPR, First Aid, First Aid + CPR Classes


Last week I was driving north on the highway when all of a sudden the traffic really slowed down. I looked around trying to figure out what had caused it and then I quickly could see that there had been an accident in the southbound lanes. I took a better look and I realized that there had been a motorcyclist hit and he was lying in the middle of the highway. There was another person standing by the victim but no EMS (emergency medical services) had arrived on the scene yet.

I immediately pulled over and put on my hazard lights. I made sure it was safe for me to approach the victim and I ran in his direction. Thankfully the man was conscious and had a pulse when I arrived. He faded in and out of consciousness but he was visibly breathing and when conscious he was able to answer questions about himself.

The motorcyclist was lying on his side and because his vitals were strong we encouraged him not to move since there could have been a head neck injury. His helmet was quite scratched and banged up. It made me so grateful for Tennessee’s universal helmet law.

Several states do not require everyone to wear helmets.   Wearing a helmet probably saved this man’s life and prevented a (TBI) Traumatic Brain Injury. Now that the weather is getting nice there are going to be more motorcyclists out on the roads. Drivers, please be aware of your surrounding and double check for bikes before changing lanes. Motorcyclists, always wear a helmet.

A helmet is the most effective protection for a motorcyclist. While helmets do not prevent crashes they do save lives. Riders who experience a crash while not wearing a helmet are 40 percent more likely to sustain a fatal head injury. See the figure below to see what your state requires.

 figures-m6123a1f1Spending time on the back of a motorcycle can be a lot of fun and full of adventure! People ride motorcycles for all sorts of reasons: the thrill of the ride, the affordability of gas, or maybe the sense of community.  We want you to enjoy your ride but please be safe and protect yourself.

If you had seen the victim on the ground, would you have known what to do? How about if he was unconscious or not breathing? Learn CPR & First Aid today.

Everyone should learn these life saving skills. We offer American Heart Association CPR classes that will have you leaving confident in your ability to help save a life. At CPR Choice, we help you help others!  Need a BLS for healthcare providers class?  We teach those too!

For CPR training information check out our training calendar. Now offering high quality CPR classes in:

I love you with all my Kidney!

March 22, 2015 Cheryl Smith Charity, Disease Prevention, Men's Health, Uncategorized, Women's Health

kidney raceI Love You With All My Kidney!

Celebrating National Kidney month, this past Saturday I participated in the 4th annual East Tennessee Kidney Foundation Lucky Kidney Run. The Lucky Kidney Run, benefitting the East Tennessee Kidney Foundation (ETKF), was a fun and family-oriented fundraiser that focused on prevention, detection, and education of kidney disease, dialysis and the need for organ donation. In the 4th year, this run/walk proceeds will be used to help support low-income households who cannot afford to reach their life-dependent dialysis treatments. This is a local effort, as there are over 1500 dialysis patients in East Tennessee.

Kidneys- What are they & what do they do?

Kidneys are vital organs, just like your heart and lungs. The two bean-shaped organs, each about the size of a fist are located just below the rib cage with one on each side. They keep the composition of your blood stable and without it your body will not function.   Their primary role is to filter waste and extra water out of your blood. The waste and extra fluid exits your body thru your urine, engaging the bladder to use as a holding place and the urethra, which is the tube where the urine flows thru when leaving your body.

On a daily basis, the kidneys filter 120-150 quarts of blood (almost 30 gallons!) and sift out 1-2 quarts of extra water and waste products. The filtering of waste happens in tiny units inside the kidneys called nephrons. Each kidney has about a million nephrons. The nephron includes a filter, called glomerulus, and a tubule. Nephrons work in 2 steps- the first is the glomerulus lets fluid and waste produces pass through it; however it prevents blood cells and large molecules, most proteins from passing. Secondly the filtered fluid then passes through the tubule, which sends needed minerals back to the bloodstream and removes waste.

kidneyBesides preventing the back up of wastes and fluids in our body, they also:

  • Helps control your blood pressure
  • Makes hormones that help keep your bones strong
  • Makes red blood cells
  • Regulates the level of your electrolytes, including sodium, potassium and phosphates

Obviously, when the kidneys are not functioning properly, removing waste or regulating blood pressure your health will decline. If your kidneys have been permanently damaged, it’s called chronic kidney disease (CKD) or kidney disease. If the damage is severe enough and your kidneys stop working, this is called kidney failure. Kidney failure results in dialysis and/or a kidney transplant.

How do you keep your kidneys healthy?

  • Manage your diabetes – high blood sugar slowly damages your kidney
  • Eat a heart healthy diet
  • Exercise
  • Keep a healthy blood pressure

We care about your overall well-being and we encourage you to incorporate these kidney healthy tips into your daily routine.  CPR Choice is also committed to offering you life-saving skills such as First Aid, CPR and AED training.   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!  Sign your family up today and be equipped with the skills to help save a life, possibly a loved one.




Give Life-Be an Organ Donor

March 11, 2015 Cheryl Smith Awareness and Prevention, Disease Prevention, Men's Health, Women's Health

As I celebrate a 10 year cancerversary, I can’t help but think about others who have just been diagnosed, those still fighting every minute of every day, and those who have lost the fight. I was lucky and I try to give back every day in my love for others and interactions.   And I’m an organ donor.

Ten years ago I was diagnosed with Stage II Renal Cell Carcinoma. I can still remember the day I was diagnosed. I remember the pain I was in although time has dulled the feelings, the immediate anxiety about the unknown and the future, and I remember thinking am I going to survive this? I immediately started thinking of my next steps- power of attorney, living will, will and all the other financial implications one deals with when faced with a major illness. Things moved quickly for me and diagnosis and surgery was less than a week apart. As a result, I never complain about doctor appointments or testing running late because that week I’m sure I bumped everyone. This was one of many shifts in my thinking. I was blessed to be cared for so quickly and with such compassion. My cancer was all contained and my right kidney was removed. After the surgery and recovery, I was blessed to resume my life, my normal life.   Not everyone gets that chance.

march kidney month

March is National Kidney Month! There will be 5ks, 10ks, fundraisers and other activities to bring awareness of kidney disease, tips on kidney health and how to manage kidney disease. It’s also a great time to think about organ donation. Organ donation shares life with others. Donations are not limited to just organs, tissues are valuable too. Lifesaving transplants include heart, liver, pancreas, kidneys, lungs and small bowel. Tissues that could save or enhance someone’s life include eyes/corneas, heart valves, bones and skin grafts.

donate lifeDonate Life Tennessee is the state’s official, nonprofit (501c3) Organ and Tissue Donor Registry. Dedicated to saving the lives of thousands of Tennesseans who are waiting for life-saving transplants. Donate Life Tennessee provides you a place to document your decision of organ and tissue donation. Once you register, you are immediately available to authorized donation professionals, which means your decision will be honored in the event of your death. You may also register when you renew or apply for a drivers license or ID with the Tennessee Department of Safety. Just remember to say “YES” every year to organ donation to remain on the registry.

Currently over 1900 Tennesseans are waiting for transplants and hoping for another chance at life! The power is in your hands. Register today!

March is Colorectal Awareness Month

March 9, 2015 Cheryl Smith Awareness and Prevention, Disease Prevention, Men's Health, Women's Health

colorectal awareness

Did you know that Colon Cancer is the 2nd leading cause of cancer deaths for both men and women? Colon cancer or colorectal cancer, which includes colon cancers as well as cancers that form in the rectum, affects everyone- all races and ethnic backgrounds.   March is devoted to helping communities, families and medical professionals work together to help spread the word, provide treatment options and information, and providing tips for prevention.

Colon cancer is a malignancy that starts in the large intestine and/or colon and begins as benign polyps. The polyps are growths attached to the lining of the large intestine and occasionally produce symptoms such as bleeding and/or constipation. However, sometimes you will not receive a warning sign! Prevention is the always the key and March provides a platform to remind everyone how important it is to get checked and pay attention to the warning signs. As a result of the increased attention – prevention, early detection and treatment have resulted in death rates decreasing and we can still do more! Here’s some tips to follow for better health:

  • Get Screened! 50colon cancer is the magic number, unless you have a family history or other risk factors.
  • Exercise
  • Limit the amount of red meat; eating processed meat and/or red meat, such as hamburger or steak, increases your risk of colon cancer.
  • Take a multi vitamin; This is an easy way to help protect against colon cancer and as an added bonus calcium and vitamin d have also been show to also reduce the risks! One a day is plenty!
  • Don’t smoke!
  • Maintain a healthy weight-obesity and additional weight gain is linked to at least 10+ different kinds of cancers! Do yourself a favor and lose the weight, lose the risk!

Know the risks, talk with your doctor and practice prevention!
CPR Choice cares about you & your health!

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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