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CHISINAU, Moldova - Kara C. McDonald, U.S. deputy chief of mission in Moldova, visited with Moldovan civilian and military medical specialists and a medical team from the N.C. National Guard as they participated in a weeklong basic life support (BLS) workshop at the Moldovan Army’s Alexandru Cel Bun Military Academy here, June 10-13, 2014.
The days were long and the classroom a bit cramped and hot, but that did not stop the enthusiasm, camaraderie and professional exchange of ideas and instruction between 28 Moldovan civilian and military medics, doctors, nurses and their American colleagues.
“This workshop is an excellent example of Moldovan and American professionals working together to improve their skills and continue our long-standing partnership through this program,” stated McDonald. “I have not done CPR training in a few years, so this is a great opportunity for me to refresh my own BLS skills.”
The workshop addressed how to develop and prepare BLS lesson plans for Army and civilian medical personnel, how to use a new individual breathing mask that provides protection to the person who is blowing air into the lungs of an unconscious and non-breathing victim and new chest compression techniques. They all practiced (including McDonald) on CPR manikins provided by the NCNG American medical team.
“For the past few days, we presented and demonstrated to our Moldovan colleagues the latest techniques and updated equipment used when doing CPR,” stated Capt. Kent Carrington, a NCNG nurse assigned to 60th Troop Command’s medical detachment, based in Butner, North Carolina.
“The objective of this workshop is to provide the Moldovan civilian and military medical teams a solid base of performance measures and to make them really proficient in BLS. They will then be able to train other medical staff and ordinary citizens not working in medicine.”
First Lt. Elena Caturic, a doctor in the Moldovan Army, enjoyed the opportunity to work with Moldovan civilian and American medical professionals.
“This kind of course would be great to continue,” stated Caturic. “The best part was the practical portion of the workshop. It was very dynamic and gave me a better understanding of the subject matter. I can now teach this class to others.”
By the end of the workshop, all participants were able to perform individual CPR with no errors, prepare a lesson plan and teach a class in CPR and provide hands-on instruction to a person who does not know how to do CPR.
The North Carolina National Guard and Moldova have worked together since 1995 through the National Guard’s State Partnership Program (SPP). Eighteen years of combined SPP events have formed an enduring bond between the two organizations and provides an ideal working environment to conduct workshops like BLS.
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