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Corpus Christi ISD student athletic trainers practice first-aid skills

The Corpus Christi Caller Times logo The Corpus Christi Caller Times 12/6/2019 Vicky Camarillo, Corpus Christi Caller Times
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Balance the baby manikin face down on your knee. Five slaps to the manikin’s upper back. Turn the manikin around. Press two fingers against the middle of its breastbone at a steady rhythm.

A group of Corpus Christi ISD student athletic trainers practiced giving CPR to infants under the guidance of athletic trainer Corina Rodriguez on Wednesday morning. CPR is an important skill, Rodriguez told the students, but they are more likely to resuscitate family members than athletes. That’s why they were using adult and baby dummies.

a woman swimming in the water: Corpus Christi Independent School Districts hosts its student athletic trainer workshop, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019, at  Corpus Christi Natatorium. Students from various CCISD learned basic CPR and first aid skills that they'll be able to use on student athletes. © Annie Rice/Caller-Times Corpus Christi Independent School Districts hosts its student athletic trainer workshop, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019, at Corpus Christi Natatorium. Students from various CCISD learned basic CPR and first aid skills that they'll be able to use on student athletes.

About 70 students were honing first-aid skills during a workshop at the Corpus Christi Natatorium on Wednesday. In addition to CPR, the students practiced shoulder therapy in the pool and taping wrists and ankles and heard presentations from their peers about common athletic injuries.

The student trainers assist the district’s athletic trainers with treating injuries, stretching and setting up water during school sporting events. Each high school in the district has at least a dozen student trainers, said district head athletic trainer David Sanchez.

Having their eyes on the field to watch out for injuries is a big help to professional trainers, Sanchez said, “because sometimes it’s difficult for us to keep an eye on the whole field. … These students give up a lot of their time. They really mean a lot to us.”

Student athletic trainers often go on to work in the medical field — as nurse practitioners, physical therapists, X-ray technicians and more, Sanchez said.

Two Carroll High School seniors, Mia Hernandez and Ysabella Alcala, said their time as trainers inspired their career plans.

Hernandez plans to enroll in the nursing program at the University of Texas at San Antonio. With three years as a student trainer under her belt, she’ll already know some medical and anatomical terms and how to treat minor injuries.

The annual workshop is helpful, she said, because “you learn new techniques that maybe you didn’t know before. Somebody may wrap (an injury) just a little bit better, and you can use what they do to make your wrapping just a little bit better.”

Alcala has been a student trainer for two years. She also runs cross-country and track, and said she was inspired to become a trainer after receiving medical help as an athlete herself.

She plans to study sports management at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, which would allow her to become a trainer for professional sports teams. 

a group of people swimming in the water: Corpus Christi Independent School Districts hosts its student athletic trainer workshop, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019, at Corpus Christi Natatorium. Students from various CCISD learned basic CPR and first aid skills that they'll be able to use on student athletes. © Annie Rice/Caller-Times Corpus Christi Independent School Districts hosts its student athletic trainer workshop, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019, at Corpus Christi Natatorium. Students from various CCISD learned basic CPR and first aid skills that they'll be able to use on student athletes.

Alcala looked on as Rodriguez, the athletic trainer, explained the basics of CPR. If a baby was gasping for breath, trying to cough or rasping — anything that didn’t sound normal — they could be choking on milk, spit or any small item they’d come across, Rodriguez said. 

If one is unsure whether a baby is asleep or unconscious, they should flick the baby’s heel, Rodriguez said. If the baby doesn’t respond by pulling their foot away, check their breathing. If there’s no breathing, try CPR.

Sanchez told the students that they would not be certified in CPR during the workshop, but they should let him or a trainer know if they were interested. 

In the meantime, he said, “it’s important that you know what to do if you see it.”

Vicky Camarillo covers education, immigration and other issues in South Texas and the rest of the Lone Star State. Support local journalism with a subscription to the Corpus Christi Caller-Times.

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This article originally appeared on Corpus Christi Caller Times: Corpus Christi ISD student athletic trainers practice first-aid skills

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