Cadet Program Teaches Next Generation Of Health Care Heroes – Jersey Shore Online

  BERKELEY – Kaylee Citarella took J.C. Santoriello’s blood pressure while he was in a stretcher on an ambulance, but it wasn’t an emergency. It was training.
  The two Central Regional High School students are part of Bayville First Aid Squad’s cadet program. They learn how to take care of someone in an emergency and actually ride out on calls.
  So far, they’ve been on calls for patients who had a stroke, trouble breathing, and more.
  Usually, you would ask what happened leading up to the call for help, J.C. said. Find out what medications they are taking.
  “Oral history is a big part,” he said. “You’re also trying to calm them down to make them feel safe so they can get the care they need.”
  They both see this as an early step in their education.
  “Ever since I was little, I knew I wanted to something in the medical field,” Kaylee said.
  That’s true of all of the students who have joined this program, said cadet advisor John Kelly. There are currently four cadets in the program.
  “This is the only place you can get that human-to-human experience with a patient who is emotional. That’s something you have to learn in the moment,” he said.
  At this age, they are eager and enthusiastic about helping. “They’re at a stage in their lives where they can memorize anything,” he said. “They take everything at 100 percent.”
  The First Aid Squad doesn’t actively recruit; the kids come to them. “They’re already high functioning students,” he said. “They reach out to us.”
  Going on calls is entirely by choice – both the cadet and the squad members have to be comfortable with it. When they go to a location, they mostly observe. As they learn more, they participate more, but always under the supervision of adults.
  Sometimes, once a patient’s issue is resolved, the squad member might ask the patient if they mind having their vitals taken by a cadet. This would be done for training only. The vitals would have already been taken by this point.
  The cadets come every Monday at 6 p.m. There is a practice lesson, like how to do a splint. They can sign up for shifts. During their shift, they do their homework until they get a 911 call.
  Anyone interested in becoming a cadet is encouraged to reach out to Kelly at 848-333-9894 or


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