CPR and Bilingualism, Assets for You and the Community

by Adriana Arbelaez, volunteer contributor, American Red Cross North Texas

Patty Berron, CPR bilingual American Red Cross Instructor.

Patty Berron has been a Red Cross member since she was a little girl. She started her journey as a volunteer while she was in kindergarten. Her first assignment: Painting a large can white, pasting Red Cross stickers on it, and then going out to ask for donations.  

1904. Library of Congress Collection. Portrait by J. E. Purdy of Clara Barton.

As she grew up and learned more about what the Red Cross does and about Clara Barton, the Red Cross founder, she decided she wanted to participate in on-hands training by learning CPR. After finishing her first course, Patty instantly knew she wanted to be part of the American Red Cross Training Services team to teach others the lifesaving skills she had learned.

In 1987, after several years volunteering with the American Red Cross, Patty made her dream come true by becoming an American Red Cross bilingual CPR instructor. 

With the Spanish speaking population in the U.S. growing at a fast pace, the number of courses offered in Spanish has also been increasing. For Patty, being bilingual is a plus because it lets her understand the needs of the Spanish speaking community “by developing the skills they need to save a person’s life, which at the end, is an asset for the community.” 

“The need to teach people in their primary language increases and facilitates their learning. I am happy that I am able to interact and contribute to CPR training in both English and Spanish.”  

CPR training provides students with the skills and confidence necessary to perform life-saving procedures when it’s needed most. Throughout her 32 years of being a CPR instructor, Patty has worked hard to teach CPR to a wide variety of learners.  

“I feel a sense of accomplishment when my students are successful and they are able to apply their Red Cross training according to the needs of the victims.”  

For most, CPR training is a very exciting experience. Through the course, participates interact with each other and gain theoretical knowledge based on real case scenarios. Then, students have the opportunity to use state-of-the-art Red Cross manikins to learn the hands-on practical approach that could help save lives. 

“The instructor is a role model for attendees, encouraging them to learn the theory, to practice, to discuss and to watch videos together to reinforce the learning process”. 

Acquiring a new skill is always a good idea, and for that reason Patty recommends friends and community members participate in CPR classes. “It is always better to be prepared and not need it, than to need it and not being prepared.”

During Red Cross Month learn more about Red Cross CPR classes and find a course near you! Begin your preparation to become a hero at redcross.org/cpr-training. 

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