Before the start of each academic year, resident assistants (RAs) undergo a number of types of training, such as programming, policy understanding, conduct training, first-aid and CPR training, emergency protocols, safety protocols and drug and alcohol awareness, among other elements like Title IX training and effective interaction training. Due to multiple changes within staffing over the summer and close to the start of the year, RAs were not provided the first-aid and CPR training that they have been in the past.
Out of the 44 residence hall staff — which includes RAs and Community Living Coordinators — 27 are currently fully certified, leaving 17 without full training. The student engagement team has worked on forming new requirements and policies for future residence hall staff.
In past years, HC’s school nurse had a large role in providing first-aid and CPR training, but with the school in the process of hiring a new nurse at the time, that was not possible. Upon the realization that first-aid and CPR training could not be provided to incoming RAs, the student engagement team began planning for a later training. The hope was to provide Red Cross-caliber training, whether it had the name to it or not.
The school already works with Admissions Counselor Anne Hessler to certify coaching staff on campus, which takes place throughout the fall semester, so Student Engagement will have her lead the certification training on Nov. 24 and Dec. 8. She is certified with Red Cross, which is how they provide certification similar to the Red Cross.
First-aid and CPR certification lasts for two years before requiring renewal, so training will be planned to take place in January for those needing renewal in the 2020 calendar year.
As an institution, Hastings College determines what the requirements are for residence hall staff. As the planning surrounding RA training is evaluated and adjusted by Student Engagement, plans are being made to streamline future training for residence hall staff. In order to guarantee all residence hall staff is trained in first-aid and CPR, they will be tentatively hired in the spring semester as it has been done in the past. However, that hiring will be contingent on them completing CPR training offered to them before the end of that spring semester in May in order to be fully hired.
The new requirements will eventually be written into the housing section of the student handbook.