CLS offers CPR/BLS class, plans to provide more pre-health opportunities

Conrad Dahm, Staff Writer

The Center for Careers, Life and Service (CLS) offered a CPR/BLS class on Tuesday, Nov. 15 in the Natatorium. 12 Grinnell College students were able to take the class and are now certified to perform CPR and Basic Life Support.

The course was taught by Kelly Johnson Rose, American Red Cross instructor, and was overseen by Mary Jane Shroyer, director of CLS’ Health Professions Career Community.

According to Rose, CLS offered this course last semester. “The first class hosted in May was very well received,” wrote Rose in an email to the S&B.

This year, the course filled up all 12 available seats quickly, so quickly that CLS plans to hold another class in the spring.

“We have 11 more on the waitlist,” said Amelia Denek `24, health professions community volunteer coordinator. “We are probably going to have another course in the spring semester.” The class was offered as part of a larger push for CLS to offer resources for students who wish to pursue medical-related careers.

“I have offered suture clinics, but last spring, we offered CPR/BLS training for students who were interested in being certified for summer jobs or their own personal development, and the response was good,” wrote Shroyer in an email to the S&B. Since the College is located at least an hour away from any major cities, there is a lack of classes for students who want certifications for medical related jobs. For Denek, this holds true, as she is on the pre-medical track.

“Because of our location, it has been super difficult for students going into the health profession to get what they need during the academic year,” said Denek. According to both Denek and Shroyer, CLS has been wanting to hold more classes for students who want to pursue medical-related careers to help them enhance job opportunities.

According to Rose, the CPR/BLS certification is appropriate for medical personnel ranging from physicians, nurses, dentists and pharmacists.

“I think this [CPR/BLS] credential makes students more competitive for summer internships and gap year jobs that allow them to gain experience to be stronger medical or professional school applicants,” wrote Shroyer.

Denek also told the S&B that the class itself was well received by students. “The turnout was great,” Denek said. “The class was pretty comprehensive. It was really good.”

Both Denek and Shroyer said they hope that this class will help boost interest in the medical field for students and provide them with valuable skills. Along with offering more CPR/BLS classes in the future, coordinators, such as Denek and Shroyer, who work for CLS hope that more medical-related classes will be held in the future.

“Students who are interested in these types of opportunities should visit the CLS website at and use the ‘Customize Your Experience’ button at the top of the page to indicate their Health Professions interests so they receive email notifications when new opportunities arise,” Shroyer wrote.