Potentially saving a life was the goal of the nursing cohort from Moraine Valley Community College’s Education Center at Blue Island as they volunteered with the Young Hearts for Life Cardiac Screening Program to examine students at Shepard High School.

The 14 students in the cohort are part of the first class of nursing students studying at the Blue Island campus that began this fall semester. The Young Hearts for Life Cardiac Screening Program is a national group that uses trained volunteers to deliver low cost and efficient electrocardiogram (ECG) screening for students and athletes for conditions that cause sudden cardiac death. This allows doctors to identify heart defects that may not otherwise present symptoms.

Each Moraine Valley student performed the screening on roughly 40 students each. Not only did this get them hands-on experience but also exposed them to the community and helped them bond.

“They are a small, but very cohesive group. We decided to volunteer because the students are new to Moraine Valley and the nursing program, and it provided a fun way to bond as a group. It gave the students some hands-on activities with ‘patients,’ which helped them start to feel comfortable in the role of a nurse. It’s also a great way to volunteer and give back to the community,” said Leslie Moyar, Moraine Valley nursing instructor. “Young Hearts for Life told us how much they love having nursing students volunteer for them because they are able to pick up the skills quickly, and the event is often very fast paced, requiring the assessment of hundreds of students in just a few hours.”