Learning healthy life style at Artek

On June 18 Russia celebrates Medical Worker Day. On that day all medical workers – 12 doctors, 46 paramedics and 35 medical nurses – receive greetings in Artek. They conduct consultations in Artek’s outpatient clinic and medical aid posts in each of Artek’s nine children’s camps. In addition to this, at Morskoy Camp all children are taught first aid in the Young Health Champions unit.

“They are learning first aid skills in order to be able to carry out cardiopulmonary resuscitation, do closed-chest massage, stop bleeding and help those who are unconscious. They are also taught how to help those suffering from shortage of breath by performing the abdominal thrust procedure. During excursions to the clinic, children view the equipment of an ambulance and the offices of a trauma surgeon, an ENT specialist and a radiologist.

The program was compiled with the assistance of Artek’s partner – the National Research and Practical Center of Children’s Health. Children of all Artek age groups (from 9 to 17 years of age) may study in the unit. First aid is part and parcel of the program.

Children are taught by paramedics Elina Arkhitko and Grigory Khodykin who received international class certificates on the ABCs of cardiopulmonary resuscitation and automatic external defibrillation at the Moscow Resuscitation Institute.

Classes at the unit are held in the form of a fascinating educational game based on the use of mannequins for cardiopulmonary resuscitation. There are also a simulator defibrillator and a set for practising the Heimlich manoeuver. Children are using giant sets of jaws and tooth brushes to clean teeth properly. Young health champions compare the real biological model of healthy lungs with those of a smoker. By putting on glasses that imitate alcoholic intoxication, they will realize what an inebriated person experiences. Having been through this unpleasant experience once, they will abstain from it from that moment now.

“Not every university has such technical equipment as we have here in our class,” said Artek’s Chief Pediatrician and the unit’s Curator Anna Koptseva. “Skeletons and mannequins reflecting the structure of human organs, expressive posters and educational charts… All this helps us make classes interesting for the children.”

Ms Koptseva said the goal of the Young Health Champions program is to teach the children to be eco-friendly. “We want them to be able to render first aid and be able to adapt themselves to a healthy way of life,” Ms Koptseva said.  

“I study in a medico-biological lyceum but we are learning only theory for the time being. I tried many things in practice at Artek and this helped me assert my choice – I will become a surgeon,” said Matvei Gaber from Simferopol. “Saving or improving human life is a decent job. Classes in our unit are useful for everyone. We should know how to take care of our own health and be able to help other people too,” he said.

The Young Health Champions continue communicating in the social media both with their age mates and their teachers when they return home from Artek. One of them wrote that she witnessed how a person had a heart attack in the street. “I did not lose my head. I recalled everything I learned at Artek and was able to help,” she wrote.

This is probably the best “thank you” Artek medical workers can get.