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Reader Tip: Compression Tempo with Pop Songs

I have downloaded the songs “Stayin Alive” by the Bee Gees and “Another One Bites the Dust” by Queen onto my blackberry and play them during CPR class for the students to hear. [The tempo for each song is about 100 beats per minute – GF] I like using the songs because most students already know the songs somewhat and when you start playing “Another One Bites the Dust” it always gets a few laughs. I know that last song isn’t “AHA approved” but it adds some humor to the class and I almost always receive feed back that hearing these songs helped. I highly recommend using the songs over a simple metronome type set up because it will stick with the students much longer.

You may need to skip to the chorus, “ha ha ha ha stayin alive stayin alive” where the beat is stronger and the students can better hear it. I usually play “Another One Bites the Dust” after a little of the “Stayin Alive” and start with the lines, “Depending on how optimistic you are for the patient……” and, “make sure there is no family around if you decide to hum this song….” you get the idea. I know it might seem a little twisted and maybe a little too far on the dark humor side but if you are teaching EMS folks or healthcare providers….. they’ll be amused.

Nathan Stanaway

Thanks Nathan for submitting this tip. Any reader can submit a tip to Everyday EMS Tips by emailing greg dot friese at everydayemstips dot com.


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By Greg Friese

Greg Friese, Stevens Point, Wisconsin, is an author, educator, paramedic, and marathon runner.

Greg was the co-host of the award winning EMSEduCast podcast, the only podcast by and for EMS educators. Greg has written for,, Wilderness Medical Associates, JEMS Magazine, and EMS World Magazine, and the NAEMSE Educator Newsletter.