What You Need to Know Before Taking a CPR Class

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) classes train people to perform life-saving procedures if a person’s heart stops. Heart disease is the cause of 25% of all deaths annually in the United States. Individuals who suffer from cardiac arrest have a higher chance of survival if CPR is performed after their heart stops beating.

Many professionals are required to take CPR. There are also individuals who opt to take CPR because they have a family member with a heart condition or want to be equipped to intervene in an emergency situation. If you are planning to take a CPR course there are some key things you should consider to ensure you take the right class.

What You Will Learn

CPR certification prepares students to take life-saving measures to reduce the risk of death during a cardiac event. Courses cover the symptoms of cardiac arrest so that all students can determine when CPR is required.

You will be taught how to perform chest compressions. You will also learn how to properly provide mouth-to-mouth breathing. By breathing into the lungs and performing chest compressions, the person’s body is able to maintain blood flow. This can prevent brain damage. You will also be taught the proper way to use an automated external defibrillator (AED).

CPR certification is ideal for emergency situations where immediate life-saving measures are required to prevent brain damage until medical assistance arrives. It can be performed by one individual alone or by a team of 2 trained individuals.

Other Course Options

Basic Life Support (BLS) or Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) certification may be required in some occupations. BLS training covers how to administer oxygen. BLS courses prepare students to assess individuals who need lifesaving medical intervention due to a cardiac event.

These classes teach students to check the airway, provide oxygen and perform chest compressions. Students also learn how to use a defibrillator. Basic Life Support training also prepares students to learn how to work together as part of a medical team.

ACLS also equips students to address other medical issues, such as a stroke. ACLS courses train students to administer medications. ACLS training also covers intubation, how to administer intravenous medications and how to operate an electrocardiography (EKG) machine.

Professional Course Requirements

Home care aides and personal care aides may be required to complete a CPR course to be qualified to work in their field. It is also common for states to require daycare workers to have their CPR certification. The certification requirements for nurses may vary, depending on whether or not they work in a hospital.

Some nurses are required to have CPR, while other nurses are required to have BLS and ACLS certification. It is common for most medical professionals who work in a hospital setting—including doctors, physician assistants, and diagnostic sonographers, technologists and technicians—to be required to have CPR or BLS training. Firefighters and police officers are usually also instructed to complete CPR certification as part of their employment requirements.

Recognition of the Credentials

Each state has specific certification and licensing requirements. Organizations for medical professions also have licensing and certification requirements that individuals working in their field must comply with.

You should check on the specific requirements needed for your career field prior to signing up for a CPR class. There are no regulations to prevent organizations from offering CPR courses that do not meet certification or occupational requirements. One of the key factors you must consider is whether or not your training is required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

OSHA does not consider online CPR courses valid. Healthcare professionals, such as paramedics and physicians, must fulfill CPR, BLS and ACLS training requirements through accredited programs.

Who is Instructing?

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation classes are not monitored by a regulatory board. This means that any organization or individual can offer CPR training. There is no requirement that people teaching cardiopulmonary resuscitation follow a set curriculum or establish their credentials.

When you are evaluating course options it is a good idea to search public records to determine if the instructor is reputable. GoLookUp can provide information about whether or not the instructor has been arrested or convicted of any crimes. If you learn that an instructor has been charged with fraud or has extensive personal debts you probably don’t want to provide them with your credit card information.

It is important to take precautions to ensure that you do not supply any individual with personal data that may be stolen or used inappropriately.

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