Did you know that according to the American Heart Association over a half a million people in the United States face cardiac arrest each year, but fewer than 15% survive? That’s a daunting statistic, but certified CPR classes can be a game-changer, potentially doubling or even tripling survival rates during out-of-hospital cardiac arrests.
CPR courses equip you with essential skills to quickly and effectively respond to emergency situations that could potentially save the lives of family members, friends, colleagues, or even strangers. From recognizing cardiac arrest symptoms to mastering CPR techniques and confidently operating automated external defibrillators (AEDs), you’ll gain a comprehensive toolkit that can save lives.
Let’s delve into what CPR is, how it works to save lives, the knowledge and techniques you’ll acquire in your CPR certification class, as well as the types and lengths of CPR courses. The goal of CPR certification classes is to empower you to confidently respond and make a life-saving difference.
What is CPR, AKA Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation?
CPR, which stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation, involves a series of lifesaving procedures designed to maintain blood circulation and oxygenation in someone whose heart has stopped. By performing CPR in an emergency cardiac arrest situation, you can keep someone alive until professional medical help arrives.
How Does CPR Work?
CPR involves manually imitating the heart’s pumping action and lung ventilation in order to return oxygenated blood flow to vital organs, particularly the brain, until normal heart function is restored and is able to function on its own. This is done primarily through rhythmic chest compressions and rescue breaths.
Each age group requires a tailored approach to administering the CPR due to the differences in physiology and body size across infants, children, and adults. Some CPR certification courses will equip you to respond to all age groups, while others may focus on only one age group. CPR Plano offers a comprehensive training that covers basic response to adults, children, and infants, including AED usage.
Type of CPR Certification Classes
CPR certification classes comprise three essential tiers that cater to specific demographics and emergency scenarios. This includes Basic Life Support (BLS), Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS), and Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS).
Basic Life Support (BLS) CPR Certification
Basic Life Support (BLS) training is the foundational tier of CPR instruction that can be taken by healthcare providers (ie. nurses, paramedics), non-medical professionals (ie. fitness trainers, lifeguards, security personnel), and the general public (ie. parents, teachers, babysitters). BLS CPR certification courses cover fundamental cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) techniques, including chest compressions, rescue breathing, and operation of automated external defibrillators (AEDs). Participants learn how to effectively respond to emergencies involving cardiac arrest. BLS CPR Certification classes emphasize the importance of early recognition and swift intervention in sustaining vital functions until professional medical help arrives.
Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) CPR Certification
Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) training is designed for healthcare professionals and focuses on managing complex cardiovascular and respiratory emergencies. It builds upon the principles learned in BLS, but incorporates team dynamics and specialized equipment usage, such as interpreting electrocardiograms (ECGs), using a bag-mask device, administering medication, performing advanced airway management, and management of ACS and stroke. This type of course will also teach critical decision making skills and how to respond effectively to cardiac arrests in clinical settings.
Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) CPR Certification
Children and infants have different physiologies and body sizes compared to adults. Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) training provides specialized training to equip pediatric healthcare providers with the necessary training to manage pediatric emergencies based on their unique physiologies.
Each of these different tiers of CPR training offers a distinct set of skills and knowledge designed to address specific emergency scenarios. Your choice of training should be guided by your individual needs, either personal or professional, ensuring the skills you learn meet the demands of the intended emergency response situations you may face.
If you are a part of the general public, a BLS training course is generally sufficient to prepare you to provide care for your loved ones or in unforeseen emergencies.
What Skills Do You Learn in CPR Classes?
Now that we have learned there are multiple types of CPR certification classes, let’s discuss the knowledge and life-savings skills you learn in CPR training:
Basic Anatomy & Physiology for CPR
Before learning any techniques to administer CPR, you will learn some basic anatomy and physiology, particularly how the lungs and heart function and how it relates to the techniques you will be administering. This is essential for understanding why and how to administer CPR safely and effectively.
Identifying Cardiac Arrest Symptoms
Recognizing indicators of cardiac arrest is crucial for quick intervention through CPR to maximize the chances of survival. You will learn to identify cardiac arrest symptoms such as an individual suddenly collapsing, losing consciousness, or displaying no signs of breathing or a normal pulse. Their skin may turn pale or have a bluish hue due to inadequate oxygen circulation.
Chest compressions are used in CPR by applying rhythmic pressure to the chest of an individual in cardiac arrest. By applying these chest compressions you are manually pumping the heart to maintain blood flow throughout the body.
It involves placing the heel of one hand on the center of a person’s chest, and the other on top and interlocking fingers. Then, after positioning your body directly over the person’s chest, locking your elbows and administering chest compressions at a specific rate and depth to get blood circulating.
Rescue breaths can be used alongside chest compressions to oxygenate the blood. This is often used for cases involving drowning incidents, overdoses, or respiratory problems. You may know this as “mouth-to-mouth.”
Using Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs)
Automated External Defibrillators are portable medical devices that assess a person’s cardiac rhythm, and if necessary, deliver an electric shock to restore a person to normal heart rhythm. These divides are often found in public places, schools, and workplaces and greatly increase the chances of survival for individuals experiencing cardiac arrest.
These are the primary techniques and knowledge base you will learn in every CPR course. However, depending on whether it is a BLS, ACLS, or PALS course, you may cover additional emergency response situations, techniques, or equipment.
How long does it take to get CPR certified?
CPR courses vary in duration based on the type of certification you pursue. Basic courses such as BLS often span a few hours, while advanced courses such as ACLS or PALS can extend over multiple dates due to the more intricate techniques and scenarios.
CPR Training Formats
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training comes in three formats, each catering to different learning styles and preferences: in-person, online, and blended.
In-person training, our preferred method, provides face-to-face instruction which allows for immediate feedback and real time interaction with a certified instructor. They are able to provide simulated scenarios and practical demonstrations.
Alternatively, online courses provide theoretical content, offering convenience to learn at your own pace. However, these courses lack practical application and real-time guidance, and rely on video tutorials, quizzes, and modules to learn. Blended courses provide a bit of both by starting with online modules and then completing an in-person portion. This blended format aims to strike a balance between convenience and hand-on skill development.
One day you might find yourself in a situation where you are the only one able to help in a life or death situation. In such critical instances, having undergone a CPR certification class can make a world of difference, particularly when statistics reveal that only about 40% of people who experience an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest get the immediate help that they need before professional help arrives. Through CPR Plano certification classes, you’ll be equipped to be the difference between tragedy and a chance at survival.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What skills should I expect to learn in a CPR certification class?
CPR courses cover a range of skills including recognizing cardiac arrest symptoms, performing chest compressions and rescue breaths, and using Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs). They also include basic anatomy and physiology.
What are the differences between BLS, ACLS, and PALS CPR certification classes?
Basic Life Support (BLS) is foundational and covers fundamental CPR techniques suitable for non-medical professionals and the general public. Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) is for healthcare providers, focusing on complex cardiovascular emergencies. Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) is tailored for pediatric healthcare providers, addressing emergencies in children and infants.
How long does it take to become CPR certified?
The duration of CPR courses varies. BLS courses can take a few hours, while ACLS or PALS might span multiple sessions due to the complexity of techniques and scenarios.
What are the different formats available for CPR certification classes?
CPR training is offered in in-person, online, and blended formats. In-person sessions provide face-to-face instruction and real-time interaction with instructors. Online courses offer flexibility for self-paced learning but lack practical application. Blended courses combine online modules with in-person sessions to balance convenience and hands-on skill development.
Why is CPR certification crucial for both professionals and the general public?
CPR certification significantly improves survival rates during out-of-hospital cardiac arrests, which have a high fatality rate. Being prepared through CPR training can make a life-saving difference in emergency response situations. You may be the only person on-site able to quickly and effectively respond to the emergency until professional help arrives. When it comes to cardiac arrest, seconds count!
When will I need to renew my CPR certification?
Certifications in CPR require renewal every two years. This ensures that your expertise and understanding stay current with the latest information and methodologies. Enroll in CPR courses, such as with CPR Plano, regularly to maintain your certification and stay equipped to save lives.