Can you confidently say that you are well trained with the knowledge on how to react to an emergency situation, if one should arise? With many different training institutions out there today, it has never been easier to enroll yourself and your spouse in a CPR class. As a parent, it is important and comforting to feel prepared, so it's time to learn about finding a safety training class that will suit your individual needs the best.
Did you know?
Statistically, less than one third of sudden cardiac arrest victims are administered CPR from a bystander.
In many public venues you will see signage for available AEDs (Automated External Defibrillator) on site, yet it is shocking who is actually familiar enough with, (let alone certified) to operate an AED in an emergency situation. Don't let this available knowledge pass you by, especially when there are so many courses designed to work around a busy schedule. After all, you won't need this knowledge until it's possibly too late.
CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
The pumping action done on a victim's chest is manually pumping the heart to circulate blood to the vital organs. Early CPR and early use of an AED can drastically increase a victim's chance of surviving cardiac arrest.
There is more to learn than just CPR.
While sudden cardiac arrest is typically more uncommon in children and infants, a CPR course also equips you with other useful information, such as learning how to recognize and treat a choking infant or child (which is extremely common) and how to react to other medical emergencies, such as allergic reactions.
What Class Should You Take?
As a current and certified trainer for all three of the below mentioned accreditations, I have had the opportunity to evaluate each curriculum, and recommend a training plan that may fit best into your lifestyle.
The American Heart Association is the leader of the pack when it comes to CPR research and certifications. Most doctors and nurses are certified through the American Heart Association, as well as EMTs and Paramedics. If you are interested in becoming certified in CPR, they offer two different courses. You can choose from attending an instructor-led course with classroom-style practical skills, or an online course. If you choose an online course, you must also follow up with an instructor to demonstrate your skills.
If this is your first time ever learning CPR, think about attending an instructor-led course. They will be able to answer any additional questions you may have, as well as teach you in a learning-conducive environment, as opposed to your living room, where multi-tasking may be a temptation.
The American Heart Association also offers a variety of non-certification classes. These classes are great for parents, grandparents, family members, and others interested in learning the skills to help save a life. The Family & Friends CPR class is a great available resource. It is a two hour course taught in a classroom. You will walk out of the class with the knowledge of Adult, Child and Infant CPR/AED and Choking and will receive a course completion card at the end.
To find a CPR certification course through the American Heart Association, click here.
The American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross is a huge training resource, and is available wide-spread across the country. Most pool and water park lifeguards in the United States are trained and certified through the American Red Cross. There are slight technique differences between the organizations, but there isn't enough difference to matter in a life and death situation.
The American Red Cross offers a phenomenal babysitter's training, which is available to anyone aged 11 and up. If you sign up for the course with pediatric CPR and first aid included, the course is about 10 hours long, and will teach lifesaving skills such as CPR/AED and choking, as well as how to feed, diaper and care for infants and how to calm a crying baby. It may be a bit rudimentary for current parents, but would be a great course to insist on sending your high-school aged regular babysitter. Additionally, at the end of the course, you will receive a certification in Pediatric First Aid and CPR, which is a valid certification for 2 years from the issue date.
The American Red Cross offers a variety of different courses, including certification and non-certification courses. Depending on where you live, you may find that ARC courses are offered more regularly, as they typically have training centers staffed with volunteer instructors, making this a more convenient option to fit your schedule.
The American Health and Safety Institute offers many different classes, and has a strong workplace focus in its curriculum. Instructors are able to use blended learning components to teach the class, utilizing online teaching, as well as in person. AHSI offers many different classes and trainings, and may be a great option if you want to utilize a blended learning program. The online component for AHSI trainings is very hands-on, in-depth, and uses videos, quizzes and mouse-work for some rhythm skills. If you are looking for a great workplace applicable training that is OSHA approved, check out some of the AHSI trainings available.
As a parent or family member, these classes may be a bit more difficult to enroll in. However, a recent nationwide partnership between the American Health and Safety Institute and the YMCA of the USA has made it more available for community members to attend a CPR class.
Invest the time in gaining the skills to potentially save a life!
To search the AHSI website to find a course available near you, click here.