If you’re a current nursing student or trying to gain acceptance into a nursing program, you need to have your CPR certification. But which CPR courses should you choose? And at what stage of your education do you need them?
This blog discusses recent changes in the CPR requirements for nurses and nurse students, and CPR certifications nurses need at each stage of their education. It also discusses what ongoing CPR education nurses should seek as they continue their careers and why CPR certifications are essential for healthcare professionals.
If you need your CPR certification, American Health Care Academy is here to help. We offer CPR classes aimed at those in the healthcare field who need fast, painless credentials that keep them progressing in their field. Visit our CPR AED course registration page for more details, and get back to what you were born to do: saving lives.
Levels in CPR Certification
There are three levels to CPR certification in America: CPR for those who want to be certified but who don’t work in a medical setting, CPR for those who need a certification but don’t work in a healthcare environment, and CPR for those who need certification for clinical responsibilities.
1. People Who Want to Know CPR but Job Does Not Require It
Most people want to have their CPR certification because they want to be able to help others. These people don’t have jobs requiring CPR certification, and they just want to administer CPR to bystanders.
2. People Whose Job Requires CPR, but Who Don’t Work in Medical Environments
Teachers, coaches, fitness trainers, and other professionals may not work in clinical settings, but they still need to be prepared for medical emergencies. These participants learn how to recognize cardiac arrest signs, call for help, and perform CPR on adults (infant and child certificates are optional at this level). This level keeps technology simple so participants can retain the essential pieces of information.
3. CPR for Healthcare Professionals Who Work in Clinical Environment
CPR for people who work in clinical settings is more advanced than for those who don’t work in clinical settings. BLS or Basic Life Support learn how to perform CPR/AED on adults, children, and infants. They also learn how to use a bag-valve-mask, pocket mask, and other special considerations. Learn how to use the bag mask device for children.
BLS uses international standards to train nurses to work with other health care professionals to provide the best care possible. With BLS, even if two medical professionals haven’t met, they should be on the same page as far as procedures and technique. BLS can also pair with Oxygen therapy or an airway management class for further specializations.
Healthcare Provider CPR
Some nursing professions do not require as advanced certification as BLS and only require Healthcare Provider CPR. Nursing home workers, for example, are not explicitly medical centers and only require healthcare provider CPR. Qualifications for these employment opportunities vary and range from an introductory nursing course to completing a facility-sponsored program.
As previously stated, Healthcare Provider CPR is more rudimentary than BLS training. CPR training’s primary focus is keeping the person’s airway open and keeping their blood circulating throughout the emergency. BLS courses teach students more techniques such as airway management and how to use a bag valve mask.
First-Year Nursing Students
Most nursing students have to complete a standard First Aid class and a BLS class before the first day of classes.
1. Standard First Aid Training
Standard first-aid training focuses on time management during emergencies. It teaches students how to assess emergencies, conduct a secondary survey, remove airway obstructions, adult, child, infant CPR, and Adult External Defibrillator (AED). First aid also teaches treatment for head and spine injuries, shock, burns, bleeding seizures, broken bones, anaphylactic shock, small wound management, poisoning, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke.
First-aid uses hands-on techniques to help develop essential knowledge for the profession and helps students establish improvising skills.
2. BLS (Basic Life Support)
Basic Life Support trains students to recognize and provide initial treatment to patients suffering from cardiac or respiratory arrest. The BLS curriculum promotes high-performance, team-based, professional-level medical attention. It acknowledges the nuances teams face and standardizes their procedures to give patients the best care possible. Get your CPR AED certification today!
3. Oxygen Support
Oxygen therapy teaches students how to operate equipment and administer oxygen therapy to patients safely. It covers administering supplemental oxygen, oxygen cylinders, oxygen regulators, oxygen delivery devices, administering oxygen, and reading pulse oximetry.
4. Airway Management
BLS teaches you airway management, which shows you how to create and maintain a patient airway and how to use the necessary equipment to perform such tasks. It teaches students how to open the patient’s mouth, the cross-finger technique, airway adjuncts, suction, tongue-jaw lift, and supraglottic airways. For supraglottic airways, however, the course only teaches you awareness.
Second or Third Year Nursing Students
Standard First Aid courses are valid for two years. So If you’re in your second or third year of nursing school, you may need to renew yours. Renewing your certification is an easy process that shouldn’t take long to complete.
Renewing Your Education While Employed
Nearly all healthcare employers require their nurses to remain BLS, and CPR/AED certified. Both of these certifications are valid for two years. You may be wondering why employers make their employees get certified while they’re in the field. The answer is because even though you might be a nurse in the field, you likely don’t practice your BLS and CPR/AED skills often enough to retain them.
Studies show that CPR knowledge decrease over time, even among healthcare professionals. In a study published by the NCBI, healthcare professionals’ skills decreased to almost the same level they were before training. Refreshing CPR/AED skills is essential to ensure you can readily access your skills in an emergency.
Why Do I Need CPR/AED and BLS Certifications?
CPR/AED certifications are essential for healthcare professionals. They are foundational to providing support to patients in emergencies and should not be taken lightly.
1. Understanding Good Samaritan laws
CPR classes for nurses build a vital understanding of Good Samaritan Laws and how employees are protected when they provide medical assistance to patients. The law protects rescuers from lawsuits following unintentional injury or death. Having this information proves useful throughout healthcare professionals’ careers and helps nurses understand their limitations when helping patients.
2. Builds Confidence Dealing With Medical Emergencies
CPR/AED is crucial for any healthcare professional, but it is especially useful for students who are not yet familiar with the field. The course trains nursing students on the chain of survival when attending cardiac arrest victims, which is essential in the professional environment.
When there is a medical emergency, the full hospital staff must be on the same page. CPR/AED classes allow inexperienced nursing professionals the opportunity to step in and offer assistance in cardiac arrest cases confidently.
This certification also gives young nurses composure in high-pressure situations. Because they are confident in their abilities and composed under pressure, they learn how to calm patients down in emergencies.
3. Working in Teams
The best nurses understand how to work in teams. Without clear communication and teamwork, mistakes and complications can occur. In life and death situations, nurses can’t afford to make mistakes or have complications.
CPR/AED courses also teach nurses how to be resourceful team members in multi-rescuer situations, which is how most emergencies wind up in hospitals. Certifications such as CPR/AED help roles become reversible in cases so anyone can take charge if called upon.
4. Recognizing Cardiac Arrest
A staggering 475,000 Americans die every year from cardiac arrest. That stat emphasizes nurses’ need to identify when a patient is showing signs of cardiac arrest. In fact, the American Heart Association estimates that 200,000 lives could be saved if professionals administer CPR early enough.
Recognizing cardiac arrest signs is a crucial part of administering CPR early enough to save someone’s life. The more prepared nurses are for these situations, and the more they understand what to look for, the more likely they will be able to administer CPR early enough to make a difference. Whether it’s at home, in public, or at the hospital, healthcare professionals should understand what to look for, and nurses should not be surprised when everyone looks to them for answers in cardiac arrest emergencies.
Get Your CPR/AED Certification Today and Start Preparing for Your Future as a Healthcare Professional
Whether you’re a first-year student or you’ve been a practicing nurse for years, passing your CPR/AED is a vital part of fulfilling your healthcare duties. American Health Care Academy CPR has many options that fit your needs and schedule. Regardless of whether you choose our CPR/FIrst-Aid combination or our CPR/AED class, you can control your pace and print off your certification as soon as you complete the course.
Visit our course details page today to find which of our affordable CPR training courses works best for your situation.