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What is BLS Certification? Everything You Need to Know

Defibrillator On Dummy With Towel

There’s no telling what could happen in the future—one moment you’re with your colleagues laughing at some joke when suddenly, someone’s collapsing because of a heart attack. Unfortunately, happenings like these are more common than you thought. According to the Centers for Disease and Prevention Control, about 800,000 Americans suffer from sudden cardiac arrest, of which 605,000 are first-time cases.

In life-threatening situations like these, you might be wondering if you could do something to possibly, in your own little way, help save someone’s life. Fortunately, there’s a way you can do so—by learning Basic Life Support, or BLS.

Curious to know what BLS means? Read to learn everything about Basic Life Support and how you can get certification from it.

Everything You Need to Know About BLS Certification

What is Basic Life Support?

Basic Life Support (BLS) refers to the type of care a patient suffering from life-threatening illnesses or injuries can receive from first-responders, healthcare providers, and public safety professionals

In order to learn how to provide and officially practice BLS, one must get a national BLS certification. This is simply a short training course that clinical health professionals and public safety personnel need to undergo to learn the necessary skills and knowledge when saving a life.

BLS vs CPR: What’s the Difference?

When people think about saving someone from a life-threatening condition, one of the first medical responses they probably think of is CPR. However, if BLS can also save lives, what exactly is the difference between the two?

In simple terms, Basic Life Support (BLS) is a CPR certification. But unlike CPR which can be taught to the general public, BLS refers to a level of training that is specifically given to healthcare provides.

As such, BLS training also includes the basic actions and treatments that are taught as part of any CPR course. This includes maintaining an open airway, keeping the proper circulation of blood and oxygen in the body, and other necessary actions one should perform when administering CPR.

However, in contrast to a traditional CPR course, BLS training teaches individuals other in-depth practices that are suitable in a hospital setting. This includes providing oxygen with mechanical help, advanced airway management, and a team approach to CPR.

It’s important to note, though, that other countries use the term BLS when referring to CPR training. 

The Importance of BLS Certification

Every 37 seconds, one person dies from heart disease in the United States. Fortunately, most of these deaths can be prevented by fast action and knowledgeable assistance that you can get from BLS training. Here’s why you should take a class and get your BLS certification right this instant.

Earn Confidence

Most Americans feel helpless when they face a cardiac emergency because they either do not know how to properly administer BLS or their training has already lapsed.

Fortunately, BLS Certification will provide you with the right amount of confidence in order to act quickly when it’s necessary. Not only would it greatly reduce the tension or hesitation you may feel during medical emergencies but it would also help you feel secure with the knowledge you have. This eventually teaches you the right actions required to save a life.

Increase Your Employability

For those seeking employment in certain industries, you’ll have the advantage over most people when you have a BLS certification. This is due to the fact employers often look for applicants that are already certified and have the ability to administer CPR as well as basic first aid.

You can learn both of these life-saving techniques through BLS training, which ultimately increases your appeal to prospective employers. 

Did You Know? Certain employers in specific medical fields may even require BLS certification as a part of their employment eligibility criteria.

Save Lives

When you perform basic life-saving techniques such as BLS, you keep the blood pumping throughout a patient’s body. Proper circulation of blood also means that oxygen gets into the brain as well. Thus, learning how to administer BLS helps prevent brain damage and even brain death.

Furthermore, administering BLS life-saving techniques as soon as possible to a suffering patient can make a significant difference in the patient’s rate of recovery. The sooner you carry out BLS measure, the better the outcome of the patient’s recuperation.

Overall, with BLS certification, you can save someone’s life. You can do your own little part to ensure he/she still gets to come home to his/her family.

How to Provide BLS: Assess, Recognize and Care

One never wishes for an emergency to happen but when it does, it’s your job to respond quickly and appropriately. BLS training would teach you how to do so. 

When it comes to such training, though, no emergency is the same. That’s why there are steps that should be administered every time and other procedures you only have to perform on an as-needed basis.

These specific optional medical measures you might need can be decided through the Assess, Recognize, and Care concept. As you might know, a patient’s condition can change rapidly and deterioration can immediately follow. That’s why frequent assessment, recognition, and care are extremely crucial.

To guide you, here’s how you can practice the Assess, Recognize, and Care concept:

  1. Perform a visual scan (of both the patient and area where you are at) to assess for safety.
  2. Formulate an initial impression of the patient and determine the need for additional medical help or resources.
  3. Check the responsiveness of the patient. For instance, ask if he can blink, lift his arms up, or state his own name.
  4. Open the airway and simultaneously check for breathing.
  5. Check the patient’s pulse if he is unresponsive.
  6. After you complete your quick assessment, provide the necessary care based on the conditions found.

What Can You Expect from a BLS Course?

Aside from learning these essential medical precautionary measures, you can also learn basic mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and CPR (which involves chest compressions to help blood circulation) from a BLS course.

There are absolutely no invasive procedures and medical equipment required in BLS certification. The key points of the course include the basic steps one should remember when administering BLS—the CAB method.

  • Circulation – The first step in providing BLS is ensuring that blood is circulating through the patient’s body.
  • Airway – If circulation is interrupted, you can check for any obstructions in the airway and clear it to allow air to flow to the lungs.
  • Breathing – There would be times that simply removing obstructions would not help. That’s why you should also make sure that the lungs are filled with air. This is typically done through mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

You can also expect both single-rescuer situations as well as team rescues when undergoing BLS training. Furthermore, you will be taught how to do different procedures for each age group such as infants, children, and adults.

BLS Course Options: In-Person or Blended Learning?

Basic Life Support (BLS) courses can be taught in two different methods—classroom (in-person) and blended (online) training.

In-person BLS courses are easy-to-learn and encourage high levels of participation. Due to the fact that you’ll be with fellow course-takers, it can be fun and interactive.

Online BLS training, on the other hand, may not have the same amount of interaction in a physical classroom setting but it makes up for the convenience it offers. E-courses can not only supplement but it can also transform the learning process. Furthermore, it can reach students with varying learning styles and in different environments.

However, no matter which course option you take, they all teach the same AHA science-based skills and offer you the same AHA BLS certified completion card.

How to Earn Your BLS Certificate

BLS is required for pre-hospital providers (such as EMTs, firefighters, and paramedics) and in-facility hospital caretakers.

You can earn your BLS certification from certified BLS providers such as American Health Care Academy. Designed and taught by OSHA-trained instructors, AHCA’s BLS certification courses are nationally accepted and follow the updated guidelines provided by the American Heart Association. Upon successful completion of the online BLS course, you can instantly receive your course completion card via email.

So whether you’re a healthcare provider or planning to work as a lifeguard, firefighter, or police, you can prove to your employers that you have the right training required to improve patient outcomes.

How BLS Recertification Works

Once you receive your BLS certification, know that it’s only valid for up to 2 years.

As such, you need to undergo BLS recertification courses in order to refresh your memory, update your skills, and extend your certification for another two years. You are qualified for recertification if your credentials are still valid or within 30 days of expiration. 

Fortunately, BLS recertification is easy. You only need to register for a review course, which is available in most CPR BLS providers.

BLS Certification in American Health Care Academy

Medical emergencies can happen anytime. That’s why you need to be equipped with the right knowledge and skills in performing life-saving techniques such as BLS. Specially made for public health professionals, hospital providers, and other personnel working to prevent life-threatening situations, BLS certification can help you gain confidence, prevent brain damage, and ultimately save a life.

At the American Health Care Academy, our mission is to help prepare individuals to save lives. We aim to provide comprehensive, cost-effective, and easy-to-understand online BLS training in addition to CPR and First-Aid courses. Save a life today by enrolling in our online courses and get 100% of your money back if the certification is not accepted.

Found this post informative? Check our blog for other helpful articles about BLS training.

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