BLS Training: Who Should Get It?

Randy McCabe

If you’re working in or have an interest in a medical career or are a first responder (e.g., firefighter, police officer), you may be looking to take basic life support training or a refresher course. Read on to learn about BLS and how to sign up for an affordable, easy online BLS training course.

What is Basic Life Support (BLS) Training?

Basic Life Support (BLS) is an emergency medical treatment used when a person’s heart has stopped beating. BLS helps circulate oxygenated blood throughout a person’s body to ensure blood flow reaches the brain and other vital organs. BLS can save lives when administered in an emergency before emergency care can be provided in a hospital setting.

While many people use the terms CPR and BLS interchangeably, they are slightly different. CPR is a critical component of BLS. But BLS certification is generally associated with the healthcare field and other first responders who require an additional layer of training and certification.

What is BLS Certification?

BLS certification assures that you have been presented learning material around lifesaving techniques and have demonstrated competency and understanding through an examination.

While the standards for BLS training vary from country to country, it is generally rooted in the recommendations put forth by the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR), an organization focused on advancing resuscitation knowledge.

Once you have completed your BLS course and completed and passed the examination, you will be issued a certification card. The card will include the name of the organization from which you obtained your training, your name, the curriculum covered in the course, and the standards used during training.

Who Needs BLS Certification?

Those who work in the medical field, such as doctors, nurses, medical assistants, and CNAs, are always required to have current BLS certification. First responders — including police officers, firefighters, and lifeguards — are often required to have BLS certification due to the high-level risk of encountering a medical emergency in these fields.

Other professions may also benefit from BLS training, even if not required by their employers. Childcare workers, physical therapists, and school bus drivers, for example, can benefit from BLS training.

Employers may require their employees to have BLS certification for several reasons. It may be required to maintain good standing with auditing agencies, such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) or the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF).

Most BLS certifications expire after two years, and recertification is required to remain in good standing with your employer. As a busy professional, taking an in-person course may be out of the question, as your time is limited. Getting your BLS Certification online is easily accessible, convenient, and affordable.

What is Taught in BLS Training?

Basic life-saving skills will be taught in BLS training, including:

• Mouth to mouth resuscitation

• Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)

• How to use certain equipment (e.g., defibrillator) during emergency rescue

• How to administer CPR as a team

• Improving chest compressions

BLS training prepares you to work in an emergency to think quickly and critically and take precautions during the rescue to ensure the person’s safety. You will also learn how to handle emergencies independently and as part of a team.

At the American Academy of CPR and First Aid, our comprehensive training provides you with the knowledge and skills you need to handle any emergency. You’ll have access to high-quality course material from board-certified instructors who have years of experience in the healthcare field.

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