Learn how to do mouth-to-mouth accurately on Infants, Children, and Adults. Additionally, learn how to utilize an Automated External Defibrillator (AED).
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Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US, accounting for nearly a quarter of all deaths - higher than cancer, respiratory diseases, and accidents. While heart problems typically affect older individuals, people of any age can suffer from them. A CPR certification is therefore a key way of saving lives - the more people that have the knowledge and training to deliver that crucial first aid until paramedics arrive, the better.
Rates of CPR certification are on the rise. This is partly due to workplace regulations requiring a certain number of staff members in a business to be CPR trained. However, around 70% of heart attacks outside of hospitals happen within the home, but only 46% get the immediate care they need to increase their odds of survival. So, increasingly, individuals are taking training for their own peace of mind, to be able to make the difference for a loved one as well as a stranger.
However, many people who are interested in getting a CPR certification don't have the time to take a course. They would have to find a local provider, schedule time to attend, and perhaps book time off work in the process. While many courses are short and relatively inexpensive, online courses can be a flexible alternative.
With an online course, you can get all the information you need to be able to act as a first responder and potentially save someone's life. You are able to work through the material at your own pace, in your own home. You can start and stop at your leisure, and you can go back over sections you're not sure about to make sure you're totally confident. At the end, you'll complete a test and if you pass that, you'll receive a certification.
Here's a closer look at what CPR is, and what online CPR certification involves.
What is CPR?
For most people, knowledge of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation - otherwise known as CPR - is limited to what they've seen in movies and on TV shows - the hero resuscitates an injured party, who immediately wakes up and is fully conscious again. Unfortunately, this is an inaccurate picture of how CPR works, both in terms of how the technique is done and the results it achieves.
CPR is a group of techniques that you can employ to help people whose heart has stopped beating or who have stopped breathing, for example after a heart attack, stroke, or nearly drowning. The goal of CPR is to manually stimulate blood circulation in order to increase blood flow to the brain, preventing permanent brain damage, and hopefully get the patient's heart to beat by itself.
As an adjunct to CPR, people often take Automated External Defibrillator (AED) training. An AED is an electronic device that is connected to a patient's chest if the initial attempts at CPR have failed. The AED automatically detects weak or irregular heartbeats and attempts to use direct electrical stimulation to get the heart beating in a normal manner again.
Training in CPR and in the use of the AED is a little more complicated because different factors need to be taken into account before administering treatment, such as the age of the patient. You also need to be aware of your legal rights when delivering first aid treatments.
A good CPR and AED certification will teach you all you need to know in order to administer these life-saving techniques and will give you the confidence to act quickly and decisively in a life-or-death situation.
What is a CPR Certification?
A CPR certification is a document that proves you have received the necessary training in CPR and that you are qualified to use these techniques on other people.
It is crucial that you obtain your CPR certification from a reputable organization. There are three key reasons for this. Firstly, you want to ensure that you are getting accurate training and practical knowledge, so that you can be of best use to people in need. Secondly, some certifications will not meet the minimum threshold to comply with government regulations - this is particularly important in the workplace. Finally, a proper certification will afford you the protection of "good Samaritan" laws, which give you legal protection against injuries individuals may obtain when they receive CPR.
If you have been certified through an online course, you can then print out your certificate for your records, and display it in your place of work if necessary. You will also receive a certification card which you can keep with you.
How much does a CPR certification cost?
Naturally there's one aspect you will be concerned with when thinking about a certification in CPR - cost. With online certification, you can get the knowledge for free. CPR training modules are publicly available for you to work your way through, as are the tests that you must complete at the end of the course. You can take the course as many times as you need to, going back over the source material until it has really sunk into your mind.
Once you have passed the test, you then have the option to purchase the certification, which can cost around $17. The great thing about this is that you get to go through the whole course in its entirety before you decide whether it is worth paying for. You can also go back over the course whenever you want to refresh your memory.
Discounts are also available for group certifications, potentially over 20% for large groups. This is ideal for employers who want the peace of mind that comes from knowing a large portion of their workforce is CPR certified and can respond to emergency situations effectively.
Free CPR certification
A CPR and AED certification course will cover all of the skills, knowledge and techniques you need to deliver CPR and use an AED device to people in need. Below is an overview of the training modules that you will work your way through as you move toward certification.
Legal issues - Unlike the Hollywood portrayal of CPR, where the patient wakes up as if from a nap and is fully functional again, the reality is that there is some risk to the patient. For example, they may receive injuries to the ribs while subjected to properly-delivered CPR. Of course, this is preferable to the alternative, and therefore there is a legal protection known as the "good Samaritan law" that allows you to carry out CPR without fear of legal consequences. You need to understand this in order to deliver the techniques with confidence.
- CPR for adults - As noted earlier, heart problems are more common in older adults, so it is imperative that you learn the proper way to administer CPR to adults. A series of articles, photos and videos will guide you through CPR techniques including chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
- CPR for children - Although heart issues are more likely to affect adults, children can still be affected, and there are other situations in which administering CPR to a child may be necessary, such as after a near drowning. However, CPR must be given in a specific way to younger children, because when not delivered correctly it can cause injuries.
- CPR for infants - Infants require even more careful treatment when delivering CPR because their bodies and bones are much more fragile. This module will teach you the proper manner to employ CPR techniques on infants.
- AED training - This module covers the use of an AED, which you would deploy if your initial efforts at CPR have not been successful. You will learn how the technology works, why it works, and how to use it step-by-step.
Free CPR Certification Exam
Once you have completed all the modules in the CPR and AED training, you then move onto the certification exam. This is a multiple-choice exam which will test your knowledge in all aspects of delivering CPR and using an AED. The purpose of the test is to ensure that you know what you need to know - if you do not pass the test, you simply go back to the modules and go over that information again. You can do this as many times as you need to until you pass.
When you pass the test you have completed the course, and you will then be free to purchase the CPR certification should you choose to do so.
CPR Training Recertification
It is important to continually refresh your knowledge of CPR and AED usage to ensure that the skills and knowledge are clear in your mind. This is why CPR certifications expire after a two-year period. After this period, you are no longer certified and will need to retake the certification exam. This ensures that your skills are up to scratch, and that you're well-placed to help in an emergency should you be required to do so. If you wish, you can, of course, take a recertification exam more frequently, perhaps for your own peace of mind or for that of your employer.
Since you have already completed the CPR and AED training once, you will most likely complete your recertification much faster. In fact, if you feel confident you can skip directly to the final certification exam, which you may be able to complete in under 15 minutes. However, you can review any or all of the modules as you see fit.
CPR Certification Quality
Make sure you go to a reputable, trustworthy provider to acquire your CPR certification. Validity is an important concern because you want the training you receive to be of an equal standard to live, in-person training courses. Unfortunately, there are many providers on the internet offering courses that fall well short of this mark.
Getting the right information and the best training is crucially important because you will be dealing with a life-or-death situation. You need the skills to be able to deliver the best care, and the confidence to deliver the techniques effectively - so make sure you go to a respected provider.