What Is the American Heart Association CPR Certification?
You never know when you might be in a situation where you could save a life using CPR. Obtaining certification means you're qualified to perform CPR on adults and/or children. Keep reading to learn more about CPR certification opportunities.
CPR Certification For Non-Medical Personnel
The American Heart Association (AHA) offers certification in CPR, along with AED (automated external defibrillator) training through Heartsaver CPR and Heartsaver Pediatric First Aid courses. The Heartsaver CPR course allows you to learn from an instructor through video training and hands-on practice. Alternatively, you could take part of the course online and participate in skills testing in person. This type of certification is valid for two years, and you can obtain the skills and knowledge to perform adult CPR and use an AED. This type of course is tailored for anyone who is not thinking about or currently working in the medical field.
The Heartsaver Pediatric First Aid course features the same classroom video format and awards a 2-year certification. In this course, you'll not only learn CPR and AED techniques for children, but you're also taught how to act in different emergency situations. The course covers first aid and asthma care, as well. This course is ideal for anyone who works with children, such as counselors, teachers and daycare providers.
Important Facts About AHA CPR Certification
|Program Availability||Anyone in their community may participate in a course|
|Prerequisites||Proficiency in Basic Life Support (BLS) before moving on to other courses|
|Field of Study||Medical; although, anyone can learn CPR|
|Continuing Education||Certification doesn't need to be renewed; refresher courses available|
|Median Salary (2018)||$34,320 (for all emergency medical technicians and paramedics)|
|Job Growth (2016-2026)||15% (for all emergency medical technicians and paramedics)|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Certification For Medical Professionals
As a medical professional, you can participate in a HeartCode ACLS (Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support) course that takes 10-12 hours to complete. To gain this certification, you'll need to take a 3-part course. You'll complete the first part online and demonstrate your learned skills through written and practical exams. You'll take the remainder of the course with an AHA instructor. Instruction in this course focuses on basic CPR, emergency cardiovascular care, pharmacology, airway management and resuscitation techniques.
You can also take the Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) course, which is designed for the medical field. This classroom-based course involves passing skills tests, practicing at learning stations, completing an exam and understanding case scenarios. You'll learn rescuer child and infant CPR and AED techniques, procedures for handling respiratory emergencies, electrical therapy and emergency assessment. The initial course takes about 14 hours, or if you just need a refresher, you can participate in the update course, which can be completed in about 6-8 hours.
Other Certification Options
Aside from going through the AHA for CPR certification, there are several other avenues you can find in your community to gain certification. Whether you're a medical professional, childcare provider or just want certification, many state health departments offer AHA-approved courses in CPR. If you're a teacher, your state's Department of Education could provide an instructor-led course. You can also check with your local fire department to see if they provide CPR courses that are open to the public.