Have you ever wondered what CPR training entails? Here’s what you need to know.
When the heart slows significantly or goes into cardiac arrest, blood circulation comes to a halt, threatening damage to the brain and other vital organs. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is essentially a short-term manual-override of the heart. CPR compresses the heart to simulate normal beating, causing it to continue blood circulation until a normal rhythm is restored. Most forms of CPR include rescue breathing, which supplies oxygen to individuals who have stopped breathing on their own.
A brief history of CPR
While mouth-to-mouth resuscitation was first introduced by the Paris Academy of Science in 1740, the modern incarnation of CPR didn’t take shape until 1960. The following years and decades saw advancements in emergency response, such as the use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs), and, most recently, less emphasis on the mouth-to-mouth element of CPR. However, possibly the most significant development was the accessibility of the technique to the general public—practically everyone can learn and apply CPR.
Today, CPR is known to be helpful whenever the heart stops beating or an individual is unresponsive and stops breathing—such as near-drownings, allergic reactions, electrical shocks, or excessive loss of blood. Understanding when to administer CPR is just as important as knowing how.
A general CPR syllabus
CPR training courses vary. For example, medical professionals require more in-depth training, and certain courses focus on CPR for infants and small children. In general, here’s what lifesaving courses cover:
- Illness and injury prevention
- Adult and child choking rescue
- Basic first aid
- Basic CPR+AED for adults and children
- How to respond to injury and environmental emergencies
Course execution, to some degree, depends on the facility and trainer. Typically, CPR training courses are composed of these basic elements:
- A one-day class. While comprehensive and thorough, most CPR courses can be completed in a single day.
- Introduction. Instruction usually begins with general information about CPR. Situations, where CPR can be applied along with the importance of being a first responder, might be used to help formally introduce the class to cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
- Review the manual. Each student receives an illustrated manual the instructor will walk the class through.
- Videos. Video demonstrations are typically shown to classes to provide visual supplementation to the manual.
- Hands-on training. Watching is helpful, doing is transformative. After being carefully instructed on CPR, students are then required to practice on manikins while receiving feedback from their teacher.
- Written exam. CPR training ends with a multiple-choice test. Tests are graded immediately—students who don’t pass are given the opportunity to take as many as three re-tests on that same day.
Types of certifications
CPR certification can be specialized. Some lifesaving courses may provide a general certification, others are intended for those whose vocation requires specific training, such as child care and medical professionals.
Some certifications involve the use of AEDs or CPR for infants and children. In advanced lifesaving curricula designed for medical/emergency professionals, courses might involve proper use of oxygen tanks, how to insert breathing tubes, and the use of artificial breathing apparatuses.
CPR certification expires after two years. Recertification is typically achieved by demonstrating the required CPR techniques.
Who’s required to know CPR
While it’s a good idea for everyone to be trained in CPR, these are some of the professions that require (or often require) it:
- Medical doctors
- Physical therapists
- Flight attendants
- Coaches and athletic trainers
In addition, teachers, camp counselors, and allied health workers are often mandated to undergo CPR training. Other industries that benefit from CPR training are construction, food service, coaching, and electrical workers.
Where to obtain CPR training in South Florida
The first step in CPR training is finding an American Heart Association-approved facility. Classes can be taken on an individual or a group basis and at a dedicated training facility or a specific workplace.
In South Florida, OneBeat CPR+AED provides CPR and AED certification at affordable rates, with highly-qualified, AHA-certified instructors. If you’re considering becoming a life-saver, visit our website to find the best course for your needs—or give us a call at 954-321-5305.