BLS or Basic Life Support are protocols used by first-responders and other medical professionals to victims of life-threatening illnesses or injuries until they can be given full medical care at a hospital. Both BLS and BCLS are used interchangeably. However, BLS is the correct term. BLS stands for Basic Life Support and BCLS stands for Basic Cardiac Life Support. In effect, it is not different from a CPR Certificate / class
How to Get Certified
BCLS or what is also known as Basic Cardiac Life Support is a type of certification that medical professionals can qualify for provided that they complete a training program and pass an exam that covers different types of life-saving techniques. This BCLS certification is generally only used and given in the US. However, other countries have comparable trainings and certifications as well. In fact, many hospitals require their nurses, doctors, and sometimes medical aides to hold BCLS certifications. It is worth noting that some outpatient care facilities and schools also require their medical personnel to hold BCLS certifications.
The main goal for this type of medical certification is for people to be equipped with the skills and knowledge that would help them provide emergency life-saving care should someone suffer heart-related crises or heart attacks in particular. The training course offers information and training that aims to offer basic knowledge that will be easy for the trainees to remember and draw upon when they are required to act in emergency situations where quick intervention is critical. People can suffer from heart attacks in any place and at any given time and in these instances, it is imperative that they get quick and efficient help if damage is to be mitigated. In fact, the type of emergency response they get very often means the different between complete recovery and debilitation. Sometimes it could mean the difference between life and death. Usually, people who have a BCLS certification can quickly step in and help out until that person can be brought to a medical facility. This is critical not just in hospitals and other health care centers but also in just everyday situations.
Another point here is that the specifics for medical professionals to get certified can vary depending on where they train and take their exams. The bottom-line though is that for this type of training and certification, the basics include attending classes, participating in hands-on demos, and passing a written exam. BCLS certifications expire and they usually do every year which means that medical professionals and others that hold the certificate need to re-take the test and sometimes even attend the course at yearly intervals so they can keep their certifications up to date and valid.
Getting a BCLS certification usually involves a 2-step process where candidates are initially required to enroll in a class that is held over a single day or over the course of a 2-day weekend. After they complete the training course, they are required to take an exam. It should be noted that the approach may vary depending on the region or the state though medical and government regulatory heads are often in charge when it comes to setting the curriculum, sitting the exam, and just generally ensuring that the course, from place to place, essentially covers the same things.
For instance, some hospitals may cover day-long courses for their employees while some classes may be held at community colleges, civic centers, and even nursing homes. For most of the venues, people can sign up at different points in time per year. If they fail the written exam, they will be required to take it again but they have to wait for the next course to be offered and completed before they try their second attempt.
One of the very first things BCLS trainees learn during the course is how to assess the state of the victims. Most if not all of the courses place an emphasis on teaching trainees on how to stabilize a victim’s airway, breathing, and circulation. They will also learn how to do CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) as well as how to use AEDs (automated external defibrillators) which are machines that can help restart the heartbeat. These techniques, when used in a timely and proper manner, can prevent brain damage due to a lack of oxygen flow. At times, both techniques are enough to save the life of a victim but most of the time, they are used to buy the victim time until more extensive and specialized measures are taken.
In addition to teaching trainees the proper techniques to handle life-threatening emergencies, this type of training also covers ways for students to minimize harm and infections as they provide care for victims. Usually, students will learn how to use barrier methods as they perform CPR, such as how to avoid blood-to-blood contact in the event that there is blood involved in the emergency. It is important to know that in case of emergencies, these care givers are also at risk and they should have the skills to protect themselves as they try to give aid.
This course is most often offered to medical professionals and even aides. Some people may wonder who is really eligible to take the course. In most cases, any member of the public who is interested in such trainings can sign up for a BCLS training course so they can get formally certified. However, people who are interested in a BCLS training should know that not all courses will be offered to the public at large since some health centers and hospitals offer these courses exclusively to their employees. Another thing that should be considered is that people who have no professional need for such a certificate may be asked to pay slightly higher training fees—it all depends on the rules and guidelines of the course. There are courses that you can take in brick and mortar institutions but there are also some courses that can be obtained online. What is important here is the place that offers the training course should be recognized by the right governing bodies so that the certificate is valid.
Professionals who are commonly required to hold a current BCLS certification include nurses, doctors, and others who provide direct care to patients. Babysitters, nannies, and companions for elderly people may also acquire a certificate as a way for them to provide better care to the people they are in charge of.