CPR or cardiopulmonary resuscitation is a technique used for reviving a person who has a loss of heartbeat, pulse and is unconscious – which happens most of the time due to cardiac arrest – and is a combination of specific number of chest compressions and artificial breathing. CPR is usually performed by certified individuals, but those who have prior knowledge and skills in CPR are capable enough to handle such medical emergencies. When a person completes a CPR training course and program, he/she receives a CPR card – after giving a written test or exam – that certifies the person as a trained CPR rescuer. CPR training is open to everyone – from a layman to professionals, like, doctors, EMTs and nurses. Getting a CPR card is not rocket science. All you need to do is take up a CPR class and make sure to pass the exam.
How to get a CPR card?
Firstly, you need to enroll to a CPR training program and course. There are traditional classes available, along with online programs. Very few online courses are authenticated, especially by premier organizations mandating CPR and other protocols of first aid and advanced techniques – The American Heart Association and American Red Cross. The American Heart Association offers online, as well as, traditional classes, through which you can get the necessary knowledge and training, along with the CPR card. Once you get enrolled to any of the CPR classes, you will be provided with manuals, videos and instructional guides. You need to read and go through the materials and check the videos (if you are attending an online class). For those attending regular classes, there are instructors available to help you practice on real life scenarios and use the techniques on dummies. This way, you can get learn the right techniques and if you happen to make a mistake, the instructors will guide you through. After you’ve completed the training and practical, you will require giving a written test. Once you’ve passed the examination, you will be offered with a CPR certification.
The CPR certification comes with duration of 2 years.
CPR card renewal
As mentioned above, a typical CPR card comes with 2-year duration. Before it expires, you need to get re-certified. Most institutions and certification programs have obligations for individuals who need to renew their certification – undergo the CPR class again and give the examination for getting a certification renewal done.
Why renewing certification is important?
Renewing your CPR certification card is important because of many reasons. First and foremost, you should know that CPR guidelines undergo frequent updates and alterations. For example, the original CPR sequence – A.B.C/Airway.Breaths.Compressions has been changed to the recent one – C.A.B/Compressions.Airway.Breaths. When you take a CPR class again, you get a chance to learn about the new guidelines and changes and accordingly update your skills and expertise too. Thus, certification renewal is nothing but a way to help those CPR certified individuals to keep updated with the changes and handle medical emergencies with greater success and effectiveness than before.
Why it is important to keep your CPR card always with you?
As per American Heart Association, 80% cardiac arrest cases and medical emergencies that need immediate CPR administration take place outside hospital and healthcare vicinity (mostly at home or within public places). When such a crisis occurs, it is either a family member, known person or a complete stranger who needs to act instantly and help revive a patient by giving CPR, in order to get the situation in control or buy enough time for the arrival of advanced medics to the scene. Having a CPR card will help others around the patient (who has just collapsed due to cardiac arrest) will have complete confidence in you and allow you to perform CPR. Furthermore, with a certification, training, skillset and expertise in CPR, you will also have the confidence to handle the situation, without getting overwhelmed or hassled (which happens in most cases and as a result, endangers the patient’s life).
Can you do CPR, if you don’t possess a certification in it?
CPR certifications are mostly unregulated. Because of this, many can simply print a CPR card and show that they are CPR certified. This usually happens when someone is working to get employment and the concerning employer asks for CPR certification as a requisite. Therefore, it is CPR certification mandated by the American Red Cross, American Heart Association or National Safety Council that is considered valid. This is because, you can avail certification from these institutions after attending regular classes, getting the necessary training and passing the concerning examination.
Let’s get back to the question – can you do CPR without being CPR certified?
Yes, you can do CPR without being CPR certified. As long as, you know how to give chest compressions and breaths as per the required ratio, you can perform CPR. The techniques and their details are easily available through different resources (online). However, perfecting the techniques can only be possible through a proper CPR training program and course.
These courses are of few hours’ duration only and not at all difficult. So, taking out sometime and attending the training program, will not hurt anyone!