In a sea of countless choices about what to learn and how to spend your time, becoming a CPR instructor is one of the best options you can choose. Many professionals, especially in healthcare and education, are required to be CPR certified. Due to this high demand for CPR certification in the workplace, being a CPR instructor may be an appealing skill for your résumé. In addition to being useful for employment, you become an asset to your community. The Utah Cultural Celebration Center recently hosted a free CPR certification course for children and adults that was taught by a local firefighter certified to teach CPR.
Being certified as a CPR instructor is different than simply being CPR certified. Holding a CPR certification prepares you to respond intelligently in an emergency situation. Holding a CPR instructor certification allows you to teach and certify others in the skill of CPR. Beyond the mastery of CPR itself, instructor training courses include information on class preparation, facilitation skills, teaching and testing methods, and mannequin pre and post-test care.
Like any instructor certification, you’ll need to invest some time and usually money in the process. If you are considering becoming a CPR instructor, here are a few of things to consider before signing up for an instructor training course:
1. Get CPR certified. If you are thinking about teaching CPR, complete a CPR class first, if you haven’t already. This is the only universal prerequisite you’ll need to complete before registering for a CPR instructor course and is useful for a few reasons. It will give you an opportunity to learn the skill you’re thinking about teaching. Then you can ask yourself if you find it interesting enough that you’d want to teach it to others. Also, this gives you the chance to watch another instructor in action and see firsthand what the in-class requirements of being an instructor are. You can take a few minutes beforehand, during a break, or at the end of the training to chat with the instructor about their experience teaching CPR, as well as any challenges they have encountered or advice they may have for you as you are considering heading down the same instructor path. It’s also a great idea to ask when and where they completed their instructor training.
2. Identify your potential trainees. If you’re interested in teaching CPR for a specific company or organization, check with the Human Resources department for information on what certification requirements they have of CPR instructors. If you are interested in being a self-employed CPR instructor, put some thought into what businesses you would want to offer your services to, and contact the Human Resources department to find out what requirements and policies they have in place regarding CPR certification for their employees. In either situation, many companies require certification from a particular agency.
3. Research training agencies. You can complete your CPR instructor certification course through a number of local or national agencies. The American Heart Association (AHA), American Red Cross (ARC) and National Safety Council (NSC) are a few well-established, nationally recognized organizations though there are many others also offering instructor training. You may want to review the CPR guidelines of AHA and ARC to help you vet the quality of the agency you’re considering for your instructor training.
Pricing and course dissemination vary slightly between these agencies—and also depends on which state you live in—so be sure to assess the availability of courses in your geographic area. Since there’s no national CPR accrediting agency to regulate CPR trainings, it’s important to research your options and find out what training will work best for you and your goals as an instructor.
4. Review your training course options. Course format is another factor to consider when researching training agencies. Some courses are offered entirely online, some are in-person, and some are a hybrid of online coursework and in-person training and testing. Choose which method will be best for you and your specific needs.
5. Register! Once you’ve determined in what setting you want to teach CPR, what instructor training courses are available in your area, and which training agency will be most beneficial for your goals, you can enroll in your instructor training. If you are currently employed, check with your employer to find out if they’re willing to cover the cost of the training if you offer to be a CPR instructor for the company.
Being a CPR instructor can be very fulfilling. Like the children and adults learning CPR at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center, you can give people of all ages the invaluable tools to save a life in an emergency situation.