To most people, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) certification is an outstanding accomplishment. The card brings a feeling of comfort and reward in knowing that the individuals carrying the certification card can act to save the life of a person suffering from cardiac arrest. For a person to be certified simply means that he and she have been trained by a person qualified by a training center to administer a class demonstrating the techniques of saving a life when someone’s heart stops beating. The certification is a card that is issued by email or hard copy after completing a qualified class. The card that is issued by email is then printed off and hopefully laminated to protect it from being damaged by the elements or mistakenly thrown in the garbage, and some ask questions pertaining to showing authorities their card.
Typically, a layperson is not going to be asked for their card if he and she have assisted or primarily started CPR on a person who needs it. On the other hand, those people who carry the card are required to demonstrate their ability to employment agencies and show the card to employees who provide services to people in and around a community. The card must be current and not expired for those people to maintain employment by those agencies. Nonetheless, how can one obtain a CPR card?
CPR cards are obtained by attending a qualified class from an instructor trained by the American Heart Association, or some other agency. Other ways of obtaining a CPR card is by taking an online course and then presenting a completed course competency to an instructor to perform the skills to complete their certification from the online portion. However, there are many offers from instructors or agencies to provide CPR cards online and never demonstrate competencies in front of an instructor. Most people decide to take this route because it is cheaper, quicker and taken at their own pace. Moreover, these classes are offered online, and some of them or not sanctioned by the American Heart Association to where permission is given to provide these cards, and the research may be flawed.
There are agencies who provide cards that do not have the American Heart Association emblem which is legal by the standards of the Better Business Bureau. What this means is that other businesses apply their logo and provides the same standard of care. Let it be known that CPR is not a secret and the standards of care or highly used by hospitals, agencies, EMS agencies, nursing homes, and other businesses around the world. However, the American Heart Association base their techniques off research, and research is the key of doing things right because you know from studies what was done right and what was done wrong. Thus, what are the advantages of taking an online CPR class versus taking the entire course in front of a qualified instructor?
As mentioned, taking an online CPR course saves time, and people can take the class at their own pace. If the entire class is taken online, and there are no skills to be demonstrated in front of an instructor, questions that may be lingering are not answered, and the technique may be incorrect, even though watched on the computer or video. The standards of CPR or crisp and follow a certain path toward the Return of Spontaneous Circulation (ROSC) which is a target for everyone who starts CPR to reach. The purpose is to save a life and to do it right. However, it does not always mean that taking an online CPR course is the wrong thing to do; it simply means that your questions are not going to be answered, even in a link that has Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). Sometimes it is simply impossible to answer questions when you don’t know what is lingering in the minds of students. One other advantage of taken the online CPR course is that EMS providers are everywhere, and if someone have a question about CPR, he and she can simply stop a paramedic ambulance, Emergency Medical Technician, stop by an emergency room or clinic, go to a fire station and ask question. Nine times out of ten, the question is answered. Nevertheless, that is not always the case.
The advantage of taking a class in person far exceeds the online portion because the equipment is sitting in front of the student and strategically placed within the classroom, team dynamics is demonstrated, an actual feeling of touching the manikin and watching the rise and fall of the chest when air is given, if needed, and the student can actually see how far he and she is pushing down on the chest which needs to be 2 inches for the adult and slightly different for the infants. Furthermore, staying in rhythm when doing chest compression is the key to survival. Sudden stops and breaks and chest compression are extremely detrimental to the survival of a victim suffering from cardiac arrest.
The pros and cons of taking an online CPR class is paramount and dependent on the student where much is gained, and much is left out. Personally, the online CPR class should be for experienced renewal lay people and health care providers rather than for first-time learners. It really depends on how serious the student is and whether interruptions cause the student to miss vital information. However, nothing is better than taking a class in front of an instructor where the student can demonstrate their feelings by asking questions related to their own situation, physically do the skills and receive active feedback that is extremely important and remembered when the time comes to save a life.