Today, there are numerous organizations teaching Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). The outcome is practically the same technique from each organization where students learn how to save lives from an online course or sitting in a classroom. The two organizations that are high on the list of demands by hospitals and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) establishments is the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American Red Cross (ARC). It appears the AHA has more of a requirement from those Hospital and EMS organizations than any other. Unfortunately, there has been active and social media literature from AHA that the nonprofit organization will discontinue training centers across the country and cancel the instructor credentials of qualified personnel to teach the skills of CPR, Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), and other related skills required for employment within the healthcare service, on their own.
The difference and guidelines for AHA and ARC is similar in many aspects. Specifically, AHA teaches the skills of life-saving based on their research whereas ARC follows the guidelines of AHA which is adhered to at nearly 100%. Moreover, ARC will focus directly on schools within a community and assist non-Hospital and EMS agencies and teaching employees to be competent in the skills of CPR. The certification card for both agencies is good for two years which expires at the end of the month which the training took place.
Regarding the tests for healthcare providers, AHA requires an 85% passing score whereas ARC requires and 80% passing score. Furthermore, each technique which is taught specifically gives the student an opportunity for hands-on learning. This technique is apparent and not only AHA and ARC but all other agencies providing training and life-support techniques.
Online classes are offered from AHA and ARC which gives an advantage to students with time restraints. A written test is taken online, and students will have to prove competency by contacting an instructor and demonstrating skills in person. Most students prefer this method which provides the same two-year credentials.
Moreover, ARC is not accepted in many areas, and most laypeople does not recognize the difference, although, the it is minor. As time progresses and up to sometime in 2020, AHA may be ignored because of the possibility of having inadequate instructors. For instance, hospitals and EMS agencies are required to have their personnel trained in CPR and other areas of Emergency Cardiac Care (ECC). Fire departments have training every two years to keep up with their credentials, and some personnel may miss the training and require individual catchup time to maintain their credentials to keep working. There is a possibility that AHA may not have those instructors readily available and have a set schedule that everyone may have to adhere to.
ARC may turn out to be a better design for hospitals and EMS agencies because to be in ARC instructor is an opportunity for many people who can maintain that caliber. The guidelines of ARC perhaps around 2020 may surpass the needs of individuals, agencies and other laypersons to where getting their CPR card is going to be easy to achieve rather than waiting for a set schedule from AHA.
When it comes to the Automated External Defibrillator (AED), AHA blankets the country with their education and research efforts to enhance survival and Return of Spontaneous Circulation (ROSC). However, ROSC can be achieved from any agency teaching the skills of CPR to schools, businesses, and emergency services, and all the employees who require a card to maintain work.
The guidelines of ARC have changed over the years. However, the research performed and disseminated by AHA provides a global standard of skills, techniques, and ability to teach other people to make an informed decision to act. To act immediately is to save a life. Clearly, AHA has paved the way for basic and advanced life support techniques to be used by the layperson and experts, and ARC will maintain that effort and perhaps include their own research to enhance the abilities of the layperson to assist a victim in cardiac arrest where they can go home and live a life happily ever after.
AHA has a slogan called “life is why.” The slogan is a powerful saying which clearly demonstrates the need for individuals to learn how to save a life. You don’t have to be a doctor, nurse or EMS worker to save a life. All you must do is know how to do it, and the guidelines of ARC rides on the back of AHA. Therefore, guidelines are a standard that everyone is accustomed and will continue to be used because time after time lives have been saved with basic life support.