When you decide to take a CPR course and begin the registration process, you will find that you have a variety of training options available to choose from. Depending on why you’re taking the course, you may be required to register for a certain minimum course offering rather than having the opportunity to choose the course you’d like to take. However, you can elect to take a more advanced course beyond your employer or professional requirements so you can be prepared for any situation.
Below you can see a short summary of the different offerings and options you will have when considering CPR training. Many of these may be included together in the training that you choose. If there’s a particular skill you’re interested in learning, check with the provider to find out if it is offered as part of the course you’re registering for. Courses that include these topics may or may not be available at a location near you or online.
CPR courses cover the following topics in various groupings and levels:
- CPR for Adults
This course will teach you how to respond to an emergency scene and administer CPR for adults. For the purposes of CPR practices, an adult is considered anyone over twelve to fourteen years of age.
- CPR for Children
This course will teach you how to respond to an emergency scene and administer CPR on children ages one to fourteen.
- CPR for Infants
This section is specifically for infants under one year of age. There’s a fairly significant difference between CPR for adults, children, and infants so learning all three is very useful.
- Team CPR
This covers the procedures for responding to an emergency scene and administering CPR with two rescuers instead of just by yourself.
- AED Instruction
You will learn what an Automated External Defibrillator does and how to appropriately use one in order to keep yourself, others, and your victim safe. This section is taught with specific instructions for adults, children ages one to eight, and infants.
- Basic First Aid
In a basic first aid course you’ll learn about many types of internal and external injuries and illnesses, including their causes, symptoms, treatment, and in some cases prevention.
- Bag Valve Mask Instruction
It’s useful to learn how to use a bag valve mask if it’s an option so the rescuer doesn’t have to administer breaths with their own lung capacity. This can prevent fatigue and help the rescuer in delivering consistent breaths to the victim. Bag valve masks are available in small enough sizes to be carried in a wallet or on a keychain, so learning how to use a mask and carrying one with you can help you be prepared for an emergency at any time.
- Relieving Choking / Foreign Body Airway Obstruction
Similar to CPR, instructions for giving emergency aid to a choking victim is taught for adults, children, and infants since the procedure is different for infants than for adults and children.
- Bloodborne Pathogen Prevention
This aspect covers the important information for anyone who may be exposed to blood or materials that might contain blood. It explains what bloodborne pathogens are, how to protect yourself from exposure, how to address an exposure if it happens, as well as how to properly clean up and report the exposure.
There is no universal label for each of these courses. Additionally, many of these classes are taught at various levels including but not limited to:
Layperson: The layperson or basic level course would be the most simple offering for people such as but not limited to coaches, high school teachers, hotel staff, restaurant staff, and construction workers.
First Responder: This level of course is offered for individuals whose professional role is to offer medical care outside of a hospital setting such as paramedics and firefighters.
Healthcare Provider: This level of course is for anyone working in a hospital setting to provide medical care such as nurses, physicians, physician assistants, physical and occupational therapists, and other healthcare providers. However, the healthcare provider level course is open to the public through many training organizations both in-person and online.
Since there is no governing body to regulate CPR training, each training organization such as the American Heart Association and American Red Cross uses its own rubric to delineate the classes they have available. Some training organizations offer a curriculum outline on their website or a student manual you can download to get even more informed on what each course will offer before making a registration decision. Be sure to do your research when deciding which course is best for you.