CPR and First Aid Certification Program Overviews

CPR and first aid certification is helpful in a variety of career fields. Learn what you can expect in a program, including coursework. Also, read about possible career options and continuing education requirements.

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Essential Information

Anyone working in an environment associated with the risk of personal injury or sickness often needs to have current certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and first aid. You can use the techniques taught in CPR and first aid certification programs to assist people who have suffered an injury, suddenly become ill or are choking.

CPR methods and first aid techniques are normally covered in the same certification programs, though some programs discuss one or the other. Most certification programs are eight to 14 hours in length and are taught by organizations like the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross. Most classes are conducted in a live setting with hands-on demonstrations, but some can be finished over the Internet.

Educational Prerequisites

There are generally no educational prerequisites to enroll in CPR and First Aid certification programs. Many employers in a variety of fields encourage their employees to earn CPR and first aid to ensure that basic medical care is available in the event of an emergency.

Program Coursework

CPR and first aid classes focus on procedures used to help people who are suddenly unable to breathe, are unconscious or have suffered a physical injury. Students often view demonstrations of proper techniques used during CPR and first aid and sometimes practice the techniques on lifelike dummies. CPR and first aid training usually discusses the subjects listed below:

  • Cardiovascular disease risk factors
  • Heimlich Maneuver techniques
  • Symptoms of choking victims
  • Basic physiology and anatomy
  • Abdominal thrust demonstrations
  • Burn care techniques
  • Methods of bleeding control
  • Treating shock victims
  • Injury assessment
  • Blood-borne pathogen awareness

Popular Career Options

Being certified to perform CPR or first aid is not, by itself, a qualification for many careers, but it is relevant to jobs in several fields. Most positions in healthcare and mental healthcare require first aid and CPR certification, and certification is required for some educational jobs as well. CPR and first aid certification is often required for the careers listed below:

  • Emergency medical care technician
  • Nurse
  • Direct care mental health worker
  • Teacher
  • Sports coach
  • Lifeguard

Continuing Education Information

People in many professions must retain current CPR and first aid certification by retaking courses to ensure that they know the most up-to-date care methods. The topics covered in the recertification classes often change as CPR and first aid techniques evolve.

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