CPR Instructor Training Programs and Requirements
CPR instructors are generally volunteers, and are trained to teach adult, child and infant resuscitation techniques to students enrolled in CPR courses. Most CPR instructor training programs are offered by local chapters of the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross.
Training Requirements and Recommendations
CPR instructors must themselves be trained in performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and be prepared to teach at least one CPR class every two years. Both the American Heart Association and the American Red Cross offer CPR instructor certification, which allows volunteers to teach CPR courses in the community. There are no prerequisites to enter the training process for CPR instruction, other than an interest and willingness to volunteer to teach.
The two most common CPR instructor training providers, the American Heart Association and the American Red Cross, follow the same basic course structure. Students must complete a certified instructor training course and a hands-on CPR training course, then be monitored while conducting their first class.
Core Instructor Training
The initial CPR instructor training course may be taken in the classroom, online or through printed take-home materials. It requires a review of information on course planning, demonstrating CPR and first aid care skills, student grading and providing feedback. A test is required to complete the course.
CPR Training for Instructors
A practical, hands-on class, the CPR training for instructors module teaches adult and infant CPR and use of the Automated External Defibrillator. Graduates are prepared to identify a heart attack, perform rescue breathing techniques, and to handle choking incidents. Basic first aid for ailments such as broken bones, allergic reactions, burns and cuts is also part of the course.
Upon completion of the training courses, a certified instructor must supervise and monitor a new instructor's first course. Some programs also require that students observe a current instructor for up to two courses before independently teaching. Support is provided from the mentor until an instructor is comfortable teaching independently.
Licenses and Certifications
The American Heart Association and American Red Cross certify CPR instructors who have successfully complete the training program. CPR instructor certifications are valid for two years. As long as an instructor has maintained teaching activity, the certification is easily renewed. However, there may be a recertification fee.
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