Choosing the Right Certification Courses

Fact Checked

red-crossThese days, some jobs would require that you have a CPR certification. But with several certification courses being offered today, and by different institutions like the American Heart Association or American St Mark James, it’s understandable why some are frustrated and wary when it comes to choosing what CPR certification class to take. Taking into consideration the following questions will make your search easier.

Which kind of CPR certification do I need – the standard or healthcare provider one?

The kind of certification you need would depend on what profession you’re in. Most would just go for the standard CPR certification, which is also known as CPR for the layperson. This is usually recommended for babysitters, camp counselors, coaches, daycare employees, nursing home employees, personal trainers, school bus drivers and teachers.

Those in the healthcare profession are required to study take a more advanced CPR class. Healthcare provider CPR certifications are necessary for dentists and dental assistants, EMTs, firefighters, nurses and nursing assistants, respiratory therapists, paramedics, physical therapists, police officers and occupational therapists.

Should I get an AED certification too?

Check with your employer if it’s a requirement for you to have AED certification. Almost all CPR classes discuss AED or Automated External Defibrillator in passing and also give out materials on them.  Being certified on it will depend on your profession.

Do I need a CPR certification that focuses on infants and children?

As with AED, specializing on infants and child CPR would depend on either your job or your preference. Teachers, daycare workers and foster parents would need to get this certification. But parents can also decide to get this on their own so they’ll know what to do during emergencies.

Should I choose the American Heart Association or American St Mark James?

While there are numerous organizations where you can get CPR certified, the American St Mark James and the American Heart Association are two of the most popular. Ask your employer which of the two institutions are preferred.

The American Heart Association has two popular CPR courses, the Heartsaver CPR AED and Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers. The former teaches adult, infant and child CPR and AED while the latter is geared towards healthcare professionals.

On the other hand, the American St Mark James offers classes that are broken down into categories – adult, infant, child and AED. Infant and child CPR courses are taught as a single class and Adult CPR as another class. But classes where all three categories are taught together are also offered.

St Mark James healthcare provider course is known as “CPR for the Professional Rescuer”. However, some healthcare employers don’t accept certifications from this course so it’s best to coordinate with your employer. You should also double check what the classes will be covering before you sign up.

There are CPR classes being offered on the Internet which only cost around $20 or so. But most companies don’t accept certifications from online-only courses as CPR skills should be taught in a classroom set-up where the student can get hands-on practice.

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