When shopping for goods and services, you usually have a wide variety of options. That includes CPR, First Aid, and life support training. In these classes, you’re learning how to help sick and injured people — and even how to save their lives. So it’s important to choose your trainer thoughtfully.
For instance, when you learn how to use an AED, you’re actually training to send electricity to someone’s heart. That’s serious information! Other critical skills include giving effective chest compressions, knowing how to assess an injury, and staying safe when administering rescue breaths.
With the importance of this information in mind, what do you look for in a reputable trainer? Of course, we’d be happy to help if you’re ready to schedule a class. Or if you’re still shopping around, here are a few recommendations to guide your search.
Look for courses accredited by the American Heart Association (AHA)
Guided by panels of physicians and health researchers, the AHA is considered the foremost authority in life support training. AHA experts develop the course curriculum and experienced healthcare professionals teach the classes.
Check that your class offers official AHA certification
Don’t get fooled by companies that advertise with statements like this: “All classes meet AHA guidelines.” Frankly, any trainer can make this claim. The American Heart Association sets the rules for how to do CPR and nearly everyone teaches those rules. What’s important is to ensure your class counts for official AHA certification. And note, healthcare professionals must get their certification from the AHA only.
Look at the cost
A good quality CPR course costs between $65 and $100 per student. Classes that charge $20 per student are missing something. Usually it means the class is nothing more than a video or the instructors are not experienced healthcare educators. As they say, if something looks too good to be true, it probably is.
Make sure you get hands-on practice
CPR is a hands-on skill, so it’s no surprise that hands-on practice is a vital part of training. It helps you retain information and feel confident in what you’re learning. In fact, this is why the AHA only offers certification for courses that include hands-on practice. Some of those $20 classes mentioned above are entirely online, which means you don’t get a chance to perform the skills. Practicing CPR on a training manikin lets you get a feel for how it’s done. Plus, your instructor can give guidance and feedback as needed. Remember, you’re training to save a life. Shouldn’t your class leave you feeling confident in the ability to help someone if the time comes?
Take a look at how long the course lasts
Quality training takes time — again, you’re learning how to save a life. Your instructor’s job is to help you to absorb the content, then give enough time for hands-on practice. A CPR class should last no less than two hours. Some may take up to six hours depending on the type and level of course content.
Pay attention to the customer service you get in and out of the classroom
When you contact a company to train your group or get you registered for CPR training, note how they treat you. Instructors who care about their students treat them with respect and take the time to answer questions. Just like with any business, you can usually tell how much customer care you’ll get from a trainer after the first phone call or email.
Contact us — we’re happy to help
We hope these tips are helpful as you shop around for CPR courses. For further information, the American Heart Association provides a great FAQ resource. And if you have other questions about training or would like to learn more about CPR Plus and our 27-year history, please get in touch.