New AHA BLS Online and what it means for you.

Blended Learning (part online and part in-person) is a convenient option for the busy student and professional.   This program has been particularly enjoyed by Healthcare Providers.  However, if you are a student looking for a BLS course offered by the American Heart Association (AHA), you will have noticed some changes recently.  This post will explain the changes and aim to improve understanding.

On June 1, 2016, the AHA discontinued the “BLS for Healthcare Providers Online Part 1” course.  This course has been replaced by BLS HeartCode Online Part 1 This means that AHA Training Centers/Sites are now offering 2 different types of BLS Skills Sessions.  One, “BLS for Healthcare Providers Skills Session” is for students who completed the associated Online Part 1 prior to June 1, 2016.  Two, “BLS HeartCode Skills Session” is for students who complete the BLS HeartCode Online Part 1.

What are the differences?  Why should it matter?

The original course, “BLS for Healthcare Providers Online Part 1” had a relatively short Skills Session.  This session consisted of practice, Q&A, and hands-on testing.  Some students with extensive Healthcare experience could complete this in about 30 minutes.  Feedback varied.  Many students enjoyed the quick option, some did not.  Administrators noticed a decline in efficacy.  Skills Sessions could be offered for a relatively low-cost to both student and Training Center/Site.

The new course, “BLS HeartCode Online Part 1” by contrast, has a longer Skills Session.  This Session will involve video segments, Team Dynamics exercises and more elaborate hands-on testing.  This session will last about 2 hours.  This new session represents a significant cost increase to Training Centers/Sites and thus, will increase the cost for students.  This cost increase is the result of higher materials cost and the nessecity to pay an instructor for signifigantly more time (a 300% increase in instructor time per session!)

So, why would anyone bother with the new BLS HeartCode Online/Skills?  One, CE credits (up to 1.75 hours) are now available for successful completion.  Two, the new Classroom course, BLS Provider, is about 4 hours long, so time with an instructor is less as part of the course is done on the student’s own time.

Safety Education Specialists offers both BLS HeartCode and, until August 1, 2016, BLS Healthcare Provider Skills Sessions.  Click here to access our schedule.  SES Skills Session Schedule

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New First Aid guidelines from the AHA for 2015

Happy Guidelines Update!

For the last 15 years, the AHA has updated the Basic First Aid Guidelines based on research and feedback from students and instructors, every 5 years.  This year, 2015, is the latest update.  What does this mean for you, the First Aid provider/student?  (Keep in mind, these changes will not be reflected in classes until 2016 when instructors receive the new materials and your current certification/training will remain valid for the entire 2 year term).

Here is a quick overview of some of the changes for the Basic First Aid student:

  1.  When calling for help, you can use the Speaker function on your cellphone.  This makes the response quicker as you do not have to leave the victim’s side to get help.  While you are on the phone with 9-1-1, have a bystander go and get the First Aid kit.
  2. Taking a course is helpful.  It has been shown through research that attending a First Aid class leads to a more positive outcome for the victim and a more confident First Aid provider.  (Nothing beats talking with a good instructor and being able to practice skills).
  3. The HAINES position is back.  On some victims, we will now teach you how to lay someone on their side to increase comfort and decrease further injury.
  4. Hemostatic dressings (like a clotting bandage), will now be discussed.  This will complement the tourniquet nicely.  If you don’t know what either of these things are, perhaps you should sign up for a class.
  5. Guidelines will be discussed for recognizing and treating concussion.
  6. Stroke identification will become more specific – this will help you, the rescuer, identify a stroke definitively.
  7. EPI pen criteria will include how to use an EPI pen that has 2 doses.

As instructors receive our new teaching materials, further refinements will no doubt be made, but, in the meantime, students, relax.  The changes are empowering to the rescuer! Instead, these refinements signal the start of a new era in training where refinements and not massive changes will be used to continually improve first aid efficacy.

See you in your next Basic First Aid class.   Go to our website where you can sign-up for your next class or Skills Session.

(See our other blog posts on Lay-Rescuer/Heartsaver CPR and BLS for Healthcare Providers)

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What’s new in CPR? A quick overview of the 2015 AHA Guideline change for BLS Healthcare Providers

Happy Guidelines Update!

For the last 15 years, the AHA has updated the CPR Guidelines based on research and feedback from students and instructors, every 5 years.  This year, 2015, is the latest update.  What does this mean for you, the CPR provider/student?  (Keep in mind, these changes will not be reflected in classes until 2016 when instructors receive the new materials and your current certification/training will remain valid for the entire 2 year term).

Here is a quick overview of some of the changes for the BLS for Healthcare Providers:

  1.  When calling for help, you can use the Speaker function on your cellphone.  This makes the response quicker as you do not have to leave the victim’s side to get help.  While you are on the phone with 9-1-1, have a bystander go and get the AED.
  2. When assessing your patient, you may check both pulse and breathing simultaneously.  My nurses should be very happy with this update – for years you have been multi-tasking and, with your next class, you officially can!  I like this change because it has been very difficult to train the multitask out of my nurses.
  3. The depth of compressions for the adult patient has been narrowed to at least 2″, but no more than 2.5.”  While pushing deeper has not been shown to cause harm, it is exhausting for the rescuer.
  4. While pushing, make sure you keep in contact with the chest, but be careful to Not Lean!  (This really isn’t a change, more of a refinement of the language instructors will use to emphasis chest recoil).
  5. Your rate has also been refined.  Instead of “at least 100 compressions per minute,” it is now “between 100 and 120 compressions per minute.”  If you have been in one of our classes, you will recognize this range.  Ever since we read several studies that highlighted the efficacy of the 120 cpm, our instructors have been using that speed.  So, our students – you have already done this.
  6. If you see a lay-person giving Hands-Only CPR (compressions without breaths), please take over and, using appropriate PPE, begin CPR with breaths.
  7. We will now address how the pregnant victim differs from the non-pregnant victim.  Hospitals will be encouraged to create prenatal and perinatal CPR teams that are specially trained to handle these special emergencies.
  8. It looks like a distinction may be made between child, adult and adolescent.  I’m pleased to see that the AHA is recognizing the special needs of different age groups.
  9. The AHA has acknowledged that the 2-year training cycle is too long.  This may mean that, in future, you will need to re-certify annually.  We have not been told anything definite one way or the other, but, brace yourself, you may need to re-certify annually.
  10. The AHA has also released an AHA in-service online course.  This course is designed for the Healthcare Provider who is in-between certification years on the new guidelines.  The cost is nominal, so I do suggest taking the time.  Here is a link:  www.onlineaha.org

As instructors receive our new teaching materials, further refinements will no doubt be made, but, in the meantime, students, relax.  The changes are not earth-shattering.  Instead, these refinements signal the start of a new era in training where refinements and not massive changes will be used to continually improve CPR efficacy.

See you in your next BLS for Healthcare Providers class.   Go to our website where you can sign-up for your next class or Skills Session.  If you need ACLS Skills, we offer those quarterly.

(See our other blog posts on Lay-Rescuer/Heartsaver CPR and First Aid)

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What’s new in CPR? A quick look at the 2015 AHA Guidelines for Lay-Rescuers (Heartsaver)

Happy Guidelines Update!

For the last 15 years, the AHA has updated the CPR Guidelines based on research and feedback from students and instructors, every 5 years.  This year, 2015, is the latest update.  What does this mean for you, the CPR provider/student?  (Keep in mind, these changes will not be reflected in classes until 2016 when instructors receive the new materials and your current certification/training will remain valid for the entire 2 year term).

Here is a quick overview of some of the changes for the Lay-Rescuer (Heartsaver):

  1.  When calling for help, you can use the Speaker function on your cellphone.  This makes the response quicker as you do not have to leave the victim’s side to get help.  While you are on the phone with 9-1-1, have a bystander go and get the AED.
  2. The depth of compressions for the adult patient has been narrowed to at least 2″, but no more than 2.5.”  While pushing deeper has not been shown to cause harm, it is exhausting for the rescuer.
  3. While pushing, make sure you keep in contact with the chest, but be careful to Not Lean!  (This really isn’t a change, more of a refinement of the language instructors will use to emphasis chest recoil).
  4. Your rate has also been refined.  Instead of “at least 100 compressions per minute,” it is now “between 100 and 120 compressions per minute.”  If you have been in one of our classes, you will recognize this range.  Ever since we read several studies that highlighted the efficacy of the 120 cpm, our instructors have been using that speed.  So, our students – you have already done this.
  5. If you see an un-trained person giving Hands-Only CPR (compressions without breaths), please take over and, using appropriate CPR barriers, begin CPR with breaths.  While Hands-Only CPR is ok when you do not have a mask/face shield, the victim really needs breaths for the best chance of survival.
  6. The AHA has acknowledged that the 2-year training cycle is too long.  This may mean that, in future, you will need to re-certify annually.  We have not been told anything definite one way or the other, but, brace yourself, you may need to re-certify annually.

As instructors receive our new teaching materials, further refinements will no doubt be made, but, in the meantime, students, relax.  The changes are not earth-shattering.  Instead, these refinements signal the start of a new era in training where refinements and not massive changes will be used to continually improve CPR efficacy.

See you in your next CPR class.   Here is a link to our website where you can sign-up for your next class or Skills Session.

(See our other blog posts on Heartsaver First Aid)

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CMS updates guidelines for CPR in Nursing Homes. Says a “no CPR” policy is not-allowed

According to an updated notice from CMS (Center for Medicaid Studies), nursing homes should not establish a “no CPR” policy.  “facilities must not implement policies that prevent full implementation of advance directives and do not promote person-centered care. ”  In addition, staff must obtain and maintain CPR certification.  Online training with Hands-on Skills may be used, but Online-only training is not acceptable.  This certification should be CPR for Healthcare Providers.

This update represents important steps in keeping up standards on care for elderly and infirm who are dependent upon care in a nursing home (either for short or long-term).   We sincerely hope that stories of nursing home staff delaying or not starting CPR and/or not calling 9-1-1 will cease and those patients who need our care most will finally receive it.

Safety Education Specialists offers the Skills Session portion of the CPR for Healthcare Providers training, both at our site and at yours.  Our schedule is posted here:  http://www.ses911.com/index.php/classes/skills-sessions

A link to the full notice from CMS is here:   http://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Provider-Enrollment-and-Certification/SurveyCertificationGenInfo/Downloads/Survey-and-Cert-Letter-14-01.pdf 

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Where is the CPR Manikin today?

The Safety Education Specialists’ team has noticed that our CPR manikin likes to escape from his bag.  I guess he want’s to have some fun too.  Let’s see where he is going…

The Safety Education Specialists CPR manikin is enjoying the first snow of 2015.

A photo posted by Safety Education Specialists (@sescpr) on

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Your Virginia teaching license now requires First Aid, CPR and AED training…now what?

Congratulations-you are a teacher (or soon to be), teacher with the State of Virginia, ready to take on the role of inspiration and intellectual GPS for thousands of students.  But, don’t get too excited.  As of July 1, 2013, all Virginia teachers must have First Aid, CPR and AED training.  As a parent, I am overjoyed that now the people who have responsibility for my children for several hours each day will have the training to save their lives.  I believe this is a change to the law long over due.

As a Virginia American Heart Association Training Site, I have received a lot of questions from teachers about this certification.  Do I have to take a class?  Is Online training OK?  Do I have to see an instructor?  Will the online class for $19.99 be OK?  I have reviewed the law, reviewed the Department of Education of Virginia’s website, and all the FAQ documents and statements.  Here are the answers all of my teachers have been looking for:

1)  Do I have to take a class?  Yes, you have to take some form of training, which the State of Virginia states “The certification or training program must be based on the current national evidence-based emergency cardiovascular care guidelines for cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the use of an automated external defibrillator, such as a program developed by the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross.”  (see source 1)  Virginia is basing it’s recognition of a suitable program on American Heart Association and/or American Red Cross standards.  This vital piece of the puzzle will come into play later.

2)  Is Online training ok?  Yes, and No.  Though the FAQ sent out by the Superintendent on June 7, 2013, states:  “Online training or certification that includes emergency first aid, CPR, and the use of AEDs that is based on the current national evidence-based emergency cardiovascular care guidelines for cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the use of an automated external defibrillator, such as a program developed by the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross, may be accepted to meet this requirement.” (See Source 2) This is a grey area, namely due to the use of the word “may.”  Remember that the law already states that it must meet American Heart Association or American Red Cross requirements.  Both of these programs offer Online based training.  However, taking only the course Online does not mean you are certified.

3)  Do I have to see an instructor?  Yes, you do.  This question may also be presented as-do I have to do hands-on training.  In order to meet American Heart Association and/or American Red Cross guidelines, you MUST take a hands-on component to all training.  Whether part of the course was completed Online or not, until you have training with an instructor, you are not issued a certification card.  But, let’s see what the superintendent has to say:  “No. The legislation does not specifically state that the license holder must have “hands on” training.”  (See Source 2)  But, in order to satisfy the “current national evidence-based emergency cardiovascular care guidelines” “such as a program developed by the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross” Certification is not earned until you complete the hands-on component.  Could you perhaps slip the Online Part 1 Completion Certificate past the authorities and have your training ‘recognized.’  Perhaps-but, on the bottom of your online print out, it says “This certificate does not constitute a successful completion of the full Heartsaver First Aid with CPR and AED Online course.  A skills practice and testing session, conducted by an American Heart Association Instructor is required in order to receive an American Heart Association Heartsaver First Aid CPR AED Course Completion Card.  Skills practice and testing must be completed within 60 days from the date below.”  (See Source 3)  Source 3 is a pdf of an actual Online Part 1 Completion Certificate (personal information blocked out to protect privacy).

Even beyond the American Heart Association and American Red Cross, OSHA does not recognize Online Only training as training.  OSHA requires that students have a hands-on component to secure the physical skill of performing CPR.  “Online training alone would not meet the requirements of these training standards. The word “train” is defined as “[t]o make proficient with special instruction and practice,” Webster’s II New Collegiate Dictionary, 1995, p. 1,169. These standards require training in physical skills, such as bandaging and CPR. The only way these physical skills can be learned is by actually practicing them. OSHA’s Best Practices Guide: Fundamentals of a Workplace First-Aid Program, 2006, p. 11, states that a first-aid training program should have trainees develop hands-on skills through the use of mannequins and partner practice.” (See Source 4)

4)  Will the online class for $19.99 be OK?  No.  The courses that you see offered online for a tiny amount of money are fraudulent.  Even though they may state that they are based on national American Heart Association Guidelines-the American Heart Association does not allow the use of their guidelines.  Take a look at this fraud warning issued by the American Heart Association:  

  • A number of websites claim to provide online training, including CPR training that is “AHA Compliant” even though the organizations are not American Heart Association-authorized training centers. These sites may claim to offer online training with no skills checks or instant electronic course cards available upon completion of the online training.

The American Heart Association does not approve training courses created by other organizations, does not allow its course completion cards to be given to students who do not complete the skills check portion of American Heart Association training, and there are no “AHA-compliant” training courses or “AHA-certified” professionals conducting training. An organization that has been approved to issue cards with the AHA logo upon successful completion of an AHA training course should display the “Authorized Training Center” logo to help you know they are authorized. You should check with your present or prospective employer about the course completion cards they will accept before paying anyone for training intended to gain or retain your training status.”  (See Source 5)

So, in summary, take an actual training course (classroom or online based), by an actual instructor.  Verify their credentials, ask questions.  Don’t waste your money on a cheap imitation.  Training the right way takes so little time and effort-why do people look for the short-cut?  You are charged with protecting the lives of children-doesn’t it make sense to not cut corners and do it the right way?

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Source 1:  http://www.doe.virginia.gov/teaching/licensure/

Source 2:  http://www.doe.virginia.gov/administrators/superintendents_memos/2013/156-13a.pdf

Source 3:  https://docs.google.com/a/ses911.com/document/d/108mt0rp6peX-TBc0nFPPWmxe2blGNuojjYPFBz15hi8/pub  

Source 4:  https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=INTERPRETATIONS&p_id=28541

Source 5:  http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/General/Fraud-Warning_UCM_451200_Article.jsp#

 

 

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