As the owner of a CPR Training Company, I am acutely aware of the impact that the growing field of eLearning CPR Training options. I have several concerns about how “complete” this training is assumed to be.
One very common option is the AHA Online training courses. These are available to Healthcare Providers for recertification, and to the lay-public for certification in CPR, AED and First Aid courses. The premise is that the student takes an online, video-based course with a test following. They then take their certificate of completion to a Training Center and get a Skills Session in order to have 1-on-1 time with an Instructor to test their practical skills.
I have seen this work both ways. It is a great option for the busy Nurse or Doctor to recertify in BLS. These students have typically taken several CPR classes in the past and have a strong background. Their skills are generally excellent and, provided they can find a skills session, this is the most flexible option-working well around the unusual schedules often kept by medical professionals.
For the Layperson, however, the eLearning craze has led to confusion. Many people do not know exactly what course they need. And so may waste money and time where they don’t need to. Also, a layperson is not likely to have a background in CPR and once I see them for a Skills Session-their skills are, generally, awful. My instructors have reported that they spend just as much time correcting skills on the layperson in a skills session, as they would have during a regular class.
The eLearning is touted as providing a quick way to spread the word of CPR. But, for the layperson, I am holding my breath.
A computer program, no matter how good, cannot replace the Human Element of Instruction. Our Instructors are very adept at analyzing a student during class. We are keenly aware of what topics need to be reviewed and what skills need refining. A computer program can never give this type of feedback.
Even the Wii CPR Program, in development by Alabama University and funded, in part, by the American Heart Association, is severely limited. While I watched the video report on this new software, I noticed that EACH person doing compressions had very Poor Posture and Positioning. All items which, if uncorrected can lead to strain and poor CPR from the rescuer. This leads to poor CPR for the victim. If these people were in a standard CPR class-they would have feedback. Feedback which a Wii, no matter how cool, will never replicate. You can see the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybNzchfuPww