Last night I was watching “How William Shatner Changed the World” and noted that one of the points was that computers and the internet are the bastions of all information. That is true. Even with CPR, the internet has emerged as a strong resource. You can search YouTube for videos on how to do CPR. You can find newspaper articles online from around the world that tell the stories of lives saved with early CPR and AED use. You can even find CPR training online.
This last one can be confusing. If you want CPR knowledge ‘just because’ sure, online certifications aren’t that bad and can be a cheap way to get information. However, if you need CPR training for your job-online training is a quagmire that you can easily become lost in-wasting time and money. Here is what you need to know:
1) Most employers/licensing agencies want the American Heart Association training. And yes, there is an Online option!
2) Go to the AHA Online Training website: www.onlineaha.org
3) Find the training you need. Heartsaver AED with First Aid? Basic Life Support (BLS) for Healthcare Providers?
4) Pay the AHA to take the Online course-commonly called “Online Part 1.”
****Now the hard part-getting your certification****
5) Visit the AHA ECC Class Connector: http://tinyurl.com/2dmthsl
6) Search for a “Skills Session” using your zipcode. This is most effective if you search for Scheduled Classes. Some AHA Training Centers/Sites do not offer Skills Sessions.
7) Once you find a Skills Session that works with your schedule-call the Training Center! This is important. You want to make sure that the session will happen (some centers will cancel classes for low-enrollment). You also want to get a sense for the people you will be dealing with. Are they friendly? Do they seem to know what a Skills Session is? Do you have to go through 4 people to get an answer?
8) Now-register for your Skills Session. The AHA Skills Session will cover Parts 2 & 3 of the AHA Online Training Program. Basically, this a review of the Skills, you demonstrating CPR skills and the instructor answering any questions you might have.
9) The Training Center/Site will send you an e-mail explaining payment. Yes, you have to pay for the Skills Session! This is not included in the price of Online Part 1!
10) Bring your Online Part 1 Certificate to the Skills Session and wow the instructor with your CPR skills. Done-you will receive your certification card and be on your way. You receive the same card as someone who sat in class for 6 hours-how easy was that!
Safety Education Specialists offers AHA Skills Sessions several times a week and on weekends in Ashburn, VA. Registering is easy-simply find a session that works with your schedule and follow the link! Here is a link to our Calendar: http://www.ses911.com/index.php/calendar
Some words of caution:
Beware of training companies who say they “use AHA Guidelines” or have “AHA Instructors.” This is NOT the same as being an Authorized AHA Training Center or Training Site. If in doubt, call the organization and ask if they are an Authorized AHA Training Center or Training Site. It is your money-spend it on training that will meet your needs.