What certification do I need?

One of the more frequently asked questions we get at CPR2U is students who are unsure what certification card they need, and therefore which class to take. Here’s a basic breakdown; if you still have questions feel free to call us at (520) 400-8204 or email info@cpr2u.com!

If you provide direct patient care

If you are in a job where you provide care directly to patients, you will almost certainly need the Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers certification class. Those jobs often include EMT or Paramedic, RN or LPN, CNA or PCT, MD/PA/NP, Respiratory Therapist, and many others. This group of providers is often referred to as the “Healthcare Provider” (or sometimes the “Healthcare Professional” or “Professional Rescuer”). Other jobs where this course might be required includes Lifeguards and Medical Assistants; in this case, check with your employer or certification agency to make sure you are in the right course.

This class, sometimes abbreviated as “BLS” or “BLS HCP” covers CPR, AED use, and rescue breathing (including how to use a bag-valve-mask device) for adults, children, and infants, both as a single rescuer and as part of a team, and also covers the relief of severe choking (a.k.a. the Heimlich maneuver) for adults, children, and infants. CPR2U offers BLS for Healthcare Providers courses multiple times weekly, with exceptions for holiday weeks. This course takes about 3 hours to complete, and a written exam is required at the end of the course.

If you have a job requirement for CPR, but no direct patient care responsibilities

There are a lot of people who are asked by their employer to have CPR certification, or who choose to do so in order to be part of their employer’s on-site emergency response unit (or, for their own personal reasons!), but are not patient care providers. This would include front-office staff, secretaries or receptionists, plant or floor supervisory staff, and others. If you do not have a job responsibility to take care of patients in a healthcare setting, you can (usually) take the Heartsaver CPR AED course instead. This course takes about 2 hours to complete. CPR2U does not require the written exam for this course (which is optional, per the AHA); if your employer requires a written exam to be completed, contact us at (520) 400-8204 for clarification.

If you fall into this category, and also need or want to take First Aid, CPR2U offers combination Heartsaver CPR AED First Aid courses periodically throughout the year. This combination course takes about 5 hours total to complete. As with the CPR AED course, CPR2U does not require the written exam for this course.

What if I’m not sure?

If you have any doubts or questions about which course to take, take the BLS course instead of Heartsaver. It is more in-depth, and covers all of the topics in Heartsaver CPR AED and several more as well.

Advanced certifications

Most of the time, if you are required to have one of the advanced certifications (Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support or ACLS; or, Pediatric Advanced Life Support or PALS), your employer will advise you of the requirement to obtain or maintain this certification. The most frequently asked question we see about these certifications occurs when students need to obtain their initial provider certification for one or both of these courses, so here is the difference:

If you do not now have ACLS or PALS, you must first take either the ACLS New Provider course, or the PALS New Provider course, for whichever discipline you need. CPR2U offers these courses periodically; check the course page links for upcoming class dates.

If you do have ACLS or PALS, or if your certification expired but it was less than about 2 years ago, you can take the ACLS Provider Update course (commonly just referred to as ACLS) or the PALS Provider Update course (commonly just referred to as PALS). If your certification expired more than a couple of years ago, call our main number (520) 400-8204 for clarification on whether you will need to re-take the New Provider course, or can take the ACLS or PALS provider update instead. CPR2U offers ACLS provider update courses weekly (with occasional exceptions for holiday weeks), and offers PALS provider updates monthly; see the course page links for upcoming class dates.

The difference between the New Provider and Provider Update courses are significant, and the New Provider courses take approximately 10-12.5 hours to complete; the Provider Update courses generally run much shorter, and only cover updates from the last revision, and a refresher on the appropriate surveys and algorithms. Both the ACLS and PALS update courses run about 5 hours. All ACLS and PALS courses, New and Update, require a megacode station and written exam for each student.

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