You’ve been informed that you need to acquire AED certification. However, it can be confusing as to which course it is you need to take. As a rule, the right choices are course offerings from the American Red Cross or the American Heart association. It’s also not unusual to find yourself frustrated- it can be confusing to choose the right AED/CPR certification for you.
Simply put, AEDs are life saving devices. Automated External Defibrillators make it possible for bystanders to respond to a medical emergency where defibrillation is required, such as: Sudden Cardiac Arrest.
Because most AEDs are portable, emit clear-voice prompts, and have legible and visual instructions, they can be used by anyone, regardless of age or experience. Delivering timely First Aid attendance and calling emergency services are vital in the survival of a person undergoing sudden cardiac arrest.
Time is of the essence in situations that involve cardiac arrest and using an AED is the ONLY effective intervention. Victims have no warning, and neither do their colleagues, teammates or loved ones. When Sudden Cardiac Arrest hits, the person collapses, becomes unconscious, does not have a pulse and stops breathing.
The only way to revive someone in Sudden Cardiac Arrest is by applying the AED pads to the victim’s chest and letting the AED analyze their heartbeat. If the heartbeat is found to be irregular, a shock may be advised. This shock is the ONLY WAY to return the heartbeat back to a normal rhythm.
Here are some questions you can pose to yourself to make sure you find and sign up for the right CPR class:
- Do I choose American Heart Association or the American Red Cross as my course provider?
- Does my AED Course need to include CPR certification as well?
- Does the AED certification course I take need to focus on infants and children in addition to adults?
- Do I need a standard AED/CPR course or one geared for a healthcare provider?
To help with your choice, it’s important to note that healthcare providers are almost always required to take a more advanced AED certification offering.
Some examples of these professions that need the healthcare provider level of certification include:
- Licensed vocational Nurse (LVN)
- Dentists and dental assistants
- Respiratory therapists
- Hospital technicians
- EMTs, Firefighters, and Paramedics
- Occupational and physical therapists
- Hospital and clinic technicians
Which organization should I select for my certification? American Red Cross or American Heart Association?
A number of organizations will offer AED certification across America, however the two most preferred are the American Red Cross (ARC) and the American Heart Association (AHA). It’s possible that employers or organizations will accept certification from other institutions including American Safety and Health Institute (ASHI), but it’s best to ask your employer who they accept as completed certification as it can differ.
It’s also possible to study these certifications in what’s referred to as “Blended Learning” teaching styles. A portion of the class is conducted through on-line studies, and then at your convenience you can make an appointment with an American Heart Association training site to test your AED and CPR skills in order to complete your certification. The on-line portion of the class is approximately 2 hours whereas the in-person skills test takes about one hour. This makes acquiring your certification in AED that much easier to get, allowing your own schedule and learning style to dictate when you complete the course. It needs to be stated that there are also non-accredited CPR or AED classes advertised for rock-bottom pricing. Avoid these at all costs! They are not certified through either the AHA or ARC and therefore most employers will not accept these on-line based courses. It’s essential to put what you learn on-line to practice in a real-time setting.
At USCPROnline, avail the quick, easy and affordable CPR/AED training and certification program, created by Board-Certified Physician and professional educators. The courses follow guidelines established by the American Heart Association, Red Cross, OSHA, and other leading medical associations in the United States.
Finally, likely you may never need to put your AED training to use, but in the event you are faced with a real-life cardiac event, you will be both confident and competent in your efforts to save a life!