CPR Adult Education Programs: An Overview

There are several options for students wanting to learn CPR for both professional and personal reasons. Learn about some common options available as adult education.

Program Information

Perhaps the easiest and most convenient method of learning CPR is to do so through a video course or a course offered online. You can even purchase a rescue dummy to practice with using the skills demonstrated in the videos or online, although this is no substitute for actual hands-on practice under the guidance of a trained instructor. Some of these courses are offered at no cost.

All professionals needing to receive CPR certification will need to take a course offered at a community center or health center or on the job-site - these courses will usually last a half day or full day, depending on whether all three types of CPR (infant, child, adult) are taught and whether first aid is also part of the curriculum. These courses are most often offered by the American Red Cross, although other health care agencies may also offer CPR instruction.

Rescue professionals will have had extensive CPR training as a part of their coursework at the trade school or college they attended, although they, too, will need to take refresher courses on a regular basis. More information is detailed below.

Programs At a Glance

Community First Aid and CPR

  • These programs are community run, lasting somewhere around 7.5 hours.
  • Learning is introductory level and must be taken in-person.

Healthcare Provider CPR

  • These 5-hour courses are designed at an introductory level.
  • Meant for healthcare providers, they must be taken in-person, though hybrid programs are available.

Heartsaver Pediatric First Aid CPR AED

  • These in-person learning opportunities are designed at an introductory level for childcare professionals.
  • Depending on the course, it lasts between 2 and 7.5 hours.

What is CPR?

CPR, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, is a type of first aid administered to victims who are not breathing or showing signs of circulation. CPR involves a combination of rescue breathing (mouth-to-mouth or mouth-to-nose resuscitation) and chest compression and can, if administered properly, restore oxygen and blood flow to the heart and brain.

Who Should Take CPR Classes?

It is recommended that every parent learn CPR, as childhood accidents and emergencies may result in impaired breathing and circulation. All certified childcare professionals are required by law to receive regular training in CPR, as are healthcare and rescue professionals. CPR is also recommended for anyone whose work conditions might prove hazardous, although many workplaces will offer such training to employees even if no particular hazards exist. Accidents and health emergencies can happen to anyone at any time, and the more people who know CPR, the more lives can be saved. Additionally, some programs may combined training in basic first aid, as well, training students to deal with blood loss, poisoning, allergic reactions, and more.

Community education programs and employer-provided training are available to train adults in CPR. Many are backed by the American Red Cross and provide comprehensive training to professionals and the public.

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