Online CPR Instructor Courses and Classes Overview

CPR instructor courses are available to students interested in obtaining the skills required to perform and teach CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). They are available in hybrid and on-campus formats.

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Online Courses for Aspiring CPR Instructors

Some of the more common courses leading to CPR instructor certification include:

  • Heartsaver First Aid Course: The Heartsaver first aid course is aimed at employees training at businesses, companies or other organizations or individuals responsible for responding to first aid emergencies as part of their job description. Students learn about the fundamentals of adult first aid and dealing with injuries and emergencies, whether medical or environmental. This course, typically an online course, is usually the first half of a 2-part sequence, with the second half involving a skills course with an AHA instructor.
  • Basic Life Support Course: BLS courses teach students CPR for adults, children and infants. Students also receive training on the use of automated external defibrillators. BLS training is commonly offered in a 2-part online and in-person format; the course results in certification.
  • HeartCode ACLS Part 1 Course: In this course, students work with situations in which ACLS (Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support) techniques must be used. Students will learn how to identify the symptoms of a patient suffering from cardiac arrest, create a plan using the ACLS strategy, and treat the patient.
  • BLS and CPR Instructor Course: The main portion of this online course is the AHA's core instructor curriculum. The core areas of study include instructor professionalism, classroom management, lesson planning, teaching methods and student evaluation. Aspiring CPR instructors learn to prepare for and handle AHA classes, answer student questions and assess how well students have learned the CPR techniques. After finishing the online core of this course, instructor trainees must usually attend an additional on-campus session, then complete their supervised teaching period. Successful candidates receive their certified CPR instructor card, which is valid for two years.
  • PEARS Instructor Course: This course prepares future PEARS instructors to train health care providers in pediatric emergency assessment, recognition and stabilization (PEARS). Topics include curriculum planning, demonstrations and student assessment techniques.
  • Debriefing Course: In this course, instructors learn to conduct a structured debriefing after students finish practice sessions. Emphasis is placed on using a directed debriefing approach.

Program Information

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends becoming certified in CPR and first aid before enrolling in CPR instructor courses; this initial certification can be earned partially online. Online CPR instructor courses are offered at many colleges and career-oriented technical schools. Students receive training in CPR, first aid, blood borne pathogens, AEDs (automated external defibrillators) and CPR for children and infants.

Students must often meet additional requirements in person, such as completion of instructor courses in basic life support (BLS), Heartsaver, advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) or pediatric advanced life support (PEARS). To become an AHA-certified CPR instructor, students must teach an AHA course while being monitored by an experienced instructor.

Individuals who want to instruct CPR courses can find relevant coursework online through the American Heart Association.

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