Overview of Online Healthcare Provider CPR Certification Programs
While anyone can benefit from CPR certification, healthcare providers, in particular, must earn it in order to perform their jobs. This requires taking a CPR certification course that differs from courses offered to the general public. CPR certification programs for healthcare providers are typically known as Basic Life Support (BLS) or CPR/AED (automatic external defibrillator). They cover the same topics as common CPR programs, but they also go into more detail and explore more methods of treatment for emergency situations.
It is possible for healthcare providers to earn CPR certification at least partially online, if not completely. Some programs may require participants to complete part of the course online and part of it in person to gain the hands-on training that's necessary for the healthcare work environment. Many associations have locations across the country so participants can find a class in their area.
Online CPR Certification Requirements
There are no formal education or work requirements to earn healthcare provider CPR certification, but since the certification is designed for healthcare providers, that is who is most likely to take a course and become certified. Depending on the program, participants may learn CPR techniques online through informational texts, graphics, and simulation learning, and then complete hands-on skills training in person.
The course topics in CPR certification programs explore safe and effective methods of intervention and treatment in emergency situations that require CPR or other life support. They often cover how to apply these methods across all age groups, from infants to children and adults. Some courses may also cover in-hospital and out-of-hospital treatments.
Chain of Survival
The chain of survival is a concept used to illustrate the steps taken in an emergency situation; courses like this cover these from initial warning signs to aftercare. There are 5 stages that include:
- Recognition of the situation and activation of emergency care
- Early CPR
- Medical services, ranging from basic to advanced
- Life support and care after cardiac arrest has happened
Participants learn how to administer CPR in infants, children, and adults. This can include 1-rescuer, 2-rescuer, or multi-rescuer CPR in and out of hospital environments. They can learn how to position the patient, what vitals to check for, and approved methods of treatment, such as chest compression and rescue breaths.
Participants learn how to use an automatic external defibrillator when the situation calls for it, usually when a patient is experiencing cardiac arrest. They can learn how the machine works, the appropriate time to use it, and how to keep themselves and the patient safe while the machine is being used.
Those who have earned healthcare provider CPR certification must recertify every 2 years. This involves taking continuing education courses to learn the most up-to-date techniques and best practices. Continuing education can be completed online and proof of re-certification will be mailed to the recipient.
Online Healthcare Provider CPR Certification Program Information
Online CPR certification programs for healthcare providers are commonly offered through national associations, such as the American Heart Association (AHA) or the American Red Cross. Other online programs that are not affiliated with these associations may follow guidelines from them, or the material in these programs may be written by a physician who is approved by the associations. Most online CPR certification courses only last a couple of hours, but if in-person training or skills testing is required, then it can take longer.
Certification is usually granted upon successful completion of a course, which may involve passing an exam or demonstrating skills during an in-person component of the course. A certificate and a wallet card stating proof of certification are typically mailed to the recipient.
Healthcare providers can earn CPR certification through programs that are designed for their line of work. These programs can be done partially and fully online, with recertification being required every 2 years.