Basic Life Support (BLS) is a system of techniques and interventions that are used to recognize and treat cardiac arrest, stroke, and other selected medical emergencies. BLS teaches students:
All BLS classes deliver essentially the same information, but BLS for Healthcare Providers offers more detailed information, uses the “BLS for Healthcare Providers” textbook, and is the appropriate course for nurses, physicians, etc. At the completion of the class, students take a written exam and demonstrate their ability to perform the practical, hands-on skills (e.g., CPR, use of an AED) of BLS. If the student passes, he/she receives BLS certification; the certification is valid for two years. Traditional BLS courses are typically 4-5 hours long and consist of short lectures, demonstrations, and practicing hands-on skills.
However, on-line certification is also an option. On-line courses use the same content as traditional, classroom-based courses. They also provide practice exams, and the student can take the certification exam on-line, as well. After the on-line course has been completed and the student has passed the written exam, a certified BLS instructor in the student’s area can be contacted and the instructor will check the students’ ability to perform the practical, hands-on skills. The advantages of an on-line BLS course and certification include:
Regardless of the class format, BLS covers a lot of information. Passing the written exam and the skills exam requires a good amount of commitment and time, but most students do pass and once you have passed, recertification is always easier.