For many programs, obtaining a CPR certification satisfies one of the graduation requirements. In order to receive a certification, licensure or degree in most health career fields, a CPR certification is required. There are several steps in order to receive your CPR certification. We will walk you through the process and guide you along the way.
Step 1: Locate the Training
The first step in obtaining your CPR certification is to locate the training course. The American Red Cross is one of the most popular resources and offers training programs periodically throughout the year. For most students, the convenience of attending a training course at their school is helpful and preferred. Most community colleges and technical schools offer the CPR class. There are CPR courses available exclusively online, and some classes are offered in a blended format – both online and in-class coursework.
Step 2: Attend the Class
The next step in obtaining your CPR certification is to take the class. It will depend on which class is required for you to take. The most common CPR requirements include CPR for infants, children, adults and CPR for healthcare professionals. Some students attend several classes in order to become certified in all areas of CPR. Each class takes between one and four hours to complete, depending on the format. Students learn chest compression, breathing techniques, signs of choking and airway obstruction techniques. Videos, lectures and hands-on skills tests are required to be performed on mannequins.
Step 3: Pass the Test
Once the proper training is complete, students must become certified by qualified CPR technicians. Written and practical skills tests are administered and students are expected to pass in order to receive their certification. Certification cards are received in the mail approximately one month after the test is administered and passed. The standard certification is effective for two years. This leads us to the next step.
Step 4: Keep Up with Renewal
In order to keep your CPR technician card current, you must keep it renewed. Every two years the card expires and you must get re-certified. The American Red Cross recommends taking refresher courses every few months, especially if you work as a healthcare professional and have contact and interaction daily with patients. Refresher courses are offered periodically in various topics including chest compression, cardiac problem recognition, CPR and other areas. Brushing up on these topics can be helpful when your renewal date nears. You will not have to study as hard and will be able to pass the required test easily.
Most healthcare professions require CPR certification. Other careers that work directly with children or the elderly may also require CPR certification. The process to obtain a CPR card is not difficult but does require some study time outside of the classroom. Refresher courses are taught periodically which provide an advantage as renewal time nears. Having a CPR certification card that is current and up to date is looked upon favorably by most healthcare employers.