Importance Of A BLS Certification

How can you prepare for medical emergencies? Find out why BLS certification is essential in healthcare industries and beneficial for average citizens.

There are many medical emergencies that can occur in life. Citizens in your community may have accidents daily. Certain types of medical training can help you assist in those situations. If you are some type of first responder, such as an ambulance driver, that training is essential. It is also often required. However, such training can also help you in life, even if you are not in such a profession. For example, you might one day need to assist a loved one having a heart attack. Preparing for such possibilities is an excellent way to reduce the chances of tragedies occurring in your family or social circle.

A BLS course is the best option if you want to prepare for such eventualities. Medical facilities often require their staff members to complete several BLS courses. To determine which course or courses to take, you must learn about the various types of BLS courses available. Information on BLS course enrollment and certification is provided below.

What is a BLS Certificate?

The acronym “BLS” is typically understood to stand for “Basic Life Support.” Although, in a few regions healthcare professionals also refer to it as “Basic Life Saving” training. Basic life support techniques are techniques used to ensure patients' basic requirements for life are sustained during medical emergencies. For example, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a technique used to keep a patient's heart pumping during cardiac episodes like heart attacks.

A BLS certificate is received upon completion of a BLS course. Many organizations offer such courses. One of the most prominent is the American Heart Association. Another is the American Red Cross. Most healthcare professionals are required to pass certain BLS courses to initially obtain jobs in the healthcare industry. They are also often required to recertify on a regular basis. The same is typically true for law enforcement officers and safety officials, such as firefighters. Certain other professionals must also undergo basic BLS training, such as daycare workers and, in some cases, school staff members.

What Are the Benefits of Getting a BLS Certificate?

If you are a law enforcement or medical professional, the primary benefit of a BLS certificate is to make you more desirable to potential employers. Many medical and law enforcement facilities do not hire workers who do not have various types of BLS training. That training is essential for the victims or patients you encounter. You can treat them efficiently and quickly when you are trained well. Other possible benefits of BLS training include:

  • Ability to Deal with a Wide Range of Emergencies (Drownings, Auto Accidents, Choking Incidents Etc.)

  • General Boosted Confidence in Life

  • Potential Qualification for Various Jobs, Promotions, and Additional Training Courses

What Types of BLS Certifications Are Available?

There are several types of BLS certifications you can pursue. If you are pursuing certification for professional reasons, you must sign up for courses that meet workplace requirements. Often, institutions like hospitals require certification from reputable sources, such as the Red Cross. The course you take must also suit the field you are in and your existing level of training. Here are some examples:

  • Basic Life Support CPR Training is also called CPR Training for Healthcare Providers. It is the most basic level of BLS certification in the healthcare industry. Completing the basic course is required before healthcare professionals can pursue advanced BLS courses.

  • Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) is a specific type of BLS course designed to teach life support techniques for infants and children. Since infants and children have different anatomy, such as smaller organs and weaker bones, adapted techniques are required to care for them properly.

  • Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) teaches advanced techniques for cardiac patient care. Those techniques include the ability to read electrocardiograms (EKGs) and emergency pharmacology training.

  • Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) certification gives certificate holders the training necessary to try to save the lives of struggling newborn infants. The course includes training in respiratory therapy and administering medications. The course is typically taken by obstetricians and nurses who work in Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs).

  • Automated External Defibrillator (AED) training is a course that teaches medical professionals like emergency room staff and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) how to use defibrillation equipment, rather than solely relying on manual heart stimulation techniques.

How Do You Get a BLS Certification?

When you are ready to get a BLS certification, you must select a course. If taking the course is mandated by your workplace, check the workplace requirements. Make sure the course you select is acceptable according to those requirements. For example, your workplace may require you to take a BLS course offered through the Red Cross or another specific organization. If not, you can select any course you wish that meets basic requirements and fits your budget. 

You can locate BLS courses through your workplace. Many organizations also offer tools you can use to find local classes. One of those tools is the American Heart Association Class Connector. You can also use online search engines or local resources, such as newspapers to find courses in your area. 

After signing up for a course, review any information provided by the organization through which the course is offered. The organization may require you to pay a membership fee in addition to your course fee. You may also need to complete certain paperwork prior to attending your first class. Once all paperwork is in order, you must attend class at the required times. You may also need to pass a written exam to receive your BLS certificate.

How Much Does BLS Certification Cost?

BLS course types vary widely. The organizations offering the courses, types of courses, and course lengths all influence the costs. The style of course is also a consideration. Online courses are less expensive than those offered in person. However, they do not provide the firsthand training many medical and law enforcement facilities require. If your interest in a BLS course is non-professional, you can sign up for free local classes. As a medical or law enforcement professional, you can expect to pay between $25 and $100 per class for most BLS courses. Your workplace may also require you to repeat courses every two or three years.