Is BLS the Same as CPR?

bls cpr certification online

BLS and CPR are common acronyms in the health and wellness industry that cause some confusion. Are they the same thing? What’s different about them? Both of these useful, life-saving techniques come in handy during emergencies. 

This guide uncovers the differences and similarities between BLS and CPR and discusses their uses for medical professionals and laypeople alike. A study published by the National Institutes of Health found that 1,700 lives could be saved by the use of external defibrillators. Whether you’re a healthcare professional or a bystander who wants to lend a helping hand, both CPR and BLS have many helpful aspects that could save a life. 

If you want to be a good Samaritan and be prepared for the direst situations, American CPR Care can help you take control of the emergencies you wish you could prevent. At the American CPR Care Association, we care about providing training for people from every background. That’s why our CPR/AED certification programs have flexible schedules that the student controls. We even offer a blended CPR learning option for those who wish to reap both online and hands-on training benefits. 

What Is CPR Certification? 

CPR is a life-saving procedure performed on people in cardiac arrest. Cardiac arrest means someone’s heart has stopped beating. Over the past century, medical professionals have honed and updated the best practices involved in this procedure that now comprise the CPR certification online curriculum. 

CPR uses chest compressions and breathing techniques to keep the heart beating and oxygen circulating throughout the body until emergency medical services arrive to administer more advanced measures. 

CPR increases the survival chances in people who experience cardiac arrest. Human tissue dies when it does not have an oxygen supply. Without oxygen supply, a cardiac arrest patient can experience severe brain damage even if they are eventually revived by an AED (adult external defibrillator). CPR also keeps the heart in a condition that responds better to defibrillation by providing circulation. 

CPR is designed for anyone who wants to be more prepared for emergencies and who wants to help in situations when no one else can. Some professions require CPR certifications, such as lifeguards and personal trainers. Most, if not all, healthcare professions require CPR certification as well. 

If you witness an emergency cardiac arrest and you are not CPR certified, you should still perform CPR chest compressions at 100-120 beats per minute. However, you should not try to perform rescue breathing. 

The following are the steps to hands-only CPR if you are not certified: immediately call 911 and begin chest compressions. If you are uncertain of the correct way to administer chest compressions, the 911 operator will assist you. After you dial 911, place the phone on speaker so you can immediately begin compressions and speak simultaneously. 

Unfortunately, most people who use hands-only CPR don’t apply enough pressure on their compressions to make a significant difference. That’s one reason why taking CPR courses helps save lives. When people have training on how much pressure to apply to their compressions, they are more likely to save lives. 

The three primary reasons people hesitate to perform CPR are

  1. The person doesn’t recognize the subject needs CPR. If a person is unconscious, breathing abnormally, or suspected of a drug overdose, you should administer CPR.
  2. Lack of training creates tentativeness in people who worry they might hurt the person in need. 
  3. Assisting family members can cause a wave of emotion that distracts one from administering CPR to the person in need. Calling 911 to talk to someone while performing CPR can have a calming effect that allows you to carry out the procedure. 

CPR/AED courses help people avoid obstacles that prevent people from administering CPR.  Public places also have an increasing number of AEDs, which increases the demand for people who can operate these devices. 

Why You Should Learn CPR 

Cardiac arrests are one of the most common causes of death in the United States, but they are not the only emergency that requires CPR. Some examples of other emergencies that require CPR are drug overdoses and drowning. CPR is also an appropriate alternative to back-slapping and the Heimlich maneuver if those approaches don’t work. Regardless of the type of emergency, understanding CPR brings about several potential benefits. 

  • CPR saves lives.
  • Anyone can learn CPR .
  • It Prevents brain damage.
  • It Improves your composure in emergencies.

What Is BLS?

Basic Life Support is a more advanced form of CPR/AED primarily reserved for health care professionals. Much like CPR/AED,  BLS providers understand how to respond to someone who is in cardiac arrest or respiratory distress by administering life-saving care until more advanced medical attention arrives.  

BLS typically refers to the type of care given by first responders and healthcare professionals. In addition to CPR and AED training, certified BLS responders receive more intensive training in the following areas:

  • Rapid Assessment and Visual Survey.
  • CPR/AED for Adults, Children and Infants.
  • Obstructed Airways.
  • Opioid Overdoses.
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, Communication and Teamwork.
  • The Emergency Medical Services System.
  • Legal Considerations.
  • Precautions.

BLS certification online courses go more in-depth with their teaching on CPR/AED since healthcare professionals will likely have to use the skills more often. For example, BLS classes teach team dynamics, more advanced ventilation techniques, and how to respond to choking cases for all ages. Because healthcare professionals will probably have to use their skills more often, BLS also educates students on the legal implications surrounding CPR/AED. 

BLS courses have more first-aid measures than standard CPR/AED certification online courses that focus entirely on CPR and AED. Additional first-aid procedures include first-aid protocols for wounds and burns, fractions, and poisonings. 

Which Certification Should I Get? BLS or CPR/AED

The answer to this question depends on your reasoning for getting certified. If you already have your CPR/AED certification, and you’re considering entering the medical field or considering going to nursing school, BLS may be the right certification for you. However, if you just want to feel more confident in emergencies, the standard CPR/AED certification should suffice. 

If you know your profession requires a CPR/AED certification, but they don’t specify which, it’s wise to ask your supervisor which you need to complete. Not having a clear designation for which certification you need to complete is a common problem, teachers, personal trainers, and lifeguards experience with their respective companies. 

If you’re in any healthcare field, including dentistry, BLS is the most appropriate certification. 

Getting Certified Online 

Whether you need your CPR/AED or BLS certification, there are easy ways to complete the courses online. These online methods allow you the convenience of controlling your schedule and completing the course at your preferred pace. 

Both BLS and CPR/AED certifications expire after two years, increasing the need for convenient renewal methods. With the American CPR Care Association, you don’t pay until you complete the course, and we also offer a lifetime membership that covers your renewals for good. Additionally, as soon as you complete the course, you gain access to proof of your certification or renewal. 

Get Your CPR/AED Certification Today 

If your employer requires you to get a CPR/AED certification, or yours has expired, get started on your American CPR Association certification today. Not only will you feel accomplished for taking care of your employer’s requirements, but you’ll also feel confident in your ability to potentially save a life in an emergency. 

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