Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (better known as CPR) is a lifesaving manual technique that pumps oxygenated blood back into the body’s organs if someone’s heart or breathing has stopped. A variety of CPR training is available to community members, employees and healthcare providers. CPR training may last two to five hours or more, depending on the content and the target audience. During the training, students will learn how to recognize and respond to an emergency situation. There are different CPR techniques for adults and children, but with both you will learn how to determine whether the person is conscious before administering chest compression. During the training you’ll learn chest compression techniques for adults and different techniques for children between the ages of 1 and 8. Students learn how to properly administer chest compressions, when the technique is appropriate and when it is not, and how long you must perform rescue measures. Students also learn what an automatic external defibrillator (AED) is and how to use it if necessary to shock a patient before administering CPR chest compressions.
You can earn CPR training and receive first aid certification in a number of ways. Choose an online course to learn the materials remotely and then find a testing location to complete the certification process with an in-person demonstration of your knowledge and skills. Encourage your workplace to host a first aid and CPR training so employees can learn what to do in case of a workplace emergency and how to respond with lifesaving techniques. You may also be able to take a CPR or first aid class in your community. A basic CPR training may run four to five hours. After receiving CPR training, you’ll know how to respond if an adult or a child goes into cardiac arrest or stops breathing. You’ll learn how to use chest compressions to keep blood pumping to a person’s organs, which can keep them alive until an emergency responder can arrive. First aid and CPR training can also include education about how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED).
With first aid training, you may be able to help save a life. First aid training can teach people who are not medical professionals how to help a sick or injured person in crisis before an ambulance arrives on the scene. Most commonly, first aid training helps teach you how to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and use automated external defibrillators (AEDs).
First aid training can teach you how to respond in a variety of emergency situations, including:
- Asthma attack
- Diabetic emergencies
- External bleeding
- Heart attack
- Neck, head or back injury
First aid training classes may be offered by professionals who are affiliated with the Red Cross, which offers online, in-person, and blended training classes. First aid classes are also often offered through local recreation centers, city services, schools, hospitals and private companies.
First aid training gives you a variety of lifesaving skills for responding to many different emergency situations. In a first aid course you’ll learn about how to examine someone who’s been hurt, how to use a defibrillator, how to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and how to control bleeding and trauma. Some courses include pediatric first aid as well as adult first aid; helping a choking infant, for example, is different from helping a choking adult. Although you can take CPR and automated external defibrillator (AED) courses separately, most first aid training includes both.
In a first aid course you’ll also learn how to respond to:
- Wounds, including punctures, cuts and hemorrhages
- Heart attacks, chest pain and respiratory arrest
- Bone fractures, sprains and torn muscles
- First-, second- and third-degree burns
- Bites and stings
- Hypothermia or frostbite
- Shock and seizures
In general, CPR training sessions and certifications are good for two years. After that, you must recertify to ensure you are up to date on the latest information and techniques. CPR is a lifesaving skill for a community member, employee or healthcare provider to know, as it enables you to respond appropriately if someone goes into cardiac arrest or stops breathing. In a CPR training, students learn compression techniques to keep blood flowing to the body’s organs if a person’s heart has suddenly stopped or they have stopped breathing. This action can keep a person alive until an emergency responder can arrive on the scene and can effectively save a life.
The American Red Cross explains that re-certification is important, because people start to forget information just a few months after taking a training. The American Red Cross recommends you keep your skills fresh by reviewing free, online materials or downloading their free, mobile app to keep abreast of CPR information and news. Re-certification courses are shorter than first-time CPR training. Your renewed CPR certification will be good for another two years.
First aid and CPR trainings are available to individuals who want to learn how to respond in case of an emergency and for healthcare providers who need to renew their certification. Typically, CPR certifications are current for two years. Here are some examples of average CPR and first aid training costs:
- Open enrollment training: $45 for an in-person American Heart Association Basic Life Support Healthcare Provider CPR Training and Certification.
- Additional $15 for online or hard copy student manual.
- Online trainings: $45 for the American Safety and Health Institute Blended First Aid training.
- The student will still be required to meet a CPR trainer in person to receive their final certification.
- Worksite trainings:
- $35: per employee for basic ASHI CPR AED training course (focus on CPR, 2-hour course).
- $280: Minimum fee for an instructor to appear (at least 8 students or minimum fee).
- $45: Per employee for an ASHI First Aid CPR AED training course (includes response strategies for most emergencies, 4-hour course).
- $360: Minimum fee for an instructor to appear (at least 8 students or minimum fee).
- Class extensions: Pricing varies depending on the additional emergency training requested. For example, for the ASHI First Aid AED CPR training course cited above, the host company might charge an additional:
- $5: Per student for infant CPR training.
- $15: Per student for oxygen administration training (add 30 minutes).
- $15: Per student for bloodborne pathogen training (add 30 minutes).
- Materials: CPR and first aid training courses may have additional fees for hard copies of manuals. Example of additional materials costs:
- $10: Per hard copy of class manual (otherwise available online) for First Aid AED CPR group trainings.
To get your first aid certificate, you must take a first aid training course designed for certification. Certified training professionals offer courses to employers, schools or other groups. For an in-person training, you may go to a training location such as a Red Cross classroom, or a professional first aid and CPR trainer can come to you or your office. Most first aid training courses take three to five hours or more, which prepares you to take the first aid certification test. To boost your chances, you can take online practice tests or review study guides. Once you pass the first aid exam, an official digital certificate is emailed to you. You can also have a wallet card or printed certificate sent to you.
People with a first aid certificate are trained to respond quickly and appropriately in life-threatening situations. Although a first aid certificate alone isn’t enough to secure a job, it can make you more attractive to certain types of potential employers. When you have a first aid certificate, you’ve proved that you know how to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), use an automated external defibrillator (AED), and handle emergency situations like choking, heavy bleeding, a heart attack or stroke, or anaphylaxis. Most parents prefer babysitters and lifeguards with first aid certification. Many professionals, especially those who work with children, are required to have first aid training, including teachers, coaches, counselors and therapists, firefighters, and social workers. In addition to adult and pediatric first aid plus CPR and AED courses, you can take first aid training specifically designed for babysitting and child care, for health care settings, and for swimming and water safety situations..
First aid training courses vary in cost depending on what’s included, from basic first aid to cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to pediatric CPR, as well as the length of the class and who’s offering them. The national average cost for an in-person CPR and first aid class is $50-$75 per person. An informational CPR training costs less than one that leads to first aid training certification. For example, a two-hour course that trains you to administer CPR and use an automated external defibrillator (AED) costs an average of $35 per person; an employer may book the same class for a group of at least eight students for an average of $280. A four-hour CRP and AED training costs an average of $45 per person and $360 for at least eight people. Some companies offer add-on training to their CPR and AED classes, such as $5 per student to learn infant CPR, $15 each for oxygen administration training, and $15 each for bloodborne pathogen training. A first aid certificate is valid for two years.