WHAT IS BLS?

WHAT IS BLS

Many people ask this question so don’t feel ashamed for asking. As the saying goes, “the only dumb question is the one you never ask.”  BLS is an acronym for BASIC LIFE SUPPORT.  Basic life support covers CPR for adults, children and infants but it is a higher level of CPR. Where lay provider CPR covers the basic Cardio-pulmonary resuscitation using a face shield to give breaths, BLS is CPR but with the use of a BVM bag for administering breaths.  Another difference in CPR and BLS is in BLS you take both the pulse and check for breathing whereas in CPR you would only check for breathing. BLS is more of a professional certification for those that work in hospitals or medical facilities or dentist offices and such.  Paramedics are required to have BLS as well. In both CPR and BLS, the provider is expected to give High Quality compressions and avoid over ventilation. All resuscitation attempts from cardiac arrest rely primarily on the AED (Automatic External Defibrillator).  Without the resuscitation is futile. Once the AED detects a shockable rhythm in the victim, then a shock can be administered to stop the irregular heartbeat in hopes that the heart will ‘restart’ at a normal rhythm. Following the shock, HIGH QUALITY CPR is performed to keep oxygenated blood circulating in the body of the victim and continued until EMS or PARAMEDICS arrive who can utilize even higher levels of training such as ACLS which uses medication in conjunction with the AED and CPR.  That was a lot, I know, so the simple answer to the question is BLS is BASIC LIFE SUPPORT a higher level of CPR but a lower level than ACLS (ADVANCED CARDIAC LIFE SUPPORT).

HOW AND WHERE TO GET CERTIFIED IN BLS 

BLS can be offered in several ways. There are in-person classes which are referred to as standard classes, there are online classes in which the ENTIRE class is conducted online and you never see and instructor, there are blended classes, where you complete part online and meet with and instructor to complete the hands on portion then there are virtual/ blended BLS classes where part is completed online and part is completed with and instructor virtually referred to as RVS (Remote Virtual Sessions).  Fragile Heart CPR offers Virtual/Blended Bls Classes for several reasons which we will cover below.  As far as where to get certified in BLS, that depends on what style of class you wish to attend and how you learn best.  All of the types of classes listed will get you the same certification card as for a standard class, except for the ONLINE BLS CLASS. The class that is COMPLETELY ONLINE  is not accepted in hospitals nor by most employers and will have the words ONLINE  written on the card. Mostly all hospitals and facilities only accept the American Heart Association Basic Life Support Certification Card. Why? Because the AHA ( American Heart Association) is the leader in the industry, even though the American Red Cross was started first.  The American Heart Association sets the standard for the BLS and ACLS training and certification. Therefore, when searching for a BLS class, it’s best to make sure the company doesn’t say ‘accredited or endorsed by the AHA’ but is an actual AHA training center or training site.  The best and safest place to find these companies is on the American Heart Association Class Connector Website. AHA CLASS CONNECTOR.

PRO’S AND CON’S OF A VIRTUAL BLENDED BLS CLASS

It all boils down to time and convenience. Today you can get almost all kinds of services Virtually. Even Eye Doctors are examining eyes and prescribing eye glasses virtually.  And getting a Virtual/Blended BLS certification is just one more of the signs of the times.  To weigh it out fairly, let’s list the pro’s and the con’s of a virtual/blended BLS course thru Fragile Heart CPR.

PRO’S

  • Can get certified in BLS in a fraction of the time as opposed to a 3.5 hr standard BLS in- person class.
  • Bls Certification Cards are digital e-cards that can be issued immediately following the skills session right to your email. 
  • Class is conducted in the privacy and safety of your own home thru ZOOM. 
  • Class can be observed and participation monitored on any device.
  • Instructor is able to observe only you closely by highlighting you on the screen
  • Digital manuals can be shared on the screen
  • You are not sharing equipment with everyone in the class, the equipment is shipped to you  free thru priority mail.
  • Did I mention time and convenience? no need to miss a day at work to travel to a class or find a babysitter while you attend a class.
  • Part one (The theory portion) is included with the tuition, no need to pay an extra $32.50 to the AHA for the Heartcode course.
  • The instructor can personally remediate if necessary or compliment good work.
  • The exam is giving in a learning management system and you can take it as many times as you need to .
  • No need to wait for a week or two to attend a class or have a class cancel because attendance is low. 
  • Cost is competitively low when compared to the convenience.
  • You will receive the same certification card as for an in-person class directly from the American Heart Association

CON’S

NOT TOO MANY…

  • You don’t get to shake hands with the instructor or share germs with the other students.
  • You must pay the return shipping on the equipment which is $16.25
  • It’s different than the way it was before COVID and most people don’t like change.

Well, that’s about all that comes to mind in the way of Pro’s and Con’s. Is it different? Yes.  Is it a good change and a needed change? Yes. Since I started this page with an old saying, I will end with another one.  “Times are a CHANGING“.  Welcome to the illustrious age of automation in the 2o2o’s and beyond!