The Importance of Basic Life Support Renewal Review

It’s a familiar scene in many movies or TV shows: Someone goes into cardiac arrest or collapses after choking. A doctor in the crowd comes forward and immediately begins to perform CPR. Most of the time, the outcome is uncertain depending on what the writer wants to happen. In reality, it’s essential for health care workers and other potential lay rescuers to know how to perform basic life support (BLS). BLS techniques are important skills that can help improve the survival rates for anyone who needs treatment.

What Is BLS?

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), there were 356,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in the United States over the past year. About 90% of these attacks were fatal. Meanwhile, the National Safety Council says choking remains a significant health risk in children and adults. Health care professionals and first responders who are members of an emergency response system, as well as other lay rescuers such as teachers or daycare providers, receive BLS training to help individuals who need basic life support assistance. BLS training is different from basic CPR training.

While it’s important to administer high-quality CPR, BLS training offers a more detailed overview of the important skills needed for basic life support than you’d receive in an introductory CPR course. Some of the skills taught in the BLS training course include how to:

  • Recognize and treat someone who’s in some type of cardiac trouble, including cardiac arrest, stroke, myocardial infarction and other symptoms of heart disease
  • Properly use an automated external defibrillator (AED)
  • Correctly treat adults, children or infants who are choking
  • Use teams for a multi-rescuer resuscitation
  • Give high-quality chest compressions
  • Perform CPR correctly
  • Observe and analyze a situation for safety
  • Work calmly and rationally in an emergency


Why It’s Important for Health Care Professionals to Take BLS Training Courses

Employment requirements for health care professionals often include BLS training. Even if they’ve already participated in a training course, a BLS certificate only lasts two years from the date it was issued. The AHA sets the standard, and anyone who receives a certification or recertification complies with the AHA guidelines. Many employers require BLS certification for a health care professional to work in a clinic or hospital setting, especially in emergency medicine.

Those who need BLS certification include:

  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • Medical assistants
  • Paramedics
  • EMTs

Other professions that frequently require BLS training include:

  • Dentists
  • Police officers
  • Firefighters

These courses help professionals obtain a level of knowledge and education that enables them to respond to an emergency where they may have to administer CPR, use an AED or help someone who’s choking. Emergencies can and will happen anywhere and at any time, so it’s vital for these community and health care workers to keep up to date on their BLS training.

The Benefits of Taking BLS Training Courses

CPR performed according to the most recent recommendations can considerably improve survival rates of individuals in cardiac arrest. According to studies, the recent completion of a BLS training course improved the positive attitudes of health care professionals in performing CPR and using an AED. Health care providers feel more confident in dealing with an emergency when they’ve received BLS training or renewed their BLS certificates. The course trains participants to maximize the use of basic life support techniques.

Some employers may not require BLS certification, but having it sets you apart from coworkers. Adding BLS certification to any resume is a positive, especially if you seek work as a teacher, in a daycare or at a retail outlet. It’s valuable to any employer to have someone on their staff they can turn to if a customer has an emergency  such as cardiac arrest. If you work in a health care profession that doesn’t require BLS training, but you have it, you improve your chances of promotion when a position that requires an individual with these critical skills opens up.

Renewing Your Certificate Online

Health care professionals are very busy people. It can be challenging to find the time to update or obtain certification. The COVID pandemic has pushed many doctors and nurses to the breaking point, and burnout is a common problem. Fortunately, technology has provided an answer. These days, BLS training courses are available online, making it much easier for doctors, nurses and other health care professionals to either obtain or renew their BLS certifications in a way that fits their hectic schedules.

Many locations also offer online CPR certification to assist health care workers in improving their CPR performance.

Online classes are especially useful for those who’ve already completed a BLS certification and know the basic skills needed. The online course allows them to learn about new techniques and AHA guidelines. The cost for these online courses also makes them attractive, and course materials can be obtained quickly — often by downloading to a computer.

BLS Programs Designed by Nurses for Nurses

While all health care professionals need to receive BLS training, nurses may need it the most. After all, nurses are frontline responders in hospitals or medical clinics and often must deal with patients in cardiac arrest or choking before a doctor can arrive.

Aceso Institute offers training and programs specifically designed for nurses by nurses in a variety of important skills. It provides an AHA-approved basic life support renewal course for health care professionals. Participants who successfully complete the course are eligible for AHA BLS certification. The course deals with current theory, a skills review, CPR practice, the use of automatic external defibrillators and how to care for a choking victim.

These review courses are available at our central Florida location. The cost is only $50 for BLS renewal, and new dates for the course will be announced soon, so keep an eye on our website so you can sign up as soon as times become available.