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How do I Choose the Best CPR Certification Classes?

By Harriette Halepis
Updated Feb 19, 2024
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Throughout the world, many different types of CPR certification classes exist. Selecting the course that is right for you is really a matter of personal preference. From online courses to working with an instructor in-person, the type of course that you choose should be comfortable, informative, and thorough.

Online CPR certification classes include certain benefits that many people may find appealing. Aside from the fact that an online course will allow you to learn about CPR from the comfort of your home, you'll also find that these courses are usually well-structured. Before selecting any online course, make sure that you look for the following three things.

First, any online course should include a complete and detailed course outline. Prior to enrolling in any online CPR certification classes, take a good look at the syllabus. Next, find out who will be teaching your course. Any online instructor should have credibility, and all instructors should be CPR certified. Finally, find out how long your CPR certification will last -- most online certificates are only valid for two years.

While there's no doubt that an online course is convenient, this type of course may not work for everyone. The main disadvantage to an online course is the lack of hands-on experience. While working with an instructor in-person will allow you to perform CPR on a CPR mannequin, this is not possible while taking an online course. Whether or not this fact will impact your learning is something that you should carefully consider.

If you intend to enroll in a regular CPR course, the aforementioned items also apply. In addition, find out when the CPR certification classes in question are held. Some courses are offered during the early morning, but most courses are offered during the evening hours. Those people who have complex schedules may not be able to attend every course, though all students must attend each course in order to gain certification.

CPR certification classes can be found by contacting your local fire department, hospital, or other emergency outfit. Frequently, retired or off-duty firefighters, nurses, and law enforcement officials teach CPR certification classes. In most instances, students must pay a minimal fee prior to enrollment, though this is not always the case. Make sure to ask about instructors, schedules, and course outlines before you enroll in any course. This way, you can determine what the best type of CPR class is for you.

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Discussion Comments
By gravois — On Nov 01, 2011

My wife is pregnant right now and she is due at the beginning of April. I am really excited, this is our first kid, but I am also really nervous. I am trying to prepare myself as much as possible for being a first time daddy.

I have been thinking that I should learn infant CPR. Is there a dedicated class for infant CPR or is this a part of all CPR courses? There is a place close to my house that offer Red Cross CPR certification classes. I am hoping that they can give me all the training I need in both cpr and probably first aid too. Wish me luck guys.

By summing — On Nov 01, 2011

Lots of people think that they should choose whatever CPR class is most convenient for their schedule. But trust me, it is worth it to find one that has a good CPR instructor and an in depth training in CPR.

I was in a situation once where someone who had been certified in CPR performed it incorrectly on someone who desperately needed it. They ended up doing more harm than good. The person lived, it wasn't a total tragedy, but it was a bad situation to say the least.

If this person had been to a better class maybe they would have performed it correctly. It could have saved a lot of trouble.

By SZapper — On Oct 31, 2011

@Monika - I don't think there's anything wrong with taking a CPR certification class online. As long as you know what you're supposed to do, you should be fine. As you said, practicing on a dummy doesn't even really adequately prepare you to do CPR on a live person.

I personally think everyone should get some kind of CPR training. CPR can save lives, and it's not very hard to do. If everyone knew how to do it, I think the world in general would be a much safer place.

By Monika — On Oct 30, 2011

I've taken a CPR certification class in person, and I can't imagine doing it online. As the article said, you get to practice on a dummy when you take a class in person.

Online, there's no way to practice! It's not safe to practice CPR on an actual person who doesn't need it, and I assume most people don't keep a CPR dummy laying around the house. I just don't see how you could adequately learn how to do CPR without practicing. In fact, I've had people tell me that even practicing on a dummy barely prepares you to do CPR on an actual person!

By sunnySkys — On Oct 29, 2011

I think the best type of CPR certification class depends on what you want to get certified for. I know that to enter training programs for certain medical professions (nursing, medical assisting) you have to take a certain type of class.

I believe a lot of programs in my area prefer certification through the American Red Cross. If you take your class through another organization, if won't count towards entry to your training program!

However, if you're just taking a certification class to learn, then it probably doesn't matter which organization you take your class through.

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