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First Aid vs. CPR vs. BLS Certification

Injuries are a prevalent cause of death. According to a report, 43.8% of the injuries occur due to road accidents. On the other hand, 33.2% occur at home, whereas 26.9% occur outside of the home. In such cases, the quick medical care that the patient receives plays an important role. It is also essential to understand that this care is not only crucial for people in accidents. It is equally necessary for those who suffer from sudden illnesses such as choking, heart attack, and many more. According to research, individuals with training to provide immediate care can prevent deaths (Jamaludin et al., 2018).



First Aid is the immediate intervention that any individual performs with almost no medical equipment. The person who provides first Aid can even be a bystander. In other words, First Aid is the set of immediate measures that provide quick emergency treatment. Effective First Aid can save lives and prevent further damage until the experts arrive on the scene. The importance of first Aid has helped to create several First Aid Certification programs (Jamaludin et al., 2018).


Procedure to Get First Aid Certification

Several organizations provide first aid training certificate courses. However, there are different variants within the class itself. An example of such a variant is First Aid for Severe Trauma (FAST). Regardless of the institute providing the training course, the procedure to get one remains the same. First Aid Certification helps you to get both the information and skills to help any person. This person can be an adult or even a child in an emergency. First, you have to register yourself at the institute where you wish to take the course. There are three types of First Aid Courses


  1. In-Person

During this type of class, you will learn by an instructor. The student gets a combination of lectures and hands-on skills classes. It is quite similar to the conventional classroom setting.

  1. Online

Online classes take place virtually. It gives you the freedom to self-pace the course. Online classes lack demonstration of proficiency in skills.

  1. Blended Learning

It is the most recent type of certification class. It gives the student freedom to learn at their own pace. Furthermore, it blends interactive instructions as well as in-person skill sessions.

Once the student attends all the classes successfully, an instructor will assess him. Upon successful assessment, the student can get their first aid training certificates ("First Aid Classes | Take a First Aid Class | Red Cross," 2020).



Sudden cardiac arrest is the reason behind 50% of cardiovascular deaths (Patil et al., 2015).  Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is a series of lifesaving actions that help in manually reviving the heart. The American Heart Association established a standard procedure for CPR in 1962. The CPR consists of the following interventions; airway, breathing, chest compression, and defibrillation (Abelsson & Nygårdh, 2019).


Procedure to get your CPR certification

Many of the CPR training sessions are compliant with the American Heart Association (AHA) and OSHA standards. The types of CPR training sessions also vary depending upon your profession. However, you must learn to perform CPR on adults, children as well as infants. First off, register any AHA or OSHA compliant CPR certification provider. You can get your CPR or BLS certification in two ways;


  1. In-Person

This lesson is very much similar to how you learn during a regular classroom. A teacher will provide you with the material. You will then have to demonstrate this theoretical material in usable form.

  1. Online

Online classes are generally short courses. It gives you the liberty to participate in class via your computer screen. This class lacks the essence of practicing out the act.

A student gets the certificate only when they complete their assessment by the instructor. The evaluation usually consists of a false emergency. The student has to demonstrate the skills. Failure of which will often result in the student retaking the class ("CPR Training | Train CPR with Red Cross | Red Cross," 2020).



BLS or Basic life support is another type of intervention method. It helps in decreasing the interval of cardiopulmonary resuscitation interval. Furthermore, it also improves the rate of discharge from the hospital. A healthy combination of both CPR and BLS will help decrease the mortality rate due to cardiac arrests (Roshana, 2012). Contrary to CPR, the steps for BLS are in series of CAB. It means that the compressions come first, then the airway, and then breathing ("Highlights of the 2010 America Heart Association Guidelines for CPR and ECC", 2010).


Procedure to Get BLS Certification

BLS training certificates include basic training sessions. Trainees can complete them within a few hours to a day. It depends on the extent of training needed. There are two ways to get your  BLS Certification.


  1. In-Person

In-person class is the most favorable type of session for those who are used to the conventional classroom setting. In-person sessions do not give you the liberty to decide the time and days of the training sessions. Also, these classes are usually set a specific date and time.

  1. Blended Learning

It is a unique type of classroom session. It combines both In-person and virtual classes. Students can attend a virtual theoretical class in his regard. He or she can then demonstrate the skills at the institute.

BLS Certification is given to the students once they complete the course.  ("BLS for Healthcare Providers | Red Cross," 2020).



  • First Aid is a broader term that teaches to assist a patient that is injured in any manner. It includes tending to a wound, choking, bone fractures, and many more. It helps in teaching a person how to assess a situation or injury. After the assessment can perform the necessary actions, these injuries may be as minor as bruises or cuts or as major as a bone fracture ("CPR & First Aid Certification | Minneapolis," 2015).
  • CPR and BLS, on the other hand, are limited to the cardiopulmonary system only.
  • In a glance, BLS and CPR may look the same. The difference between them is very subtle. The treatment and actions for both of these certificate courses are the same. A typical BLS Certification training is equal to health care provider CPR level training (Williams, 2018).



All of the above courses have an expiry date. The reason for this is that people tend to forget the practice with time. For this purpose, people usually have to attend recertification courses. Recertification courses help to refresh the students' memory. A recertification course is similar to a certification course, and the only difference being in the duration of the course. CPR and BLS  recertification courses are of less length than the regular certification course. A recertification course generally extends the certificate for two years ("CPR Renewal & Recertification | Red Cross," 2020).



The three courses of emergency level care are essential to learning for everyone. The institute that provides training play an important role. Red Cross, American Heart Association, and The American Health and Safety Institute are several institutes for training. There are many others, as well. However, ensure that those institutes are certified to conduct training. It is also vital that before registering for any course, you look for its requirement. If you are not related to health care services, then a basic CPR, First Aid, and AED will be sufficient.

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