Easy Ways to Earn Your Basic Life Support (BLS) Certification
BLS, also known as Basic Life Support, is an important qualification for healthcare professionals that equips them with the necessary skills to respond to life threatening situations outside of the hospital. How to get BLS Certification will depend on the method you chose, but like any skill-based program, certification will take a few hours of your time and can cost less than $50. While earning a BLS Certification is usually a prerequisite for medical professions, anyone can (and should!) get trained in BLS.
By obtaining BLS Certification, healthcare professionals can broaden their career opportunities and increase their chances of promotions and advancements. Not only does BLS Certification equip individuals with valuable lifesaving skills, but it gives people confidence in their abilities. Building confidence in these skills will increase the likelihood of people stepping in to provide optimal care in critical situations like Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA), instances of choking or drowning, and others.
Regardless of your profession, part of being a responsible citizen, family member, or care taker means being confident in your ability to step in should you witness a life-threatening emergency. BLS Certification will prepare you to respond to cardiac emergencies, excessive bleeding, airway obstruction, and more.
What does a BLS Certification Course Include?
People who gain BLS Certification will learn a comprehensive set of medical skills to help empower them to respond to life-threatening emergencies. BLS skills emphasize monitoring the victim’s vital signs and working to keep the patient alive to avoid brain damage and death.
BLS Certification courses cover the following topics:
- High Quality CPR for Adults, Children, and Infants
- Single and multi-rescuer resuscitation
- Automated External Defibrillator (AED) training
- Emergency oxygen administration
- The Chain of Survival for cardiac emergencies
- Bleeding control
- Ventilation with a bag valve mask
- Relief of choking
- First aid for shock, burns, poisoning, and broken bones
- Scene safety and situational awareness
- Emergency medical services system overview
How to Get BLS Certification Online
Getting a BLS Certification through an online course is a convenient, accessible, and affordable option for healthcare professionals and non-industry people alike. Here’s a quick overview of how to get BLS Certification:
1. Select a Reputable Provider
When choosing a provider, make sure that they are accredited by a reputable organization, like the American Heart Association (AHA) or the American Red Cross. Here are a few providers that offer convenient training options and resources to help you locate nearby testing centers:
2. Register For the Course
Once you select a provider who offers courses that are within your budget and meet your learning requirements, you’re ready to register! BLS Certification providers have made this process simple, so you’ll simply fill out the necessary registration information (including personal details and a payment method) and then receive the materials you need to complete the certification through your email. Some providers may offer options for individual or group enrollment.
3. Complete the Training Modules
If you register for a fully online BLS course, the materials and modules you need will become available to you either immediately or within about 24 hours of registration. The training modules typically consist of video lectures, interactive demonstrations, and downloadable study materials. Follow the curriculum, which covers essential topics like CPR techniques, AED usage, and choking management. Take your time to understand the content thoroughly!
4. Pass the Certification Exam
Every BLS Certification process has a closing exam to assess what you have learned and make sure you can demonstrate your knowledge. In order to earn your BLS Certification, you must pass the exam which will typically have a set time limit to complete.
Who Needs BLS Certification?
Like CPR certification or other basic, skills based medical courses, anyone can get certified in Basic Life Support. There are a number of professions required to be BLS-Certified, such as:
- Healthcare Providers
- Athletic Coaches
- Daycare Professionals
- Police Officers
- Nursing and Medical Students
- Paramedics/EMS Professionals
If you work in a facility where you are responsible for the safety of children (i.e. a daycare or school) or your profession involves ensuring the safety of the general public (i.e. law enforcement or nursing), you are almost certainly required to hold a BLS Certification.
Conclusion & FAQ
We hope this article has helped show you the value of BLS training and how it really is a convenient, affordable, and accessible set of skills anyone can (and should!) learn. Getting BLS certified demonstrates a commitment to patient care and safety, and will equip you to be proactive bystanders should you witness life threatening medical emergencies that require immediate critical care.
The value of having skills in Basic Life Support goes beyond just advancing a career in medicine or public safety. BLS Certification empowers both the individuals who complete the training, the patients they serve, and the community at large.
What is the difference between CPR and BLS?
Basic Life Support (BLS) Training includes cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) instruction, but it doesn’t just stop there! CPR Certification teaches students to deliver effective chest compressions whereas BLS Certification is a more comprehensive course that covers CPR, the chain of survival, AED use, treatment for burns and broken bones, and emergency oxygen administration among other topics.
Read the full breakdown of CPR vs. BLS.
How much does BLS training cost?
BLS training is affordable, and certification classes can cost as little as $44 or up to $120 if you’re opting for a fully online option. If your job requires you to have a BLS certificate, it may also be worth checking with your supervisor to see if your employer will cover the cost of the certification process.
How long does it take to get BLS certified?
A few hours.
Depending on the type of course you’ve chosen to take–fully in person, online, or a combination of the two–an initial BLS certification class can take under 3 hours. Certification cards are often delivered online but can also take a couple of days to arrive in the mail if you’ve opted to receive the physical certificate.
How long does BLS certification last?
Once you complete BLS Certification, the provider will issue you a certification card, which is valid for 2 years. The 2 year window ensures that if health guidelines are updated, the BLS training will be reflective of those changes to better support patient health.
How often do I need to renew my BLS Certification?
Your BLS Certification will likely expire after 2 years. To avoid having to retake the initial certification class, be sure to renew your BLS certification either before it is set to expire or within 30 days of expiration. Sometimes if you wait too long, the provider will insist you retake the initial course which is more comprehensive than the refresher or re-test option.
Can I get BLS Certification online?
Because BLS Certification relies on teaching and testing lifesaving skills that help monitor a patient’s vital signs to stave off brain damage and death, most certification programs require at least a portion of the process to be completed in person.
However, there are many convenient locations throughout the country where you can obtain this in-person training. Here is an online BLS-Certification option.