CPR and first aid cards are given after the applicant has completed approximately four hours of hands-on CPR or first aid training. Most of the CPR and first aid courses are taught by registered nurses and health care staff, following the guidelines of the American Red Cross and the American Heart Association. CPR and first aid certification cards are required by many school systems, state agencies, government agencies, child care workers, hospital staff, police officers, dentists, and therapists.
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The American Heart Association CPR course requires participants to attend three hours of CPR training. The course teaches the lifesaving skills needed for emergencies, including respiratory arrest, cardiac arrest, and choking. The participants learn how to clear the airway, rescue breathing, and chest compressions. After demonstrating the ability to perform CPR on an instructional dummy, the participant receives a certified CPR card, signed by the instructor. The CPR card is active for two years and then must be renewed. Many health and child care agencies require renewal every year.
CPR and AED Card
The CPR and automated external defibrillator (AED) card issued by the American Heart Association requires the applicant to complete four hours of CPR training and AED training. The course teaches all the CPR skills from the basic CPR course and AED use. The CPR and AED card is issued after hands-on CPR and AED practice, learning the parts of an AED, and a skills test given by the instructor. The CPR and AED card is effective for two years.
Basic Life Support Card
The basic life support card requires four hours of skills training. The certification course covers CPR, AED, rescue scenarios, mouth barrier devices, bag valve mask use, and a written examination. The certification card title is CPR and AED Plus. The card is effective for two years.
Paediatric First Aid Card
The paediatric first aid card is required by employers and public health agencies that work with children. The paediatric first aid course is four hours of first aid skills that can mean the difference of life and death in children. The course emphasises: safety and preventing injuries, controlling bleeding, applying bandages, poison and allergic reactions, shock, seizures, broken bones, and emergency medical contact information. The first aid card is issued after the participant demonstrates all aspect of first aid treatment.
Basic First Aid Card
The basic first aid card is a four-hour course that teaches lifesaving skills for both adults and children. The course includes the skills needed to recognise heart attacks, trouble breathing, diabetic reactions, sprains and broken bones, burns, choking, using an epinephrine pen for allergic reactions, bleeding, insect bites, and poisoning. The basic first aid card is given to participants who demonstrate the first aid skills to the instructor. The basic first aid card is effective for two years.
Beware Unacceptable CPR and First Aid Cards
Be certain of the regulations regarding first aid and CPR training when employers, state agencies, government agencies, or school systems require certification in CPR and First Aid. Courses following the guidelines of the American Heart Association or American Red Cross are the most acceptable to all employers.
Beware of companies that offer CPR and first aid cards with online courses or mail courses that only require a half hour of training. These CPR and first aid cards are usually not accepted by employers, school systems, or health care facilities. When in doubt, check with the employer for required CPR and first aid card regulations.
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