I have taught CPR Classes in Atlanta for over 10 years now, to health care providers as well as lay responders. A lot of my students are repeat customers, and have taken one of my CPR classes while some have been certified by another Atlanta CPR Class provider. Often times, students will ask if there is a re-certification, or renewal class, and of course there is. The misconception is that renewal CPR classes take 30 minutes, and that they aren’t important. Quite the opposite is true for several reasons. Taking CPR classes over and over is crucial for developing quality physical skills. Taking CPR Classes again and again helps students remember the steps and important considerations. Unfortunately, many students haven’t been taught properly, so their “re-certification” is really the first opportunity to do it right.
Physical Skills Need To Be Practiced
The American Heart Association reports that the physical skills learned in CPR classes need to be practiced often in order to be able to perform them well. While the AHA requires re-certification CPR classes every 2 years, it recommends taking a class each and every year. Studies show that most of the time CPR is performed, the CPR compressions aren’t performed properly. Despite CPR classes teaching to “push hard and fast”, students have a hard time bringing themselves to do this when the chips are down, in a real emergency. It is important for CPR classes to be repeated often because time degrades our CPR skills. Practice makes perfect – hence the justification for more practice.
There are two important skills that need to be practiced:
- CPR Compressions
- CPR Ventilations
These two skills are crucial, and without practice are often done poorly. Compressions aren’t done hard or fast enough, as mentioned above. Breaths often aren’t successful and take too long. Combining breaths and compressions takes practice to avoid exacerbating the issues just mentioned. The lack of practice and skills competence has been a large contributor to moving toward “Hands Only CPR”, or CPR without the breaths. Studies have shown that with poorly trained responders, breaths take too long and often times aren’t even effective. More quality practice in CPR classes can increase survival. Again, practice makes perfect.
Quality Training Is Of Paramount Importance
Besides the frequent training of physical skills for practice sake, quality training in the first place is of paramount importance. I can’t begin to put a number on the times I go to teach a class at a doctor’s office where the participants are reluctant to spend the few hours on their “re-certification”. I am often told “we have had this class for years and years” and “do we need to do this again”?
I am often pressured to finish up in record time.
As we proceed through the proper class, students realize quite quickly that the quality of their previous CPR classes have been poor at best. When dollars and certification cards are the bottom line, quality comes dead last, along with the survival rates of their patients. Look at the statistics. Hospital survival rates aren’t much better than out of hospital survival rates. One has little more chance of survival in a hospital setting than in a hardware store. Sad but true.
The product that CPR instructors should be selling is life saving skills and knowledge. Way too often, the product for sale is a certification card, quick and cheap. In the United States, survival rates from sudden cardiac death are incredibly low. In my opinion, this has a strong relationship with the lack of quality control of CPR Classes.
Taking CPR classes again and again gives the students a chance to eventually get proper training, sometimes for the first time ever. Taking CPR classes ever year also reinforces the concepts and skills that can take more than one class to absorb.
Sudden Cardiac Death is the #1 cause of death in the United States. With this in mind, re-taking CPR classes is so important. Almost every single one of us, at some point in our lives will have CPR performed on us. When it is time to go, it is time to go, and everyone must come to an end some day. But I believe that we need to do what we can to offer everyone all the help we can to live another day.
Ask yourself the following questions – when you or your loved ones are in need of CPR:
- Do you want the provider to have had lots of practice from a quality instructor?
- Are you OK with your loved one being cared for by someone who couldn’t take the time and effort to refresh their skills?
- Does your doctor, for example, assume they know what they are doing and refuse to join in CPR classes available to them?
I promise you would be surprised and shocked at the number of doctors who may know what they are doing in regards to your skin condition, but really don’t have a clue as to how to do quality CPR.
I know because I am out there trying to teach them, and meeting significant resistance.
When safety and life come first, the quality and frequency of CPR classes never come last.
When you mix Quality and Frequency into taking CPR Classes, the result is more lives saved.