Does BLS Include First Aid and CPR?

Posted by Adam Rapp | BLS Certification

Feb 11, 2020

Do BLS Certification Courses include first aid and CPR? Basic Life Support includes the basics of CPR for individuals suffering from cardiac emergencies. BLS is designed for first responders and healthcare professionals, whereas a basic CPR course is designed for lay responders and non-medical professionals.


Basic Life Support, in many cases, can make the difference between life and death. If you are in an industry where life and death situations occur on a regular basis, then you will almost certainly need to obtain Basic Life Support (BLS) certification, or some other related certification (such as ACLS, PALS, and CPR).

  

In a typical BLS certification course, many different topics will be covered, but generally, these courses are designed to help prepare you with the knowledge and abilities needed to act in the event that someone is experiencing an immediate life-threatening situation. Read more about the differences between ACLS and BLS here.

  

Life support, as the term implies, describes the tools and processes needed to keep an individual alive until additional (and more advanced) support can arrive. If an individual’s heart stops working or if the individual is no longer able to breathe, it will be crucial for someone nearby to take quick and effective action. In some cases, you may have as little as two-three minutes to save someone’s life.

  

Clearly, BLS certification can be a very valuable thing. Even if BLS certification is not required by your employer or within your specific line of work in general, gaining the skills needed to potentially save someone’s life can still have a tremendous impact. However, if you are unfamiliar with BLS certification, it is very likely that you have a few questions. In this article, we will answer some of the most important questions about BLS and whether it includes First Aid and CPR.

  

What is Basic Life Support Certification?

  

BLS certification (Basic Life Support) is designed to ensure that if a life-threatening situation were to emerge, any healthcare (or other) professional nearby will be able to help support the individual that is suffering. Broadly, BLS courses will focus on tasks such as administering CPR, addressing cardiovascular emergencies (such as a heart attack), and effectively communicating with first responders and other essential parties.

  

In a BLS class, you will learn things such as how to effectively use an AED, how to administer effective ventilations using a barrier device, and how to clear airways in the event they are obstructed. BLS skills can typically be divided into three different groupings: infant, child, and adult. Because the recommended actions for these groupings are notably different from one another, you will need to be familiar with how to address all three age groups in order to pass a BLS certification exam.

  

Does Basic Life Support Certification cover CPR?

  

As suggested, BLS certification does, in fact, cover CPR (shorthand for cardiopulmonary resuscitation). However, it is also important to note that a BLS certification class is still different from a typical CPR class provided by the American Red Cross and other organizations. 

  

BLS certification is often specifically geared towards healthcare professionals (though there are plenty of other people who may need to be certified). Furthermore, BLS certification places a stronger emphasis on working in teams. It will also teach you how to use additional equipment that is much more likely to be found at hospitals, such as bag valve masks (BVM).

  

Does Basic Life Support Certification cover First Aid?

  

The term “First Aid” is relatively broad. Essentially, the term can be used to describe the primary (first) aid given to individuals suffering from both minor and life-threatening conditions. Thus, while CPR and BLS skills both broadly fall into the category of first aid, BLS and first aid should not be considered synonymous. BLS certification classes will not cover things such as giving stitches, addressing minor injuries (or even broken bones), or many other topics. Be sure to confirm whether, for your profession, first aid training will be required in addition to standard BLS training.

  

Who needs to obtain Basic Life Support Certification?

  

Whether BLS certification is required will depend on your current job, where you live, your place of employment, and the rules established by whatever organizations are currently governing your industry. In general, most medical professionals will need to have BLS training or, in some cases, a more advanced form of training such as ACLS. 

  

Other individuals who may need to obtain BLS certification include some teachers, lifeguards, firefighters, law enforcement officers, coaches, and many others. Because there is so much variation regarding BLS requirements for professionals, you will want to confirm with your employer or organization whether this training is necessary. You will also want to confirm whether BLS training or basic CPR courses will be recommended.

  

How often do I need to renew my Basic Life Support Certification?

  

BLS certification can make the difference between life and death, which is why you will need to obtain recertification on a somewhat regular basis. BLS certification lasts for two years. If you fail to renew and obtain recertification, you may face potential employment problems or face various legal consequences. Fortunately, getting recertified is measurably easier than obtaining a brand-new certification (assuming your certification has not expired).

  

How can I obtain Basic Life Support certification?

  

Currently, there are many different ways you can become BLS certified. In most major cities, BLS courses will be offered by organizations such as the American Red Cross and the American Heart Association on a regular basis. These courses are very in-depth and will cover a wide variety of topics. However, due to advancements in technology, most professionals prefer to obtain BLS certification and BLS recertification through an online platform, such as eMedCert.

  

By getting BLS certification or BLS recertification online, you will be able to work from the comfort of your own home at a time that is convenient for you. In most cases, online certification will be considered to be just as legitimate as in-person certification (though, of course, it never hurts to double-check if this is allowed). If you are a busy healthcare professional, online BLS certification is probably your best—and most affordable—option available.

  

Conclusion - Does BLS Include First Aid and CPR?

  

While BLS certification covers CPR, it is much more in-depth than a typical CPR course. At the same time, these certifications do not address first aid strategies for minor injuries and other non-life-threatening circumstances. BLS certification is a very important type of certification for many healthcare providers that needs to be renewed every two years. For more information on BLS Certification, or for questions about recertification, visit our website at https://emedcert.com/ or email [email protected]