CPR, short for cardiopulmonary resuscitation, is a life-saving technique that all people should learn. This is almost universally a required certification for people who work with children, the elderly, or in the health care field. Even if you are not required to be certified in CPR, you should take it upon yourself to learn this technique and be able to execute it correctly in case you ever find yourself in a position where you need to save the life of someone who has stopped breathing.
The first step to getting CPR certified is to find a CPR certification class. The American Red Cross and the American Heart Association are the two main agencies that offer CPR certification in the United States. Both of these agencies have websites that you can look at to check on their CPR certification class availability. Many chapters of these agencies will allow you to reserve a seat in class online as well.
It is imperative that you ensure that you sign up for the correct CPR certification class. If you are a healthcare provider or think that you may be applying to school within the next two years to become a healthcare provider, it is recommended that you take the CPR and AED (Automated External Deliberator) certification class for healthcare providers.
If you have (or work with) children, you will want to make sure that you sign up for a CPR certification class that incorporates material on how to perform CPR properly on children, infants, and adults. Not all CPR classes include information on how to correctly use an AED, but with so many class options it is recommended that you choose to sign up for a class that will cover this material. Even if you do not have an AED in your home, you will likely be in places that do have an AED and will want to know how to use one since an AED makes CPR much more effective. AEDs can be found in many workplaces, and in many community centers such as the YMCA, as well as in public places such as shopping malls and airports.
The CPR certification classes can get boring at times when the instructor lectures, so make sure that you have a cup of coffee or energy bar to keep you attentive during class. The instructor will be providing you with life-saving material, so make sure that you pay close attention. At the end of the class, you will take a skills test. If you pass this test, the instructor will provide you with your certification card.