Should I Obtain my CPR Certification from an Online Course? - In a Heartbeat

Should I Obtain my CPR Certification from an Online Course?

It can be difficult for many individuals and professionals to fit CPR training into their busy schedules.  Enter the online CPR class.  The quick and convenient option for people on the go is certainly attractive, but there are some important points to consider before booking a class.

Following AHA or Red Cross guidelines does not mean they are the same.

Those searching online for CPR classes will invariably run into results touting a “Nationally Accredited Online CPR course” or providing a chance to “get your CPR certification today – no waiting”. They use phrases like “follows AHA guidelines” and “does not require hands-on training”. You can print out your own “certificate of completion” to take in to your employer or certification board. Sounds easy, right? An hour or so in the comfort of your own home, and you’re set for the next two years.  However, be aware that these claims do not guarantee the same quality of instruction as certified AHA or Red Cross programs.

Employer requirements can vary greatly, so it is crucial to investigate what you will need before completing training.  

You may find that your employer will not accept the certification from “Bob’s Online CPR Training” because it isn’t from the Red Cross or the American Heart Association. Or, the board for your Massage Therapy license says that because your online CPR class didn’t include any hands-on training, they don’t accept it, and now you have to wait to work again until after you complete (and pay for) another class.

It is also important to note that you can’t stop an online video to ask questions or receive feedback.

Fully understanding the CPR process is key to performing the process correctly.   Receiving answers to your questions and feedback on your technique from a professional is critical to the training process, and never more important than for those working with children.  We always recommend hands-on/supervised training for individuals working in a daycare or preschool setting. 

OSHA standards specify that online-only certifications for employees that are required to have CPR training are not acceptable. 

In addition, many employers, especially in healthcare organizations, only accept certification from the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association. Those cannot be obtained online.

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