How to become a CPR Instructor
A CPR Instructor Certification can help you gain employment in many different fields.
Some fitness centers will employ fitness professionals who have achieved their CPR instructor certification over those that have just completed the basic resuscitation course. Hospitals, medical facilities and other first aid responder employers may also be interested in offering you an interview if they see from your resume that you have completed the CPR instructor training program.
So what does a CPR instructor course involve?
If you are interested in teaching others these life saving skills, the first requirement will be that you hold a valid CPR certificate. It makes sense that you would not be properly qualified to teach others these skills if your own qualification are not up to date. This is particularity true as the CPR guidelines are revised quite regularly with major changes happening at least every five years. For example in 2010, the guidelines were changed to make chest compressions the first response rather than rescue breathes. You would not know of these changes unless your CPR training was up to date.
But having a valid CPR certificate isn’t enough. Some people can know all the theory but not have the ability to impart their knowledge to others. In fact some believe that teachers have to have a natural ability to make information available in a format that their class will understand. This is at least partially true for CPR instructors. It is helpful if you have real people skills as teaching a class of adults can be as challenging as teaching a classroom full of kids. In fact some believe adults are more difficult as children are generally eager to absorb new skills.
What type of CPR instructor classes should I take?
If you are serious about working as a CPR trainer then you should look at either the American Red Cross or the American heart Association CPR instructor classes. There are other classes available both locally or over the internet but by training with one of the two major players in this arena, your recognized qualifications should open more doors for you.
The quality of the training and the course materials should also be excellent and you don’t need to worry that you have wasted your hard earned dollars taking this class. When you study via an unknown internet provider you run the risk that the training materials will be out of date, the quality of the course will be poor and your qualifications, if you achieve any, will not be worth anything in the marketplace. So stick to the best in the field and you cannot go wrong.
How do I find the best CPR instructor jobs?
You can check at your local American Heart Association or Red Cross center or you could look online. Many job advertisements will require you to have completed your basic life support certification in adult, child and infant CPR but some will also prefer you to have your ACLS certification as well. If you want to get your resume to the head of the pile, the Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support course is the one to aim for.
In addition to certifications, most employers will be looking for relevant experience. It is common to find job advertisements requesting a minimum of two years experience in an instructor role. If you have yet to get this type of experience, you could consider becoming a Wellness instructor which usually only requires CPR certification. Then while gaining relevant instructor experience, you can take the advanced certification classes you need.
Can I complete the AHA CPR Instructor course online?
You can study for the AHA CPR Instructor course online but you have to have your skills assessed by an existing instructor before you gain your certification. In order to gain your AHA instructor card, you need to complete the video and case study training materials as well as attending additional training and having your work properly assessed. This process can take some time and it is worth checking with your local AHA center that they have vacancies for instructors before you start the training. Some centers prefer you to study in their classroom style training as opposed to via their online or DVD courses.
How long will CPR Instructor Certification take?
That is a hard question to answer as it depends on your existing education, qualifications and experience. It also depends on the type of instructor you want to become. For example, it is quicker to qualify as an instructor who teaches bystander CPR than one who teaches ACLS to medical professionals. Often people start by becoming a bystander or baby sitter CPR trainer and then move onto the more advanced qualifications when they have a little more experience.