What Is the Difference Between BLS and CPR?
Difference Between BLS and CPR?
Recently, I learned the hard way that there is a difference between the types of classes you can take for BLS (basic life support) and CPR. Although BLS and CPR are very similar classes, there is an important difference that determines which one you should take. If you are going into the healthcare field, you will probably be required or want to take the "BLS for Health Care Providers" class, which is taught through the American Heart Association.
If you are simply taking the class for reasons such as that you want to or you need CPR for being a lifeguard or a babysitter, a general adult/child/infant CPR class can be taken at the Red Cross, as well as the AHA. The best thing to do to determine what type of CPR or BLS class you should be taking is to ask whomever your employer is, or whomever is requiring you to take the class. If no one is requiring you to take the class, you can then take a general Adult/Child/Infant CPR class from the American Red Cross, if you so wish.
What is Covered in the BLS and CPR classes?
What are the main skills covered in the BLS for Health Care Providers, as opposed to a more general Adult/Child/Infant CPR class?
In a BLS class for Health Care Providers, the following skills are covered:
- Adult/Child CPR with one person performing CPR
- Adult/Child CPR with two people performing CPR
- Infant CPR with one person performing CPR and 2 people performing CPR
- Use of an AED
- Adult Choking - abdominal thrusts and CPR if victim becomes unresponsive
- Child Choking - abdominal thrusts and CPR if victim becomes unresponsive
- Infant Choking - back pats and chest thrusts; CPR if victim becomes unresponsive
- Rescue Breathing - if victim has steady pulse but not breathing or not breathing normally
In a general Adult/Child/Infant CPR class, you may learn much of this but not all of it and the 2 people CPR techniques will most definitely be left out of the lesson.
From my experience, the BLS class for Health Care Providers given by the AHA was much more informative and to the point. The Adult/Child/Infant CPR class that I've taken through the American Red Cross was good, but dragged on and doesn't cover the areas you may need to know if you are indeed going into the health care field.
So again, the moral of the story is to know why you're going to get certified in BLS/CPR. If you are required to become certified by an organization, you will want to double-check with someone from the organization to determine exactly which BLS/CPR class you need to take. If you are not required by an organization to take the class, then you can simply choose a general CPR class of your liking.