Frequently Asked Questions
CAN I GET CPR/FIRST AID CERTIFICATION ONLINE WITHOUT HAVING TO ATTEND A CLASS OR DO SKILLS IN PERSON?
Technically, yes but we don’t recommend it. First off, CPR is a very physical skill that requires practice on a manikin to really absorb it. Second, most employers, schools and organizations do not accept certification that was completed strictly online with no skills component. We get many people who come to us AFTER having spent $40 or more to take an online course and after their employer has rejected it. Reputable organizations such as Red Cross and American Heart Association require students to demonstrate skills on a manikin in order to be certified.
DO I HAVE TO TAKE AN ONLINE COURSE FIRST BEFORE TAKING ONE OF YOUR CLASSES?
No online preparation is required.
DOES THE AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION OFFER ONLINE CERTIFICATION?
The AHA does offer an arrangement where you take an online course but you must also meet with an instructor to perform the skills in person. It typically costs a little more to be certified this way because you have to pay the AHA for the online course, as well as the instructor for the skills test. But some people find this arrangement more convenient. The online course length varies depending on which certification you are pursuing, but typically takes about 1-2 hours. The skills session usually takes 20-45 minutes, depending on the certification. We schedule the skills sessions by appointment only, in various locations. Please contact us if you are interested.
HOW LONG IS THE CERTIFICATION PERIOD?
The classes we offer are through the American Heart Association, which provides a 2-year certification period for all its CPR/AED and First Aid certification programs.
ARE YOUR PUBLIC CLASSES EVER CANCELLED?
It is very rare that we would cancel a scheduled class. The only time we have had to do this is in the case of severe weather emergency or power outage. We never cancel classes due to low registration.
I JUST NEED INFANT CPR. WHY DOES YOUR CPR CERTIFICATION CLASS INCLUDE CHILD AND ADULT CPR?
Even if you are taking CPR now only because you have an infant, we recommend also learning adult and child CPR. The infant CPR techniques are only applicable until about age 1. After that, it would be better for the child to receive child CPR, which covers age 1 up to puberty. Your infant will be a toddler before you know it, and it’s best to be prepared for this high-risk age. Adult CPR is also important to know, because wherever young children are, there would also be teachers, parents or other adults present as well. It’s best to be prepared to help any age victim.
I COMPLETELY FORGOT ABOUT THE CPR CLASS I REGISTERED FOR AND MISSED IT. CAN I GET A REFUND?
We don’t give refunds for ‘no shows.’ However you may contact us to transfer your registration to a future class and there may be a small fee for this. You may only do this once; after that, you would have to pay the fee again.
I HAVE NEVER TAKEN A CPR CLASS BEFORE. CAN I REGISTER FOR ONE OF YOUR CLASSES?
Yes. There are no prerequisites required for our classes. Our instructors are very patient and are willing to work with students to help them learn. Most beginners pick up the skills pretty easily.
I HAVE A HIP INJURY AND CANNOT KNEEL ON THE FLOOR. WILL I BE ABLE TO TAKE YOUR CPR CLASS?
Yes. We can accommodate anyone who cannot kneel by placing a manikin up on a table for you.
I HAVE AN ARM INJURY AND I’M NOT SURE IF I CAN PRESS DOWN ON A MANIKIN TO DO COMPRESSIONS. WILL I BE ABLE TO TAKE YOUR CPR CLASS?
That depends. First off, it’s important to check with your physician to be sure that the class activity will not risk further injury. Also, keep in mind that our instructors must observe all students completing certain skills satisfactorily in order to grant certification. If your injuries would prevent this, or if doing so would cause pain or further injury, it might be best to reschedule. Please contact us if you still are not sure.
I RECENTLY HAD ORAL SURGERY AND CANNOT BLOW INTO A MANIKIN OR A BARRIER DEVICE. WILL I BE ABLE TO TAKE YOUR CPR CLASS?
Giving breaths is a required CPR skill in any level certification class. If you cannot demonstrate giving breaths, you should probably wait until you are fully recovered to take the class. Also we recommend checking with your physician if you have any doubts about whether the class activities might make your condition worse.
DO I HAVE TO PUT MY MOUTH ON A MANIKIN?
No. We always provide clean barrier devices so that you do not have to make direct mouth contact with the manikin.
HOW ARE THE MANIKINS AND OTHER EQUIPMENT CLEANED?
We use the recommended hypochlorite (bleach) solution to keep all surfaces clean and safe from germs.
I HAVE A COLD AND AM SNEEZING AND COUGHING BUT I REALLY NEED TO TAKE CPR FOR MY JOB. DO I HAVE TO CANCEL?
Yes! When working on manikins, we typically work in close proximity of each other. It would be impossible to provide a safe environment if you have a contagious illness. It would not be fair to the instructors and other participants.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HEARTSAVER CPR AED AND CPR (BASIC LIFE SUPPORT) FOR HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS?
Heartsaver CPR AED is a basic certification course which includes CPR/AED (defibrillator) and choking emergencies for all age victims. No written exam is required. Simple barrier devices are used for giving breaths. Typical students of this class are parents, teachers, coaches, personal trainers, and child care providers. CPR for Healthcare Providers (sometimes referred to as BLS) includes the same skills (CPR/AED and choking emergencies for all age victims) but is a more advanced class. A written exam is required. More advanced barrier devices are used. The skills tend to be more involved with multiple steps. For example, a pulse check is required in this course, but not in the Heartsaver course. Typical students of this class are physicians, nurses, nursing students, EMTs, paramedics, and dental professionals. If you are still unsure of which class to take, please contact us.
I AM A NURSING STUDENT. WHICH CPR CLASS WOULD BE MOST APPROPRIATE?
The CPR (BLS) for Healthcare Providers would be the right course for you. Professional nursing programs will not accept Heartsaver CPR or online CPR courses.
MY SON IS 11 YEARS OLD. IS HE ALLOWED TO TAKE YOUR CPR/FIRST AID CLASSES?
We have taken children as young as 10 in the Heartsaver CPR AED class, and have taken children as young as 16 in the CPR for Healthcare Providers. These are our general guidelines; we make these decisions on a case by case basis, in consultation with the parent. Most children actually do very well in our classes. It might be helpful to have the child sign up with a friend or parent; this might make him or her feel more comfortable. Any child under 18 who registers for our classes (and is attending without parent) must also submit the MINOR PERMISSION FORM. You can find this on our website in the section REGISTRATION FORMS. We can email you the form if necessary.
I AM NOT A NURSE OR A HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL. AM I ALLOWED TO TAKE THE CPR FOR HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS?
Yes. It is up to you. Some find the more advanced material challenging and prefer a more basic approach. Others enjoy the more involved techniques. You will likely be among mostly nurses and other healthcare professionals.
HOW CAN I BECOME A CPR INSTRUCTOR?
You will need to contact the American Heart Association or other certifying organization (there are several) and find out what is required. Usually you have to take an instructor course as well as assist and teach a few classes while being observed. You may also be required to buy an instructor kit with manuals and videos. You do not need any specific qualifications or licenses (i.e. RN, EMT, MD) to be an instructor. Please feel free to contact us for more info.
WHAT IS AN AED?
An AED is an automatic external defibrillator, a device which shocks the heart to restore someone’s heartbeat. AEDs are very effective at saving lives and are easy to use. They all give verbal instructions that take rescuers through the steps. Cardiac arrest victims who have access to an AED soon after arrest stand a much better chance of survival than those that don’t, even when immediate CPR is given.
AM I ALLOWED TO BUY A DEFIBRILLATOR (AED) FOR MY HOME WITHOUT A DOCTOR’S PRESCRIPTION?
In the United States, the answer is yes.
SHOULD I GET A DEFIBRILLATOR FOR MY BUSINESS?
First off, check with local, state and federal regulations to find out if your workplace is required by law to have AED on site. Even if it’s not required, the presence of an AED would likely increase survival rates of any workers, clients, or visitors at your site, if any were victim of cardiac arrest. Having an AED onsite would allow the AED to be used within just a few minutes or less of the arrest. This gives the best chance of survival. If you had to wait for EMS to arrive and set up the AED, this delay would likely decrease chance of survival, even if CPR was given immediately after arrest.
MY HUSBAND HAS HEART DISEASE. SHOULD I GET A DEFIBRILLATOR (AED) FOR MY HOME?
We would recommend that, but it’s up to you. Having an AED in the home may give the family member a better chance of survival. However the purchase of an AED represents a large financial commitment, that some simply cannot make. At the very least, we’d recommend that all family members (including older children) be trained in CPR/AED. Please let us know if you would like a quote on our discounted AEDs.