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  • Writer's pictureMed Insider

What Emergency Certification is Right for Me?

By Ashna Makhija


  • Being certified in CPR and/or BLS can allow you to step in when someone around you suffers from cardiac events, drowning, injuries from electrical work or fires and smoke inhalation.

  • CPR has 3 levels, while BLS is a standalone course learned in addition.

  • Emergency first aid consists of CPR-A + CPR-C

  • However, a complete knowledge of first aid consists of CPR-A + CPR-B + CPR-C + BLS


Staying calm in an emergent situation can do much more than save a life. In a life or death situation, you may be the difference towards someone having a temporary or long term disability. There is no doubt that taking the time to get trained in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) or Basic Life Support (BLS) is well worth the effort.

What Types of Emergencies Can I Prevent?

The top emergent situations you can step in, once trained, are:

  • Heart attacks

  • Drowning

  • Electrical Injuries

  • Fires

  • Smoke Inhalation

  • Suffocation

What are my options?

CPR-A: CPR Basics - Choking in adults, defibrillation, treating emergency situations

CPR-B: CPR Basics + CPR for babies. Addition, not substitution. Also works on defibrillation for adults, infants and children.

CPR-C: CPR Next Level - Covers every aspect of CPR skills, including rescuer skills. Includes standard first aid CPR, heart saver CPR and emergency first aid CPR. Also includes urgent assistance to the ill and injured.

BLS: all healthcare providers receive BLS certification, but anyone can opt to take the course and gain the life saving skills. This teaches you to handle cardiac emergencies, usually with more equipment.

Emergency First Aid: CPR-A + CPR-C

Full set of First Aid: CPR-A + CPR-B + CPR-C + BLS

All CPR-trained individuals are trained to manage medical issues as non-medical professionals, however, BLS gives you the extra edge while working in a hospital setting or when you might be the sole rescuer at a scene. BLS goes into depth on choking and ventilation treatments.

Which training option is right for me?

CPR and BLS are very similar courses, but the right one depends on what your end goal is.

  • Do you live with young children and want to be prepared in case of medical emergencies? CPR-B is good for you.

  • Do you want to be proactive in medical situations in public places? CPR-A or CPR-C is your best bet.

  • Are you looking to work in a clinical setting, and will you have access to medical equipment? BLS is what you're looking for.



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