Renewing Your CPR Certification: How and When Should You Do it?
Has it been a while since you took your CPR certification course?
If so, it may be time to start thinking about getting your certification renewed. Your American Heart Association CPR certification is good for 2 years from the time you completed the course. We recommend thinking about signing up for a renewal course 3 months before expiring. If you renew at CPR Training Austin we will send you a friendly reminder. It is best not to wait until the last minute to get your certification renewed. Our classes fill up quickly and precourse work is generally required to attend. You don’t want to be expired or you’ll have to complete the full course again.
Wondering why you have to renew your certification every two years and what you need to do?
This quick guide will walk you through your CPR renewal process.
Why Does Your Certification Need to be Renewed Every Two Years?
Unless you work in the medical profession or as a lifeguard, you’re probably not using your CPR skills regularly. You learn the skills so you can be prepared if a situation arises, but the hope is that you’ll never have to use them.
Refresh Your Skills
If you are not practicing your skills regularly you will need a refresher! If you haven’t practiced your skills in over two years since your last certification there’s a good chance you might have forgotten proper technique. Studies have shown that retention of the skills learned in CPR training doesn’t last long. Many people forget the proper techniques within a few months of taking the training. And the retention rate only goes down the further you get from your training.
The primary reason you need to renew your CPR certification every two years is because by then you’ve probably forgotten how to correctly perform CPR. Going to a renewal course will remind you of the skills you learned at your original training. It also gives you the opportunity to practice the skills again.
Practicing CPR skills is essential to being able to perform them correctly in a crisis situation. When faced with a crisis, it’s hard for us to remember anything we’ve learned. In fact, studies have shown that even people with CPR training often don’t jump in to perform CPR when it’s needed. People fear that they won’t perform the procedure correctly or that they’ll further injure the person in crisis. Taking a refresher course will help build the confidence to perform CPR in a crucial situation. Studies have shown there is higher retention when you take a refresher course every year.
Keep up With New Techniques and Processes
Another reason you need to renew your CPR certification every two years is that the medical field is always changing. New lifesaving techniques are being developed all the time. Even a technique as fundamental as CPR can be improved upon.
For example, CPR certification course used to teach the process of CPR using the ABC acronym – airway, breathing compressions. This meant that you should first check the airway to see if it’s clear, then check for breathing, then start compressions.
But now, they teach the acronym CAB because the American Heart Association has changed the recommended order of the process. Now the recommendation is to start compressions, then check the airway, then check for breathing. They updated the process based on years of research that showed performing compressions first leads to better outcomes.
Taking a renewal course helps keep you up to date on the latest recommendations about how to perform CPR so you can be the effective and helpful in a crisis situation.
What Do You Need to Do For CPR Renewal?
Wondering what you have to do to get your certification renewed? It’s actually pretty simple. Just take the CPR certification renewal course.
These courses are shorter than the full certification course. These courses remind you of the skills you already learned and update you on any changes to the processes and techniques. So, they aren’t as in depth as the original certification course you took.
These courses are offered as in person classes and hybrid classes. If you opt for an in person class, the lecture and practice portion of the course will be given together over the course of a few hours.
If you opt for the hybrid course, you can take the lecture part of the course online through readings and videos. You’ll still need to schedule an in person practice session so a CPR trainer can see you perform the techniques. The advantage of the hybrid class is you can complete the lecture portion on your own time, at your own pace and you only have to do a short in person appointment for the practice portion of the course.
You can sign up for a CPR certification renewal course as long as your CPR certification is no more than 30 days expired. If your certification is more than 30 days expired, you’ll need to take the full CPR certification training course again.
So, don’t procrastinate on scheduling your CPR renewal. When your certification is about three months away from expiring, you should register for a CPR renewal course. Hybrid classes usually have more availability. But if you want to do an in person renewal training, register far in advance as these may not be held often and fill up quickly.
Ready to Register For A CPR Renewal Course?
CPR renewal classes are a good idea even if you don’t work in the profession any longer, as it is a lifelong skill that may be needed at any time. There are local organizations like us that run periodic training courses.
If you’re looking for a CPR renewal course in the Austin-are we would be happy to help you out. You can sign up for one of our existing courses in the town nearest you. We offer CPR courses weekly.
If you need training for a group, we can bring the training to you! Contact us today to set up a group training at your location.