BLS for Healthcare Providers Overview
Basic life support is the type of medical care provided by emergency medical teams and healthcare professionals to persons experiencing cardiac arrest or respiratory arrest, such as cases of foreign body airway obstruction or choking and drowning.
The participants in this course learn life-saving techniques as solo or team rescuers. This course aims to impart knowledge that helps healthcare providers provide Basic life support to individuals undergoing life-threatening medical conditions while the person is waiting for more advanced treatment at a hospital or tertiary care setting.
What is included in the Basic Life Support Certification Course?
The BLS course covers in detail the most common BLS procedures, including performance as an effective team member during team basic life support and other basic cardiovascular life support skills. There are a total of 16 modules, including:
- New changes recommended in AHA official guidelines - This module covers the changes to CPR/AED and First Aid protocols since the last guidelines were published. For example, for a rescuer to give high-quality CPR, they should focus on the required rate and depth of chest compressions. Locate the center of the chest and push hard enough to achieve the recommended depth. For adults, using the heels of your hand with fingers interlocked while children and infants require less pressure, as we will see later.
- Chain of Survival - To resuscitate a patient in cardiac arrest, it is essential to follow a sequential set of steps that make up the Chain of Survival. It consists of effective, high-quality CPR, early defibrillation, and advanced life support by highly trained medical professionals and healthcare providers. Without these three crucial steps, there can be no successful resuscitation.
- CPR for Adult/Child/Infant - You will learn procedures used when administering CPR, depending on a few variables. Infant CPR is used with victims under the age of one. Child CPR is used with victims between the ages of one and the onset of puberty. Adult CPR is used on victims post-pubescent and older. The victim's age and the number of rescuers are the essential variables when staging rescue protocols for single rescuers vs. two rescuers.
- Hands-Only CPR - Untrained lay rescuers should provide compression-only (Hands-Only) CPR for adult cardiac arrest victims, with or without dispatcher guidance. The rescuer should continue compression-only CPR until the arrival of an AED or rescuers with additional training. Hands-only CPR can be enough to sustain an adult in certain situations until help arrives.
- AED - In this module, you will have the opportunity to learn how an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) device is designed to assess the electrical output of a victim's heart and provide an electrical shock when needed in an adult, special pediatric population with pacemakers.
- Choking - Learn about the symptoms of choking. Treatment of conscious adult choking victims. Treatment for an Unconscious Adult Choking Victim, child, and infants. The Heimlich maneuver as an effective technique for children and adults, supported by video demos of this technique, is available as part of the curriculum. In addition, skill-building exercises are available to test your knowledge about severe airway obstruction vs. mild airway obstruction.
- First Aid - The first aid module outlines the response sequence and the best way to treat common injuries, including nosebleeds, cuts, poison control burns, and fractures.
- Bleeding Control - Learning how to treat bleeding injuries is designed to stop the bleeding and protect the wound from the risk of infection. Bleeding control for special situations like a head wound, nose bleed, and use of a tourniquet to control bleeding when other methods fail.
- Shock - BLS trainees will learn about causes of shock-like extreme blood loss, allergic reactions, severe burns, etc. Along with symptoms of Shock and the best treatment for different types of shocks, including Anaphylactic Shock.
- Burns - You will learn about three categories, with increasing seriousness, including the attribution of thermal, chemical, electrical, or radiation causes.
- Poisoning - This module addresses the posing process through Ingestion (eating or drinking), inhalation (nose and mouth), injection (body tissue or bloodstream), and topical absorption (through the skin). The topic will also cover position treatment options in this module based on the type of poison and how it entered the body.
- Injuries - Different types of injuries, including muscle injuries, symptoms of injuries, and the RICE procedure to treat wounds.
- Broken Bones/Fracture - Bones can break or separate within the joints. It is referred to as a broken bone, a fracture, or a dislocation in the case of separation. The edges of broken bones can be very sharp. As a health care provider, you will learn the best ways to identify different fractures, their severity, and the best short-term treatment option to improve a person's chances of recovery.
- Seizures and Strokes - Sudden illnesses due to Seizures. Stroke. Allergic reactions and how to best differentiate between them and best treatment methods for each situation.
- Emergency Oxygen Administration - Recognition of medical situations calls for emergency oxygen for effective ventilation, symptoms of hypoxia, best treatment mechanisms, and oxygen concentrations for adult, child, and infant patients. The setting of flow meter, fixed flow systems, and tips for safe oxygen administration.
- BLS Test - The last section will test your knowledge gained through the 16 modules. This certification training aims to give you the confidence to deal with real-life emergencies as a healthcare worker. We recommend reviewing all modules to understand how to apply the BLS knowledge to different scenarios.
As healthcare providers, it is essential to remember that as real-life emergencies happen, the first order of action is to provide essential care techniques learned through the BLS course, call 911 and perform CPR/AED until paramedics arrive.