Basic Life Support: What is BLS Certification?

Basic Life Support (BLS) certification is a crucial credential for individuals involved in healthcare, emergency response, and anyone interested in being prepared to assist in life-threatening situations. This comprehensive guide will provide you with an in-depth understanding of BLS certification, including what it is, why it's important, who should get certified, and how to obtain BLS certification.

bls certification

What is BLS?

BLS stands for Basic Life Support. It refers to skills required to provide on-the-spot medical aid in a cardiopulmonary emergency, breathing emergencies, and other critical emergencies for adults and children. It teaches single-rescuer, multi rescuer resuscitation, and effective team basic life support skills for application in both pre-hospital settings and in-facility environments. It will train you to promptly recognize several life-threatening emergencies, including heart attacks and cardiac arrests. It will also teach you how to give high-quality chest compressions, deliver appropriate ventilations, and provide an Automated External Defibrillator.

Basic Life Support skills can be performed outside the hospital setting by emergency medical technicians, paramedics, and other healthcare professional. Public safety professionals and other healthcare-related occupations such as nurses and doctors tend to take BLS classes because of the additional skills they need to use regularly.

How to get BLS Certification?

Getting BLS certification typically involves completing a training course provided by organizations such as the American Heart Association (AHA) or the American Red Cross. BLS certification is often required for healthcare professionals, first responders, and individuals in certain job roles, as it teaches the skills needed to provide life-saving assistance in emergency situations. Here are the general steps to get BLS certification:

  1. Find a BLS Training Provider: Identify a reputable training provider in your area. You can check the websites of organizations like the AHA or the American Red Cross to find authorized BLS training centers near you.
  2. Choose a BLS Training Format: Training is often available in different formats, including in-person classes and online courses with an in-person skills assessment. Choose the format that best suits your schedule and learning preferences.
  3. Register for the BLS Course: Register for the BLS course offered by your chosen training provider. You may need to provide personal information and payment for the course fee.
  4. Complete the BLS Course: Attend the BLS course and complete all required modules or sessions. In the course, you will learn essential BLS skills, including CPR, AED use, and techniques for assisting choking victims.
  5. Pass the Skills Assessment: If you take an online course with an in-person skills assessment, you'll need to schedule and pass this assessment to demonstrate your proficiency in BLS techniques.
  6. Take the Written Exam: Some courses may include a written exam. If required, pass the exam to demonstrate your understanding of BLS principles and techniques.
  7. Receive Certification: After successful completion of the learning courses, you will receive your digital certification through instant download. The official completion card will be shipped in 2-5 business days. And to keep your current certification active, you have to take certification renewal classes every 2 years.
  8. Maintain Certification: To maintain your BLS certification, you will need to take a BLS renewal course before your certification expires. Be sure to keep track of your certification expiration date and renew it as needed to stay current.

Get CPR Certified in Minutes for as low as $19.95

Join thousands of professionals that have been certified online with us
100% Online Certification
Fast & Convenient
Instant Certification Card
Nationally Accepted
Get Started
5 star
from 259,205 reviews


Tailored for the community and workplace
Offer Expires:
Comprehensive CPR Training Across All Ages
Choking response training
Recovery position technique course

Why is BLS Certification essential?

Basic Life Support Training will equip healthcare providers and medical professional with the skills and knowledge they need to deliver the necessary medical care in a life-threatening emergency situation. BLS could mean the difference between life and death. BLS training and certification ensure that the cardholder can step in and deliver fast, accurate care, thereby improving the chances of survival of the patient


Who needs BLS Certification?

In contrast with CPR, where anyone can be certified, basic life support training and certification class are designed for healthcare providers and medical professionals due to their job duties. That's why most professional rescuers, such as nurses, paramedics, and lifeguards, are required by their employers to train and obtain their BLS certification. Healthcare professionals need the ability to recognize a wide variety of life-threatening emergencies, provide high-quality CPR and other basic cardiovascular life support skills, proper use of an AED, and relieve choking in a safe, timely, and effective manner.


What's Included in the BLS Certification Course?

A Basic Life Support (BLS) certification course covers essential skills and knowledge needed to provide immediate life-saving care in emergency situations, particularly for individuals who have experienced cardiac arrest or respiratory failure. The course typically includes the following components:

  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR): BLS courses teach the proper techniques for performing CPR on adults, children, and infants. This includes chest compressions, rescue breaths, and the correct compression-to-ventilation ratio (usually 30:2 for adults and children, and 30:2 or 15:2 for infants).
  • Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Use: Participants learn how to operate an AED to deliver an electric shock to restore a normal heart rhythm in cases of sudden cardiac arrest. Proper placement of AED pads and safety precautions are also covered.
  • Choking Management: The BLS course includes instruction on how to recognize and assist individuals who are choking, including the Heimlich maneuver for conscious and unconscious victims.
  • Assessment and Scene Safety: Students learn how to assess the scene for safety and recognize when it's appropriate to intervene. This includes checking for responsiveness, assessing breathing, and calling for help when necessary.
  • One-Rescuer and Two-Rescuer CPR: Participants are trained in both one-rescuer and two-rescuer CPR techniques, depending on the situation and the availability of assistance.
  • Use of Protective Barriers: BLS courses emphasize the importance of using personal protective equipment (PPE), such as gloves and face shields, to reduce the risk of infection transmission during rescue efforts.
  • Team Dynamics: For healthcare professionals and first responders, Online Basic Life Support training covers effective communication and coordination when working as part of a resuscitation team.