Why online CPR and First Aid Training is ineffective and may cost you more

Type CPR training in any seach engine and some of the first links to pop up are always advertising online CPR and First Aid training. You see claims such as “meets AHA curriculum, low cost, quick, effective, etc…”

Whats not to like, cheaper, quicker, easier, and meets the needs of your employer. Take it when you want and be done for another few years.

There are a few major problems with this though. The first question I ask is this-would you be good at running by reading about how to run or do you actually need to run? You can read all about running and watch videos on the best methods, but it will not mean anything until you actually implement it in real life practice.

When dealing with life threatening emergencies our emotions go wild. You experience a flood of adrenaline, and panic. You worry about messing up, being sued, blood bourne pathogens and a slew of other issues all in a matter of moments. The common response to all of this emotion is you either freeze or just walk away. The point of CPR training is to build muscle memory that will override emotions. Your mind may not remember what to do but your body will. If all you did was watch a video and take an online test, you will most likely fail miserably when you run into your first life threatening event.

In the US there are over 350,000 cardiac arrest deaths every year. Effective CPR with the use of an AED could save anywhere from 35-75% of these lives.

The cost may look to be more initially (not by much) but what is the greater cost-$5-$10 or the loss of life of a friend, co-worker, or family member because you wanted the ease of a video?

On top of this many organizations do not recognize online training exactly because of the issues I listed above. American Heart Association does not consider online only training to be an effective or valid method of learning CPR*. More times than I can count I have had a business come to me to get recertified because the State would not accept their online certification, now they end up paying twice as much.

My point is not to make money but to train people in the effective art of saving lives. I would not want my parents living in a nursing home where the best training received was a online class. I would not want the coach of my children watching over them when all they did to receive their certification was click a few buttons with their mouse.

Even for those who have taken this training for years will loose their muscle memory over time, there are too many studies showing how we loose our skills if they are not practiced frequently and hands on.

It is not about saving time or money but about what is most important-life.

*American Safety and Health Institute and American Heart Association try to meet the best of both worlds by having an online training option that also requires a classroom portion. This is a great option if you have time constraints. Beware though that it will cost more than joining a class.