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What is BLS Certification?

Is BLS the Same as CPR?

In short, no. BLS is a more advanced certification and is usually for healthcare professionals.


Something I get asked on a daily basis is “What is a BLS certification?” People tend to assume that BLS and CPR are synonymous. While they have similarities, they are not the same.


Here are the key differences:

  • BLS, or Basic Life Support, is geared toward teaching professional-level administration of resuscitative procedures (i.e. for medical professionals and first responders)

  • Equipment, like pulse bags and AEDs, are administered, and sometimes in teams of more than one person

  • BLS is more advanced, and therefore, is recommended to learn after becoming CPR certified


What is a BLS Certification?


BLS stands for Basic Life Support, which is a certification for professional applications of resuscitative procedure needs.


Paul Martin describes BLS certification as “Training that includes Healthcare Provider level skills such as two-person CPR, pulse checks, bag valve mask use, and rescue breathing without compressions for people that have a pulse.”


The American Heart Association describes these additional elements- beyond CPR- as “other basic cardiovascular life support skills”. Here are the skills, as outlined by the American Heart Association, mastered while earning the BLS certification:


  • “High-quality CPR for adults, children, and infants

  • The AHA Chain of Survival, specifically the BLS components

  • Important early use of an AED

  • Effective ventilations using a barrier device

  • Importance of teams in multi-user resuscitation and performance as an effective team member during multi-rescuer CPR

  • Relief of foreign-body airway obstruction (choking) for adults and infants”


How Long Does it Take to Get a BLS Certification?


BLS Certification can take anywhere from 2 hours to 6 hours. I offer one-on-one sessions, group certification courses, and blended course options, which include a pre-completed online component. That’s right, BLS Certification Online.


Whether you want highly individualized training, the opportunity to learn in a team setting, or the convenience of saving time through blended benefits, Devine Hearts CPR can help you get BLS certified in a format that works for you!


How to do Basic Life Support


It’s very complicated. The American Heart Association sets standards, by which practices like mine, Devine Hearts CPR, follow when certifying new certificate recipients. In order to understand how to do BLS, you need both full coursework and hands-on practice.


I’m happy to support your career and our community by providing the Heartcode BLS, Heartcode BLS with AED, as well as Group, and Blended course options. If you’ve been searching for a BLS Certification near you, please consider earning a really high-quality certification and supporting my local business by booking an appointment with me, Brittany Willard of Devine Hearts CPR!







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