With sky-high numbers of deaths caused by sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), it’s no wonder more and more people are becoming interested in learning CPR and when and how to use an AED. Other than wanting to know how to perform CPR, people are also highly interested in becoming CPR instructors themselves.
And, in all fairness, with so many people dying from SCA, every person that joins the proactive measures against the incidence of SCA is an invaluable asset to societies. Speaking of joining the cause, everyone can become certified as a CPR instructor as long as they check a few boxes, which we’ll discuss further in this article.
The only way to become a CPR instructor is by completing a CPR instructor course. You can do this online, in person, or through a blended learning model. It’s basically up to your personal preference. These courses are available in almost all cities in the U.S. and don’t cost a fortune.
Why Become a CPR Instructor in the First Place?
Besides being a noble thing to do, becoming a CPR instructor makes a positive impact on both society and the stigma surrounding helping strangers. If you’re wondering why it is good to become a CPR instructor, here are some attention-worthy reasons.
- You get to save lives: As a CPR instructor, you have a precious opportunity to teach life-saving skills to individuals who may one day find themselves in life-threatening situations. By passing on important CPR knowledge, you practically empower them to respond effectively during a sudden cardiac arrest case and increase someone’s survival chances.
- You promote preparedness: By training others in CPR, you actively build a more prepared and resilient community. You are putting forward efforts that make it possible for more people to be equipped with the skills and confidence to respond in emergency situations, whether at home, work, or in public spaces.
- You get to enjoy a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction: A lot of experienced CPR instructors say that being one is incredibly rewarding. Knowing that your training can directly impact someone’s life and potentially save them from a life-threatening situation brings a sense of immense fulfillment and purpose.
Other Reasons Being a CPR Instructor Is a Great Opportunity
Other than the incredibly rewarding feeling of saving a life, being a CPR instructor can open the doors to other opportunities.
- Professional Development: By becoming a CPR instructor, you are also investing in your professional development. You are elevating your knowledge and expertise to a higher level regarding life-saving techniques. You deepen your understanding of CPR principles, stay updated on the latest guidelines, and refine your instructional and communication skills.
- Great Career Opportunity Booster: Today, more than ever, CPR instructors are in demand in different industries, including healthcare, education, and community organizations. By becoming certified as a CPR instructor, you open doors to employment opportunities and career advancement in fields related to emergency response and healthcare education.
- You Become a Role Model: As a CPR instructor, you basically inspire others to become proactive and do their share in the community. CPR instructors are great role models that promote positive social practices.
In essence, being a CPR instructor comes down to doing a selfless act that gears you up with the right knowledge to pass down and promote preparedness while positively impacting the lives of individuals and communities. Your commitment to training others in CPR can make a significant difference in emergency situations, fostering a safer and more compassionate society.
How to Become a CPR Instructor: A Step-by-Step Explanation of the Process
Thanks to the digital shift in many industries, people no longer have to travel to a training center every day to complete a CPR instructor course. However, there are certain steps in the process that ensure you get it right.
Start by obtaining your own CPR certification. This typically involves completing a CPR training course, such as Basic Life Support (BLS) or Heartsaver CPR/AED, from an accredited provider. These courses are widely available through organizations like the American Heart Association (AHA) or the Red Cross.
Meet the Prerequisites
Check the prerequisites set by the CPR instructor certification program you wish to pursue. Some programs may require a minimum age, CPR certification for a specific level (e.g., BLS provider), and prior healthcare or teaching experience.
Choose a Certification Program
Select a recognized CPR instructor certification program that aligns with your goals. The AHA offers the CPR Instructor Course, while the Red Cross provides the CPR/AED Instructor Certification Program.
Complete Instructor Training
Enroll in the CPR instructor training program of your choice. These programs cover teaching methodologies, effective communication skills, instructional techniques, and familiarization with CPR guidelines and protocols. The training typically includes both classroom-based instruction and hands-on practice.
Pass the Exam
Successfully complete the required written and practical exams to demonstrate your understanding of the CPR concepts, teaching skills, and ability to perform CPR techniques correctly.
Receive Instructor Certification
Once you pass the exams, you will receive your CPR instructor certification. This certification is typically valid for a specific duration, and you may need to renew it occasionally by completing renewal courses or fulfilling continuing education requirements.
Earn Teaching Experience
Start gaining teaching experience by assisting experienced CPR instructors or co-teaching classes. This hands-on experience will help you develop your instructional abilities and become more confident in delivering CPR training.
Remember, the specific process and requirements may vary between the different CPR instructor certification programs. It’s essential to research and select a reputable program that meets your needs and aligns with recognized guidelines.
General CPR Instructor Requirements
The American Red Cross, as one of the most reputable health organizations in the U.S., imposes the following requirements for future CPR instructors:
- Possession of a high school diploma or its equivalent;
- To the Red Cross, CPR instructors must also be certified in BLS (Basic Life Support), while other organizations might not impose this requirement;
- Possess a teaching experience of a minimum of 2-3 years to be considered a CPR instructor;
- Must have a valid driving license;
- Must be within the minimum legal age (18-21).
What Makes a Good CPR Instructor?
Being a good CPR instructor is not just about attending a CPR instructor course. Possessing some or all of the following skills also helps.
Before anything else, CPR instructors are passionate about helping others. These individuals are driven by the passion for saving lives and are eager to share their knowledge through theory and examples.
A good CPR instructor is a person that is motivated to spread awareness of the importance of CPR, first aid techniques, and the use of AEDs. A CPR instructor is practically nothing if not motivated to encourage learners to pursue greater knowledge of life-saving techniques. These people motivate their students to participate in class and deliver constructive criticism.
CPR instructors have to have things in perspective and know how to transfer their knowledge through suitable presentations. If a certain CPR instructor does not know how to simplify complex topics and present them to their students in layman’s terms, it might do more harm than good.
One of the main traits that great CPR instructors have in common is the skill to communicate with their students flawlessly. A major part of being a solid CPR instructor is being a great public speaker. However, communication is a two-way street. CPR instructors also need to be attentive and listen to their students, understand what they’re asking, and communicate feedback in a clear and easy-to-understand tone.
How to Become a CPR Instructor: The Final Say
To become a certified CPR instructor, one must first complete a CPR instructor course. Many different organizations offer CPR instructor courses, such as AHA, the American Red Cross, and the National Safety Council.
After completing the instructor course, one must then pass a certification exam. Once certified, the instructor can then begin teaching CPR classes. It is important to note that most instructor certifications must be renewed every few years, so it is important to stay up to date on the latest CPR guidelines and techniques.
And most importantly, love what you do, and enjoy the possibility to train future lifesavers, just like you.