The COVID-19 pandemic has put many things on hold. From social lives and vacation plans to job opportunities and education, many people have had to change the trajectory of their lives to keep themselves and their loved ones safe. At the same time, staying up-to-date with first aid and life support training has never been more essential. With hospital beds filled and medical professionals involved in treating COVID-19 patients, it’s more vital than ever for others to be able to handle emergency medical situations.
Fortunately, educators have been able to reach their students through distance learning. Hybrid learning options including online ACLS & PALS certifications for medical professionals are becoming increasingly popular ways to keep employees up-to-date, even during the pandemic. That said, here are some tips on how to help your staff maintain life support certification in the time of COVID-19:
1. Understand The Benefits Of Life Support Training
Life support certifications must be renewed every two years, and many healthcare professionals risk losing their certification because of delays in training caused by the pandemic. The medical field is continually advancing, and staying up-to-date is literally a matter of life and death. Valid certification is a requirement for many jobs in the medical field and is a great boon in a number of other areas. Accredited training programs follow a core curriculum set forth by the American Heart Association’s International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR).
Ensuring your staff are properly certified comes with a number of implicit benefits, regardless of the field you work in. If people are involved, it never hurts to be prepared in the event of an emergency. The benefits of your staff having up-to-date life support certification include the following:
- Improved emergency preparedness
- Improved staff confidence and morale
- Lower insurance premiums
- Lower risk of litigation
- Protecting your staff and customers—and yourself!
Remember that every staff member represents your company, and the actions of one in an emergency situation can reflect poorly or positively on your company. Similarly, the more well-prepared your staff is, the safer and more satisfied they will feel in this uncertain time.
2. Choose A Common Life Support Training Option
Life support certification includes CPR, but some programs go well beyond it. Determining which programs will best fit your staff’s needs depends on their positions and your company. The following are the most common programs you will find within life support certification:
- Basic Life Support (BLS)
The most approachable life support training option, BLS will equip your staff to handle CPR for adults and children, the use of defibrillators (AED devices), as well as removing obstructions from an individual’s airway in the event of choking. These programs may cater directly to healthcare professionals or laypeople.
- Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS)
A more advanced course, ACLS covers BLS techniques in addition to more advanced management of cardiac arrest, strokes, and other life-threatening conditions. This training is typically required for medical professionals working with high-risk patients, such as those working in an ER or ICU, but experts recommend any healthcare professional take this course.
- Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS)
Similar to ACLS, PALS builds on the foundation of BLS with more advanced techniques, but is specifically designed for healthcare professionals who work with children.
3. Decide Who Benefits From Receiving Life Support Training
Nurses and other healthcare professionals benefit greatly from life support training. However, even if you don’t operate in the healthcare space, your staff could still benefit from life support certification. Some professions that benefit from life support training include:
- Public transportation staff
- Police agents and guards
- Social workers
- Child care professionals
- Rest home staff
4. Understand Your Options
As mentioned before, keeping your staff’s training up-to-date is made easier with the access to distance learning options. Online life support certification programs often offer a hybrid of online theory and in-person practice, either one-on-one or with social distancing measures in place. Online programs should still follow the guidelines of the American Heart Association and be properly accredited. These programs will allow your staff to stay up-to-date and to work at their own pace.
Our world and our nation continue to face an unprecedented crisis in the form of the COVID-19 pandemic. That said, it’s now more important than ever to stay up-to-date on life support training and ensure that our staff is well prepared to keep themselves, each other, and their clients safe in the event of an emergency. Distance learning options can help your staff maintain their life support certifications without putting them at risk of contracting COVID-19.