How to Get First Aid and CPR Training

Earning a first aid and CPR certification will prepare you for emergencies and make you a better caregiver.
Jennifer Geisman, Contributor
Articles> How to Get First Aid and CPR Training
cpr training

It's not fun to think about emergencies. But as much as you hope they'll never happen, you do have to be prepared. CPR and first aid are things that everyone -- especially people who care for children -- should know.

You may not realize the importance of first aid or CPR certification until you're faced with a life-threatening situation. For some, an emergency may never occur and for others it may happen more than once. Whether you're a new parent, a senior care aide, a nanny or a budding babysitter, the value of CPR and first aid training is priceless in an emergency.

Understand the Benefits of CPR and First Aid
CPR and first aid training will teach you:

  • How to check the scene of the emergency
  • How to determine the needs of a victim
  • When to call 911
  • First aid skills for controlling bleeding and treating cuts, scrapes, bee stings, insect or snake bites, etc.
  • The signs and symptoms of a heart attack, choking, etc.
  • How to treat sudden illnesses

If you're a parent, you know that kids like to put anything and everything into their mouths -- from bugs to toys. And they're always getting new scrapes and cuts. First aid and CPR training can help prepare you for tackling these common childhood occurrences.

In addition, emergency training is a necessary skill for caregivers to have -- and it looks great on a resume! Businesses and families like to see it, as it means you're serious about taking care of others. If you have the training, mention it in your profile and job application.

Even better: Caregivers with first aid and CPR training are 2.5 times more likely to be contacted by families!

Find a CPR and First Aid Course
You can find either online or in-person courses all around you. Many local hospitals and community centers offer programs or can point you in the right direction. You can also find safety training courses through the websites of the American Red Cross, the American Heart Association and the National Safety Council.

They offer are a variety of courses, aimed at helping both adult and child victims. There are classes ranging from a 30-minute citizen CPR session, to blended learning courses, to a full first aid, CPR and AED (Automated External Defibrillator) course. The Red Cross even has a class called "Babysitter's Training and Pediatric First Aid/CPR", which prepares teen babysitters with these important skills.

Take a Refresher Class
After you take a class, make sure you receive a certification (most are good for two years) and ask about access to free digital skills refreshers.

"Of course it's important to become CPR and first aid certified, but it's equally vital to take refresher courses," says Don Lauritzen, a spokesperson for the American Red Cross. "You may have taken training years ago, but it's better to be up-to-date and confident in your skills in case of an emergency."

Evaluate the Time Commitment
The lengths of the different classes vary, but all are relatively short for the amount of potentially life-saving information conveyed.

"Courses typically run anywhere from three to five hours and can be done all in one shot or multiple sessions," Lauritzen says. Plus, you can usually find daytime, weeknight and weekend classes that can accommodate any schedule.

Assemble a First Aid Kit
Even if you haven't gotten trained in first aid yet, you should have a completely stocked first aid kit in your car, home, office and nanny bag. It's essential for any emergency -- from scraped knees to snake bites to car accidents and earthquakes. Your kit should include things like different size bandages, antibiotic ointment, aspirin, hand sanitizer, gauze, scissors, etc. You can also purchase ready-made ones online.

In an emergency, dial 911 first. But you should also have the skills to detect, assess and treat victims until professional medical personnel arrive. It's an important ability that can save lives.

Jennifer Geisman is a freelance writer in Los Angeles. Her work can be found here.

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(20) Comments
I've just started to allow our care givers to do the online CPR courses. I was very skeptical at first. What do other providers think? I used the "National CPR certification" site and it seems rather legit.
Any comments?
November 18, 2015 at 10:38 PM
Euda E.
Euda E.
How do I post my certificates and CPR card for potential employers to see along with references
May 29, 2015 at 12:52 PM
Melissa C.
Melissa C.
Just noticed aspirin as part of recommended items for the "nanny bag". I am a professional nanny with 10+ years experience and I disagree. Rye Syndrome is a concern with that when it comes to children. Tylenol or even Advil is safer.
January 6, 2015 at 10:39 AM
Susan Niles
Susan Niles
I need to find a CPR class in my area, New Bedford MA
December 29, 2014 at 3:06 PM
Member Care Representative
Member Care Representative
Hello Marta, there are several certifications that you can receive which will assist you in becoming an effective nanny and even help you stand out when applying to jobs. Check out this article for more information!
July 31, 2014 at 3:23 PM
Marta W.
Marta W.
hos does one become a certified nanny? Is it just having CPR and first aid training? thanks!
July 30, 2014 at 12:21 PM Member Care Member Care
Hello Tonya,

There is an option to edit your bio on your profile, once selecting it, you will be able to include all your certifications and qualifications. This is a great way to make your profile stand out. I hope this was helpful and good luck on the job search!
July 17, 2014 at 1:47 PM
Tonya W.
Tonya W.
I currently have my CPR and First Aide training Card. How do I let families know about it?
July 5, 2014 at 2:02 PM
Kat Miller
Kat Miller
I have a question I believe CPR and first aide are essential skills to add to my arsenal of knowledge I have a bad back since 1999. I have have problems with knees recently in the last year bn working out to strengthen them. Do you have any advice or knowledge on minimum physical requirements for CPR and first aide
June 11, 2014 at 9:34 PM
Janice P.
Janice P.
I like it that is good to have yes
February 11, 2014 at 9:47 PM Member Care Member Care
Hi Richell! If you are looking for places to take CPR classes, you can contact your local hospitals or community centers. You can also look up the American Red Cross, American Heart Association, or the National Safety Council to see if there are any classes they are running in your area. We hope this helps, and wish you the best!
December 4, 2013 at 4:47 PM
Richell B.
Richell B.
Looking for some inexpensive CPR classes in the east valley area in AZ. Any ideas?
December 1, 2013 at 6:45 PM Member Care Member Care
Hi Kiyana,
Great question! That is something that might vary state to state, and something you can discuss with the day care that is hiring you. Make sure to be clear on what is expected of you, and what is covered by them. You could also do some research on your local hiring laws to see what things should or shouldn't be covered. We hope this helps, and wish you the best!
November 22, 2013 at 2:46 PM
Kiyanna C.
Kiyanna C.
I just got a new job at a day care and was wondering if they're suppose to pay for my finger prints and first aid/cpr classes??
November 20, 2013 at 9:32 AM
Malika S.
Malika S.
Hello, I just want to say I am very happy that you the onwer has come up with a website like I have not been on here long ( 2 weeks )and already have a job through is the truth! Thank You!
May 29, 2013 at 3:50 PM
Malika S.
Malika S.
Hello, I am a Home Health Aide /CNA/Medical Assistant/Medical Billing Coder. I have CPR-BLS card that is current should I put that in my profile with
May 29, 2013 at 3:47 PM
Grant D.
Grant D.
How can I find classes around my area? I am a teen babysitter and would like to learn CPR and learn anything I am not fond of in first aid.
May 24, 2013 at 1:07 PM
Susan H.
Susan H.
My daughter (also a nanny) are checking into becoming certified nannies. This includes CPR and First Aid Training along with taking an exam.
April 10, 2013 at 6:54 PM
Member Care.
Member Care.
Hi Beatrice!

There are many community colleges, hospitals, and local organizations like the Red Cross that offer CNA training. Our advice would be to search online for local classes in your area! Best of luck.
March 29, 2013 at 11:05 AM
Beatrice A.
Beatrice A.
Where are some classes for CNA, Kansas City, KS.
March 29, 2013 at 1:24 AM

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