How to Become a Certified BLS Instructor
If you are interested in becoming a certified BLS instructor and want to know how to get into the career, this post will be helpful to you. You will discover the training and certification courses you need to take to qualify to seek employment.
Please, continue reading ….
Who is a BLS Instructor?
BLS simply stands for Basic Life Support, and an instructor is one who leads the class and provides training about how to use the proper Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) technique to save lives by restoring the consciousness of a cardiac attack victim.
Requirements and Career Pathway for Becoming a Certified BLS Instructor
What you need to become a BLS instructor includes the following:
- Before you can think of becoming a certified BLS instructor, you need to possess high school diploma, excellent speaking, and teaching and presentation skills.
- You must be up to 18 years with years of experience in some areas.
- Capability of lifting BLS equipment weighing up to 50 pounds.
- You must have self-esteem and have passion for teaching.
How to Obtain BLS Instructor Certification
To secure an admission to the instructor-level BLS training course, you must obtain the Basic Life Support (BLS) certification first.
Courses are offered by the American Heart Association (AHA), the American Red Cross, the American Safety and Health Institute, and the National Safety Council.
Students are to attend basic courses and prepare for exam sessions before certification will be granted.
Some of the BLS topics covered in the programs include First Aid, Adult and Infant BLS methods, use of automated external defibrillator (AED), and help summon.
Obtaining Basic Life Support Certification through American Red Cross:
There are the BLS HCV and BLS non-healthcare certification courses in the program. This helps students to gain knowledge of emergency relief methods, chest compression methods, and principles, techniques, and methods of BLS.
Duration for the course is two to six hours with course participants having the option of online classes, classroom program, or simulation, depending on their convenience and ability.
The BLS Instructor Certification Course:
The completion of the BLS Certification Course falls into two stages, and you can only qualify for the certification by passing an initial course available online.
Failure to clear the test will disqualify the student from participating in the instructor training program.
About the two stages of BLS Certification Course:
1. The first stage of the program is known to be “Fundamentals of Instructor Training”, in which the students learn about the organization’s activities, structure, history, and more.
2. The second stage is where the main training takes place, and this gets the instructors ready for work. The work includes performing in a specific environment with specific people such as lifeguards, babysitters, and child care providers.
Renewal of Certification
The Red Cross BLS Instructor Certificate expires after two years, to be renewed when the candidate has taught at least one course during the validation period.
Training for BLS Instructors
In order to enroll in a BLS instructor training course, you have to look for a program that offers such a course. Your resources, time, energy, and money will be put to the training for a successful course program.
Two of the popular BLS Instructors Training courses are as follows:
Life Support Training Institute
Life Support Training Institute presents an American Heart Association Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers Instructor Course.
For those intending to go for education and training of healthcare providers and the public using cardiopulmonary resuscitation method, the American Heart Association Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers Instructor Course is for them.
The American Heart Association comments on AHA Instructor Course being the only course program with effective techniques needed for instructing others in resuscitation courses.
The instructors of this course are required to reach at least 16 years in age. They are taught BLS Provider techniques, documentation compliance with AHA guidelines, methods of effective instruction for specific courses, and lots more.
After successful completion of the BLS Instructor Course, which lasts for 8 hours, the students are required to conduct a Heartsaver BLS Course.
The student teacher is to be monitored by an LSTI TC Faculty for a successful evaluation, and then a course completion card and two year certification as a BLS Instructor will be provided.
Before any student can start class attendance, the following documentation must be completed:
- Must have completed the BLS Essentials and/or Heartsaver Essentials Course online with submission of same documentation
- Must have up-to-date AHA Provider status in the course they intend to teach, and submission of same documentation
- Must make payment for the BLS Instructor Course Manual.
Payment for the course is required prior to the program, and an Instructor Candidate Application will be completed during the course.
Payment can be done online or in person at the American Heart Association business office during business hours. Tuition discounts is available for current municipal and corporate employees and corporate partners.
An instructor candidate application must be completed during the course. Course fee is $400.00, including materials, BLS instructor manual and certification card issued after student teaching and monitoring.
Cooper Medical Education Basic Life Support Instructor Course
This program was designed for allied health professionals interested in teaching BLS, physicians and nurses. The instructor course is to equip AHA (American Heart Association) instructors.
A copy of current AHA Healthcare Provider card, a letter of recommendation from a current AHA BLS instructor and tuition fee payment are some of the necessary requirements for candidates.
Once the registration is completed and the tuition fee paid, the student will receive information to confirm that he/she has actually completed the BLS Instructor Essentials online course, which must be completed before attending class. The certificate affirming completion must be printed and submitted to the office of Cooper Medical Education before the course date.
A psychomotor skills evaluation on all adult, pediatric BLS skills and a written exam during the morning hours of the course, are to be successfully completed by the candidates involved so as to gain entry.
Additional BLS psychomotor skills must be performed by course participants without an instructor’s coaching. Failure to successfully complete the BLS performance skills evaluation with at least 90% scores on the written exam will result to disqualification with no refund of payment.
In addition to the preparation for the Basic Life Support Instructor Course, all candidates are required to attend a Healthcare Provider course at Cooper University Hospital within 30 days of the instructor course.
In order to complete the registration process, all candidates involved are expected to pay $375 for non-employees and $225 for Cooper employees.
Refund of money will only be available to candidates who cancel their registration at least two weeks prior to the date of the course, but the fee for course manuals are excluded.
Duties and Responsibilities of BLS Instructors
If you are thinking of working as a BLS instructor, here are some of the duties and responsibilities usually assigned to the role:
- Coordinating the clas
- Evaluation of students’ performance
- Keeping a watch on equipment and other things
Where Can BLS Instructors Find Employment?
Employment for BLS instructors depends on individual connections, desire and effort. Some may not like to work under an employer, but rather own their businesses.
Even if you want to seek employment, make sure that you go to the right source. Places like hospitals, universities, and community centers provide employment opportunities for BLS instructors.
Below are some of the ways you can actually work as a BLS Instructor:
Finding Employment with Emergency Service Provider Institutes
A Certified BLS instructor can find job positions with ambulance services, fire and police departments, and many other emergency service provider institutes. Occasional communication with those companies for employment opportunities will be of great advantage.
Finding Employment with Training Institutes
Certified BLS instructors may be employed by training institutes for providing professional training to their students. From there, instructors can proudly take their newly found job to another level.
Being a self-established BLS instructor can be another avenue for creating employment for oneself.
But this requires that you possess good marketing and advertising skills, the ability to convince people, and the necessary equipment needed for the business. You also need to purchase the land where you will build structures needed for starting.
The Average Salary for BLS Instructors
The salary of a BLS instructor may depend on the city or state where he/she works. Some of the large cities such as Houston in Texas can pay a good sum as $155,984. New York City follows with an annual salary of $146,074, while Miami in Florida pays $135,085 per year.
Phoenix in Arizona does not pay as much as other mentioned cities, so the BLS instructors in Phoenix earn an estimated amount of $17,134.
As Chicago pays an annual salary of $82,313, BLS instructors in cities such as North Carolina and Charlotte make close to $90,830 annually, followed by Dallas in Texas with an annual salary of $95,174.
According to Payscale, male BLS instructors make an hourly rate of $12 to $21, while females earn $14 to $34.