What is "BLS", anyway? And is it the CPR class I need to take?

Updated: Dec 11, 2018


What is BLS?

BLS stands for "Basic Life Support", and is the standard-level CPR course for most professionals in the healthcare environment. This can range from emergency room staff to in-home adult caregivers. While these environments may be different in terms of the equipment and personnel available, the CPR basics we cover in the American Heart Association BLS class are applicable to all circumstances. Basic Life Support means just that - we cover the basic CPR skills of compressions, breathing, and AED use, for both one-rescuer and multi-rescuer situations. Modifications to these procedures that are not covered in lay rescuer CPR training include administering pulse checks, using bag valve masks (BVMs), CPR in the presence of an advanced airway, and addressing the various issues having to do with team dynamics.

BLS Provider Course Outline

Here's a brief outline of a BLS class session:

1. 1-Rescuer Adult BLS

  1. Adult Chain of Survival

  2. Scene Safety and Assessment

  3. Adult Compressions

  4. Pocket Mask

  5. 1-Rescuer Adult BLS

2. AED and Bag-Mask Device

3. 2-Rescuer Adult BLS

4. Team Dynamics

5. Child BLS

  1. Pediatric Chain of Survival

  2. Child BLS

  3. 2-Rescuer Child CPR

6. Infant BLS

  1. Infant BLS

  2. Infant Compressions

  3. Bag-Mask Device for Infants

  4. 2-Rescuer Infant BLS

  5. AED for Infants and Children

7. Special Considerations

  1. Mouth-to-Mouth Breaths

  2. Rescue Breathing

  3. Breaths with an Advanced Airway

  4. Opioid-Associated Life-Threatening Emergency

8. Adult and Child Choking

9. Infant Choking

The Benefits of Hands-On Training

The American Heart Association BLS Provider course involves a lot (and we do mean a LOT) of hands-on practice. The intent is to reinforce the basic skills of healthcare provider CPR in an environment that is conducive to learning - supportive, structured, and supervised by an experienced BLS instructor. This allows for skills development to be practiced in conditions that allow for effective review, reinforcement, and when required, correction and modification. Whether you are renewing your certification or experiencing the BLS Provider program for the first time, our class sessions will prepare you to administer CPR effectively and with confidence. And if you are continuing your training at the ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) level, you'll be applying the skillls you practice as a BLS Provider in that course too.

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HealthForce Training Center provides high quality training and the latest American Heart Association programs customized for health and non-health care providers. Our mission is to provide a fun and stress free learning experience that can equip individuals with the knowledge and skills to be confident with their medical care and emergency situations.

AHA Disclaimer: The American Heart Association strongly promotes knowledge and proficiency in BLS, ACLS, and PALS and has developed instructional materials for this purpose. Use of these materials in an educational course does not represent course sponsorship by the American Heart Association. Any fees charged for such a course, except for a portion of fees needed for AHA materials, do not represent income to the Association.

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