All healthcare providers train in BLS

The Basic Life Support (BLS) Healthcare Provider Course is designed to train healthcare professionals with the needed skills and knowledge to recognize life-threatening situations and assist with emergencies. The course includes performing cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR), using an automatic external defibrillator (AED) and safely helping victims that are choking. Training and certification in BLS is mandatory for all certified, non-certified, licensed and non-licensed healthcare providers such as nurses, physicians, respiratory therapists and all allied health personnel. Also, physician's assistants, residents, fellows and all medical and nursing students in training.

Step 1

Locate a healthcare provider American Heart Association BLS course or one that is taught by a reputable organization that uses the hands-on skills and follows the AHA examination guidelines. Call or look up the locations on the AHA official website, or take advantage of BLS classes offered by your employer. Register and pay for the course and materials.

Step 2

Acquire the AHA BLS for Healthcare Provider Student Manual. Class content and detailed information on adult, pediatric and infant resuscitation, airway obstruction, bag mask use and two-man rescue scenarios are covered in the manual. Supplemental information on cardiac arrests, strokes and unique resuscitation situations are included on a CD included with the manual.

Step 3

Study the manual and CD ahead of time to prepare for class. Make a list of any questions for the Basic Life Support instructor.

Step 4

Attend the 4 1/2 hour Basic Life Support training course wearing comfortable clothing and shoes, it can be rigorous during the skills training and testing. Bring the BLS manual, water and a snack are suggested to keep up your energy level.

Step 5

Pass the skills test and written examination to receive your BLS certification completion card. Oftentimes the written exam is read and answered aloud after everyone has completed it.

Step 6

Re-certify by taking a BLS refresher course every two years, which only takes an hour or two. Pass the skills test and written exam to receive your new certification card that is good for another two years.


· Moderate


· Healthcare personnel seeking first-time or renewal certification can use a computer-based training kit. Students must pass an in-person skills testing session with an AHA BLS Instructor, the written exam is taken and scored from home, on a web-based testing site. This self-directed, instructional AHA BLS course combines interactive online lessons with CPR practice manikins and masks. The overall package allows students to learn at their convenience with AHA approved online lessons and learning tools to practice BLS hands-on skills.


· Costs for courses and materials are determined by training centers or instructors and may vary. The AHA gives authorized distributors the suggested retail price but does not regulate it.


· American Heart Association: BLS Healthcare Provider Course


· American Heart Association: Online AHA