If you are not working for an employer or agency that offers first aid courses as a perk or requirement, there are other options to investigate for getting your first aid certification. The only true training is one that provides you with a certificate of completion. The Red Cross issues cards that certify the successful trainee with a 3 year First Aid card and a 1 year certification for CPR. I have taken first aid and CPR training for about twenty years and the nationally accepted certification, and the only one that I know of that is useful against a victim who complains or sues, is the Red Cross Certifications.
Local first aid classes are simple to locate. Your local first aid and fire departments typically hold classes periodically throughout the year. The local hospital, as well as your local high school’s Adult Programs have training available, as well. You might also check out your community colleges summer courses too. These courses will have applicable costs, you will need to inquire to the cost at the time you contact the facilitating agency or school. These sources for first aid training courses can be found in the community section of your local newspaper, the local library as well as the phone book and Internet. Contact your local municipal office for community training classes.
To acquire appropriate and useful training you will need to choose the program that provides the most comprehensive course. A course that takes you through all of the first aid procedures, blood born pathogens, CPR and aed training leaves nothing out. The instructor should be certified and credentials, as well. The best training courses are about 6 to 8 hours long. They involve instruction, video and hands on training. As well as on site testing for the certification. The American Red Cross courses allow repeating students to “test out” after the first or second year of retraining. A quick run through of the hands on procedures for first aid and CPR, and then you may take the test. However, if changes have been made to the procedures from one testing to your next, you will be required to take the course at least once to incorporate the changes in the proper sequence.
It is important to pay close attention throughout the course. Ask pertinent question so that you are sure that you understand all the procedures.Practice the hands on procedures until you are certain that you are able to perform them. When you have completed the training and have practiced the procedures, you are ready to take the certification test.
It is important to remember that you want a certification from a reputable source. There are many “First Aid” courses out there. Including ones that can be taken on line. These are a concern, as you receive none of the hands on training a formal class provides. Be certain you are taking a recognized training course.