What Healthcare Certification Do you Need?

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Receiving a healthcare certification is a necessity for most healthcare professionals and a fast-growing area that offers abundant job options to choose from, each with its own particular qualifications. Figuring out which professions require certain training can be confusing, but we’re here to clear up some common misconceptions. Let’s look at ten common healthcare training courses. After a brief explanation of each, you can see which jobs require each course. Keep in mind, training standards and requirements vary state by state, although national recommendations are often used as guidelines.

First Aid – this basic training covers trauma, falls seizures, patient assessments and other emergency response tactics. Professions that use First Aid: nursing assistants, construction crew leaders, child care providers, adult family home aids, logging crew, rescue dive teams

CPR and AED (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) – used to treat cardiac arrest victims until help arrives. CPR is usually a combination of chest compressions and rescue breaths.  The AED (Automated External Defibrillator) is the machine used to “shock” the heart into a normal rhythm. People that use CPR: parents, security guards, teachers, fitness trainers, flight attendants, and laypeople.

ACLS (Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support) – the set of interventions for urgent treatment of cardiac arrest, stroke, and other life-threatening medical emergencies. ACLS includes advanced airway management, pharmacological interventions, and resuscitation team management. Professions that use ACLS: all healthcare professionals and medical personnel who may respond to a cardiovascular emergency.

BLS (Basic Life Support) – BLS is CPR for Healthcare Providers. This class covers CPR, AED, choking for conscious and unconscious patients of all ages and 2 rescuer CPR. Professions that use BLS: doctors, nurses, firefighters, police officers, dentists, EMT technicians, healthcare professionals, and other medical workers.

**Tip: If you are not sure if you need CPR and AED or BLS, take the BLS course. BLS is the highest level of CPR training and will fulfill any job requirement for CPR training.

PALS (Pediatric Advanced Life Support) – Essential for healthcare providers who respond to emergencies in infants and children. Professions that use PALS: doctors, nurses, dentists, pediatric healthcare workers

Pediatric First Aid and CPR Class- Helps manage illnesses and injuries in a child or infant in the first few minutes until professional help arrives. It is designed for non-healthcare individuals and child care workers. Professions that Use Pediatric First Aid: parents, preschool teachers, daycare workers, nannies, babysitters **Tip: Our Pediatric First Aid and CPR class is approved through the California EMSA

NRP (Neonatal Resuscitation Program) – this program is for physicians and nurses that work in the neonatal ICU or labor and delivery department Professions that use NRP: doctors, pediatric healthcare workers, nurses

ECG and Pharmacology (Electrocardiography) – this specialized process is helpful for anyone suffering a heart attack, cardiac murmurs, seizures, pulmonary embolism and other life-threatening emergencies. ECG and Pharmacology is designed to prepare students for ACLS and PALS training. Professions that use ECG: licensed healthcare professionals – doctors, nurses, hospital assistants and aids, ECG technicians

Hospital Fire Safety – this program covers fire extinguisher use, patient rescue scenarios, fire alarm systems, and pre fire planning. This course is specifically designed for Los Angeles City hospitals. Professions that use Hospital Fire Safety: any employee that works in acute care hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, or psychiatric hospitals in Los Angeles.

PEARS (Pediatric Emergency Assessment, Recognition, and Stabilization)– this program covers the steps needed to recognize and manage pediatric emergencies. If you are credentialed for advanced pediatric skills, please take the PALS course. Professions that use PEARS: healthcare employees and administrative personnel that work in facilities caring for children.

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“Medical Creep” – How CPR Gained Popularity and Prominence Since 1960

Medical CreepHow did cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) become the most popular way to treat cardiac arrest victims? It wasn’t official medical doctrine forced upon the public. It wasn’t random chance, either. No, CPR became a well-known medical practice due to something called “medical creep.”


According to a recent article by Brendan Reilly in The Atlantic, CPR got its start back in 1960, when surgeons at Johns Hopkins started a practice called “closed-chest cardiac massage.” Before this, doctors had to actually open a patient’s chest cavity and massage the heart. Aside from the obvious infection risks this posed, it also was time-consuming enough that, many times, it would be too late to save the person suffering from cardiac arrest.


The “medical creep” happened when the Johns Hopkins doctors and medical professionals started the closed-chest cardiac massage. Despite no evidence that the practical actually worked, the initial results were impressive enough to continue it – even though the so-called medical “experts” were skeptical (to say the least). This was CPR’s foot in the door, so to speak. Years of refining the procedure and tons of research did the rest.


Because the new method gained a foothold, it was only a matter of time before this effective, relatively easy-to-follow procedure found its way into mainstream medical practice. Even though the efficacy (results of CPR in ideal conditions) didn’t equate with the effectiveness (results of CPR in real-world conditions), CPR was well on its way to becoming widely-used throughout the United States and the world.


Medical creep, according to Reilly, has its pros and cons. But in the case of CPR, the creep has overall beneficial – after all, the end result was a practice that normal citizens (not just healthcare workers, nurses, doctors and the like) can use with effective training.


If you’d like to get the best possible CPR training, SureFire CPR is the #1 choice for Southern California and the greater Los Angeles area. Our CPR, BLS, ACLS, PALS and other courses are taught by medical professionals who are experts in their respective fields.


Contact us today! To speak with a CPR expert, please call (888) 277-3143, or visit our contact page. We’d love to hear from you.

Thanks again for reading the SureFire CPR blog.

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BLS Training: Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

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Basic Life Support (BLS) training is often used in tandem with CPR training. These crucial life-saving practices and procedures are important for anyone involved with emergency response situations – EMT technicians, lifeguards, firefighters, police officers and many more.

Since BLS training isn’t as well-known as CPR training, some people often make a few mistakes. These can occur both before and during the training. But don’t worry – they’re easily fixed. Let’s look at these slipups, and what can be done to remedy the situation.

Mistake #1 – Registering for an Incorrect Class

This happens more often than you think. Many people sign up for CPR training instead of a BLS class. Because there are common misconceptions between the two, you should be aware that BLS includes CPR, and also reviews other important practices. For example, the basic SureFire CPR BLS class touches on adult, child, and infant CPR, conscious and unconscious choking for victims of all ages, Automated External Defibrillator (AED) training and more. If you’re unsure about which class you need, just check with your supervisor beforehand.

Mistake #2 – Inadequate Compressing

During BLS training, not compressing correctly is often cited as a problem. The compression process requires enough force and also correct frequency. And since BLS training includes child and infant CPR, this is especially true with non-adults. Remember, children and infants require enough compression to kick-start the victim’s circulatory and respiratory systems. Similar to the first mistake, this one is solved by checking with the instructor to ensure you’re doing it correctly.

Did you know that SureFire CPR can help with both of these common mistakes? Our training experts can help you sign up for the right training. And once your BLS class begins, your professional & courteous SureFire CPR instructor will help with any issues along the way – yes, including proper compression for children & infants!

As Southern California’s premier CPR training company, we’ve helped hospitals, emergency response units, government agencies and private organizations with their CPR, BLS, ACLS and other training requirements. We can help today – just call our team at (888) 277-3143, or visit our contact page for more valuable information.

Thanks for stopping by!



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Free Hands-Only CPR Classes at the Orange County Health and Wellness Fair

SureFire CPR, the leading provider of CPR training in Orange County, hosted free Hands-Only CPR classes at the Orange County Health and Wellness Fair on Saturday August 23, 2014 from 9am to 3:30pm. The life-saving CPR classes were offered every hour on the stage throughout the day.
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CPR for Students is Required in NJ; Coming to California, Too?

CPR for Students is Required in NJ; Coming to California, Too?

CPR for Students is Required in NJ; Coming to California, Too?

With the emphasis on school safety stronger than ever, New Jersey is taking a bold approach. Starting this school year, all New Jersey high school students will be required to have CPR training.

The initiative has gained momentum throughout the last decade, and legislators finally thought the time was right to act. Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno signed a law recently, which requires all high school students (in New Jersey, defined as 9th through 12th grade) to acquire CPR training.
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Essential Safety Items to Pack When Going Camping

Camping is one of the most popular American outdoor activities. From pitching a tent in the backyard to extensive trips to national parks, it’s an excellent way to have fun and create memories. And to make sure those memories are fond ones, you’ll want to be prepared as you head into the Great Outdoors.

These essential safety items should be in everybody’s backpack.
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What To Do If You Get Bitten By A Snake

With summer in full swing, many of us are out enjoying the great outdoors. But all kinds of things live outside our homes, including a few really unpleasant creatures.

This blog will focus on what to do in the event you’re bitten by a snake. The United States generally doesn’t have the types of famous venomous snakes that inhabit Africa, Asia and the Indian subcontinent, however here in Southern California there are a few nasty species to keep your eye out for. Some of these bad guys include sidewinders, and a few different species of rattlesnakes, including western rattlesnakes, and the mojave rattlesnake.

What to do if you get Bitten by a Snake

What to do if you get Bitten by a Snake

To avoid getting bitten by a snake, it’s best to keep away from brush and other concealed areas (areas under sheds and porches). If you disturb a snake’s home, they’ll defend their territory – some ferociously.

If you are bitten by a snake, here are some general rules to follow:

• Move away from the snake. Repeat bites are common in encounters where the victim doesn’t leave the area.
• Try to identify what kind of snake bit you. Failing a picture, try to get a mental image. This information will be helpful at the hospital.
• Keep the affected body part still. Unnecessary movement can spread venom and further irritate the injury.
• Even if you see no swelling or discoloration, get to a health clinic or hospital immediately.
• Do not try to suck the venom from your wound. If the snake is venomous, this just puts the poison into your mouth, throat and lungs. Bad idea – keep the venom as isolated as possible.
• Remove any jewelry. More than 50% of snakebites are to the hands. Remove bracelets, rings, watches and anything else.

And just like any other emergency, it helps to stay as calm as you can. The situation can become much worse by panicking.

According to the California Poison Control Center, rattlesnakes account for more than 800 bites each year in California, with most bites occurring between April and October when both humans and snakes are most active outside.

With our informative Southern California CPR training classes, as well as BLS classes, ACLS classes and other emergency training, SureFire CPR can help keep you prepared for any situation.  Our passionate and professional staff includes current and former emergency response personnel, including nurses, EMT technicians, firefighters and more.

To learn about our individual class offerings, or to schedule your group for essential instruction, please call us at (888) 277-3143.

Thank you for reading the SureFire CPR blog!

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Rockin’ the Summer with Kids Play

Nearly every mother who’s met long hot summer days with energetic kids just freed from another year of school has faced that dreaded moment when she couldn’t stand it anymore. The frolicsome vitality that comes with the promise of summertime seems to literally burst from kids everywhere. I recall my own mother exclaiming (in desperation for some peace), “Go outside and find something to do.” Those were the days when “going outside” was a welcome assignment – long hours spent in water fights with the buddies, exploring the neighborhood on bikes, climbing trees or swimming at the local pool awaited the command, “find something to do.”

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Safety in Numbers

Think disco and almost always the same song that hit Billboard’s number one song in February 1978 pops into mind. Its title is almost prophetic and singing that same number one song today could save somebody’s life.  The secret is in the beat!


Stayin’ Alive released in the mid-seventies by the Bee-Gees has evolved, becoming a valuable tool when a life is on the line. Training taught through certification centers such as Sure Fire CPR in Orange County, uses the rhythm of Stayin’ Alive to help students pace compressions delivered during cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR.   With a tempo of 100 musical beats per minute, the song lends itself well to pacing the correct rate of contractions for effective circulation given through CPR.

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Group Activities for Your Office – How CPR Training Can Bring Your Office Together

CPR training can save lives. And it can also be an excellent way to build office camaraderie.

Are Men More Susceptible to Cardiac Arrest?

Are Men More Susceptible to Cardiac Arrest?

Managers and supervisors would agree – it’s never a bad time to increase employee morale. CPR training might not seem like an ideal event to have fun, but it’s actually the perfect method for creating some unexpected office entertainment.
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