CPR Certification Or BLS Certification?

BLS CertificationCPR certification or BLS certification?


What’s the difference? These two types of CPR certifications can cause a great deal of confusion for people who need a certification for their career. How do you avoid wasting 4 hours of your day sitting in the wrong class? Read on!


So here’s the deal… Both CPR and BLS are types of CPR certifications. This is what confuses the majority of the people:


BLS Certification

BLS (which stands for Basic Life Support for the Healthcare Provider) is a more advanced level of CPR than a standard CPR class. BLS is a certification through the American Heart Association and is required for all medical personnel. This includes doctors, nurses, EMTs, firefighters, police officers, etc. Dentist and dental hygienists also fall under this category as well. Requirements differ by state and area, but in Southern California, including Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Riverside County recognize BLS through the American Heart Association is the most widely accepted certification.


CPR Certification

CPR (typically called community CPR or Heartsaver CPR) is the certification that is geared toward non-medical personnel. It may also be called layperson CPR. The majority of these classes are taught in person, but online courses are available as well. It is important to know what type of layperson CPR you are getting because there are many variations. The most inclusive certifications will cover Adult, Child, and Infant CPR, Automated External Defibrillators, as well as conscious and unconscious choking. If you get a really good company, they should offer information on bloodborne pathogens as well. Make sure your certification is valid for 2 years as well.


So there you have it! BLS is for healthcare providers, CPR is for everyone else. I can’t speak for the rest of the world, but if you’re a healthcare professional looking for an Orange County CPR certification, make sure you take BLS!

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Showing 4 comments
  • Lauren Foster

    I have a question!! If I currently am certified in HeartSaver CPR (layperson) and need BSL for Healthcare Providers, can I take a re-certification BSL course? If the answer is YES it would make my life a whole lot easier… but I’m guessing it’s NO!
    Thanks for any help!

  • SureFire CPR

    Hi Lauren!

    Unfortunately you will need to take the BLS class for Healthcare Providers. Where are you located? If you are anywhere in Southern California, maybe we can make your life a little easier by giving you a discount on one of our classes. Please write back and let me know what city you’re in. I hope you have a great day!


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