5 ways COVID is changing group CPR education for good…and for the good of all
2021 has arrived, along with great hope for a return to some sense of normalcy. While everyone is eager to leave the pandemic behind, instead of rushing to get everything exactly as it was before COVID, we should take account of lessons learned that will ultimately move us forward. CPR training and COVID do not need to be at odds with each other.
Throughout 2020, organizations like yours developed creative and innovative ways to conduct CPR and First Aid training that not only kept individuals safe but made training more effective and efficient. Some of these changes should and will continue to change CPR training for good.
Here are five ways your staff CPR classes might look different going forward:
(#5 might even surprise you!)
In-person training courses beef up safety measuresIn-person CPR courses with a live instructor are not gone — they will just change a bit compared to what they were like before COVID — with measures adapting depending on the needs of each organization.
CPR class sizes may be smaller (6 vs 15 students, for example). Students may need to wear masks, social distance and practice on their own manikin instead of sharing a manikin with others.
Negative COVID tests might be required prior to a class, especially to safely accommodate larger classes.
Online CPR courses grow in relevance and importanceThe American Heart Association’s 2020 CPR education guideline updates recommend self-paced CPR training, like that available via an online CPR course. This allows more people to get certified or renew their certifications while eliminating concerns about COVID.
In addition to COVID safety, these CPR courses come with some other perks, especially for groups. Team members can take courses based on their recertification dates, not when an instructor happens to be onsite, eliminating concerns about certification lapses. From a compliance standpoint, it’s a win for everyone.
People can also learn at their own pace, stopping or replaying any part of the training as they need. They can complete courses at work or at home, at any time of the day or night. This also keeps them working when needed as they can take the classes off work hours.
In-person hands-on training reinforces online learningOpting for online CPR courses doesn’t mean your staff can’t practice on real manikins. Companies that deliver video-based CPR training are set up to supply manikin kits to your work location to even to your staff at home.
After completing an online course, a participant meets with a live instructor via a video call. The instructor walks them through the CPR process on the manikin. Some manikins feature lights that indicate when compressions are deep enough and properly paced. These video call sessions may also be conducted with multiple team members at one time. It’s just another way to help more of your staff get CPR certified.
Hands-on training goes fully remote via video callsThe growing use of video calls and the development of low-cost disposable manikins has created a new fully-remote instructor-led CPR course conducted completely via video conference.
This type of training is largely identical to a classroom course with the same lecture, video and hands-on testing components as a regular classroom course.
These changes offer clear benefits but, wait — there’s more! The following bonus change may not be anything you’ve thought about before but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen…
Virtual reality prepares to bring the future to today (or at least tomorrow…)Virtual reality-based CPR training does not yet exist but don’t rule it out — especially since the new 2020 AHA guidelines give a nod to this as a viable option. Technologies like gamification and VR might just present us all with a whole new form of CPR education someday!
A new year has started, vaccines are rolling out and everyone’s excited. Let’s work together to take the best of what we learned from the changes 2020 forced upon us by expanding opportunities to get all of your staff safely CPR certified to make 2021 and future years just that much better!