AHA is not offering BLS recertification courses

AHA is not offering BLS recertification courses

Yuhan Zhang

The American Heart Association (AHA) in keeping with its word released the new basic cardiac life support for health care providers course on February 16th, 2016. This is the course that virtually everyone who works in healthcare, inside and outside of hospitals, is required to possess. In the past, those who have never been certified must attend a much longer course than those who have been attending every couple of years for decades. In a new effort to dictate the way that hospitals and healthcare agencies educate their employees, the AHA has decided not to make a renewal course available for at least one year following the release of the new guidelines. That means that everyone no matter how many years of experience you have must take the full provider course. Even those who do CPR daily such as those working in ICU units or cardiac catheterization laboratories must take the same course as a brand new nurse who graduated from school last Monday. In addition, the AHA recommends that each and every person review their CPR skills at least every 6 months. So there must be huge changes in the way we do CPR, correct?? That would be a big no. The changes to CPR for healthcare personnel are as follows:

Not impressed? Well what does this change in the way personnel are certified stand to cost us?

What does it cost?

Let’s take a look at a medium sized hospital with 2,500 employees. At a mean salary of $18.00 per hour that calculates out to $45,000 just for wages of everyone required to attend a full provider course. In addition, each and every student is required to have the new textbook at a cost of $13.25 per book. That’s another $33,125. At a cost of $2.50 per certification card, that adds another $6,250.00. This does not take into account the instructor time. The instructor requirement is 1 instructor for each 6 people taking the course. That’s 416 instructors x 4.5 hours (each course) times a mean salary of $30.00 is another $56,250. That’s a grand total of $140,625 just for the initial renewal for employees. Add to that that all employees are recommended to have their skills reviewed twice a year (4 times per certification period) adds another 4 hours to each employee at a mean rate of $18.00 takes our total to $185,625 every two years just to maintain CPR certification for the employees of a medium size hospital. Can you imagine the cost when you start to talk about large healthcare conglomerates with multiple facilities and 20,000 or more employees?

The American Heart Association is quickly pricing itself out of the market. Given the shrinking reimbursement numbers and the cry to save healthcare dollars, spending this kind of money on one very small part of an employee’s education just doesn’t make any sense when only a very small number of these personnel will ever utilize that skill. Every day nurses are called upon to give medication, start intravenous lines, or bandage wounds. Yet, no money is spent reviewing those skills. Here is a skill that a nurse may use once or twice in their career and we are spending this kind of money? That’s just insane.

There are many more affordable options for CPR certification out there. The AHA’s insistence on driving up the cost of certification has made it imperative that healthcare facilities look for other options. The most popular one (because of cost as well as ease of use) is to utilize on the of the many quality online versions of certification that are available. There have been many studies showing that online education is both cost effective and successful in imparting information. All of the top schools and universities in the country offer some or all of their courses in an online format. It’s time healthcare providers were freed up from the old traditions and empowered to look to the competition for more cost effective answers.

See our online BLS courses at the page

The American Heart Association name is owned by American Heart Association, Inc. Pacific Medical Training has no affiliation with American Heart Association.