What is BLS for Healthcare Providers?

What is BLS for Healthcare Providers?

Lauren Diffendarfer

by Lauren Diffendarfer

Medical Educator

posted on Jun 15, 2016, at 9:39 pm


IF YOU’RE A HEALTH CARE PROVIDER OF ANY SORT, you’re likely required to take a Basic Life Support (BLS) certification course. As the name implies, BLS for healthcare providers offers the foundation of skills and knowledge needed to resuscitate, revive, or sustain a person experiencing a cardiac emergency. It is a more advanced CPR certification, intended specifically for healthcare professionals. Individuals who work closely with the elderly or young children, coaches, lifeguards, and babysitters may also benefit from BLS.
This type of intervention is given to ill or injured individuals until full medical care at a hospital or facility can be provided. Without the BLS protocol, brain damage may occur and the individual could die. While sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is the most common incident when a person needs BLS, there are several other situations when it’s used.

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BLS is used in several life-threatening situations:

  • Cardiac Arrest
  • Stroke
  • Choking
  • Heart Attacks
  • Drowning

BLS is used in any scenario where breathing or a heartbeat has been compromised.

The foundation of BLS course material includes:

  • American Heart Association BLS Chain of Survival
  • The most recent BLS AHA guidelines and standards
  • Use of an automated external defibrillator (AED)
  • Relief of choking
  • Airway management
  • One-rescuer and two-rescuer CPRBLS for adults, children, and infants

While every course differs in what it offers, the essentials above should adequately prepare health care providers to act in an emergency.

BLS requires no medical equipment, making it different from the Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) course that is required for medical professionals. BLS doesn’t require skills in invasive protocols, such as intravenous and intraooseous routes.

Classroom BLS vs. Online BLS for Healthcare Providers

Individuals who are in need of BLS certification or BLS recertification can choose either online BLS for healthcare providers, or they can choose to certify in a classroom. Traditional classroom courses are often taught over the course of a weekend, while online BLS can be a more convenient, flexible, and cost-friendly option. Many individuals choose online BLS over classroom-based courses because they aren’t willing to give up their weekend. In addition, traditional BLS courses are taught by an instructor that will most likely require an in-person skills assessment after the course. With online BLS for healthcare providers, students have the flexibility and convenience of studying the manuals on their own time and at their preferred pace without needing to pass a skills assessment. Health care providers can become BLS certified anywhere, anytime with the online option, as it can be done on any computer or mobile device.

Check out the below video for a quick explanation of BLS!


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About Lauren

Lauren works as the Medical Educator for the Disque Foundation and has worked closely with us since 2014. She is a full-time student pursuing a BS in Biology at Indiana University as a recipient of the Chick Evans Caddy Scholarship and hopes to attend medical school to become a physician in the future. She is certified in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, Basic Life Support, Advanced Cardiac Life Support and Pediatric Advanced Life Support, and she is also a certified Basic Life Support Instructor for the American Heart Association. She stays heavily involved with health care in and out of her local community, helping plan and coordinate Disque Foundation events, teaching lifesaving skills to the communities and organizations that we serve and volunteering at her hometown hospital in the Birthing Unit.

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