How to Save a Life

Had you asked me several years ago, I never would have thought about doing CPR/First Aid certification. Not because I thought it was a bad idea, I just never really knew much about it or was offered the chance to do it. I actually did my first certification two years ago as a requirement to be AFAA-certified to teach group fitness, which is a requirement for me to teach Zumba. If I’m being completely honest, I only planned to do CPR training since that was what was required. Though other companies offered only-CPR training, the company we (my friend Megan and I went together) did the certification through offered a combined course that covered CPR, AED, and First Aid, and I’m so glad we went with the latter. In fact, now that I’ve had the chance to experience the certification, I really think that everyone should do it. You never know when that knowledge and those life-saving skills could come in handy – for a stranger or for a loved one.

(Side note – I keep trying to insert this video, but the code isn’t working – click here to watch)

On Saturday, I did my second CPR, AED, First Aid certification with the same company we used before, Caskey CPR. The previous CPR certification I did lasted two years and the First Aid three. Though I only needed CPR re-certification, I decided to do them all together to refresh my memory. I really loved having Grace lead the training again – she’s very personable and offers great real-life examples.

As I sat through training, I thought about all the ways that this information could come in handy for me:

  • What if a Zumba participant began suffering from heat exhaustion?
  • What if a Zumba participant fainted in class?
  • What if hubby started choking?
  • What if one of my parents suffered a heart attack or stroke?

IMG_9576.JPG

(photo from last certification)

You don’t often think about worse-case scenarios, and though I hope that none of them ever happen, they absolutely could. Would I want to sit helplessly not knowing what to do? No, I’d rather be trained to know what to do if such an emergency occurred.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t feel like a CPR/AED/First Aid expert. But having now done my second certification, I feel a lot more confident that I would be able to do something to help. And I’d definitely rather know a little than nothing. I also took home some booklets with information, which we’re supposed to review once a month, and I think those reviews will help a lot, too. Though the thought of having to put some of this training to use in real life terrifies me, I still think I’d rather be trained then to know absolutely nothing.

And in case you are as clueless as I used to be about CPR/AED/First Aid training, here are some of the topics we covered. What to do if someone:

  • needs CPR
  • needs help from an AED
  • has a heart attack
  • has a stroke
  • has a seizure
  • has a diabetic problem
  • suffers from heat exhaustion
  • has a heat stroke
  • gets bitten by a snake
  • gets bitten by a spider
  • is choking
  • is unresponsive and not breathing
  • is unresponsive and breathing
  • has an allergic reaction to something (food allergy, etc.)
  • suffers from poisoning (overdose, reaction, etc)
  • falls down stairs
  • is bleeding from a wound
  • has a nosebleed
  • has hypothermia
  • has an asthma attack

Plus a lot more. Phew!

Oh and we learned about what to put in a First Aid Kit, which I really need by the way. I think I’ll get one this week. :)

Reader question: Are you CPR, AED, or First Aid certified? Have you ever had to use any of your training in real life?

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Comments

  1. says

    I used to be a montessori preschool teacher, so I had to obtain quite a few levels of First Aid certification. I’ve never had to use my training so far, with the exception of some throat sweeping for choking, but I’m still so glad I have it. Thanks for the reminder – I need to renew! :)

  2. says

    I got certified my senior year of college but have since let it lapse. I still remember most of the info but the thing I remember most is the absolutely disgusting boy I had to share the CPR dummy with and being completely grossed out by having to do the “mouth to mouth” part after he did. The alcohol swab they gave us to disinfect after one another just didn’t ease my worries at all! Eww!

  3. Pam says

    I am a pediatric RN. We learn AED skills and are CPR certified. We also have to get certified in Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) every 2 years. That certification takes 16 hours of instruction and testing. Fortunately, I have never had to use the AED or CPR on a child.

    • says

      I was struggling to remember a lot of the information I learned from only 2 years ago! 13 years is a long time. I wonder if some of the information has changed, too? I know they said that the breathing/compression technique has changed since I first did mine about 2 years ago.

  4. Danielle says

    Since I just got my Zumba teaching license, I’ve also become CPR/AED certified. I am actually currently working towards my AFAA cert. as well (I test in September at the APEX event in NYC…yikes!!)

    Luckily, I’ve never had to use my CPR/AED skills yet, but I am so glad I have the knowledge in case I ever do have to. I learned so much on the day of my cert.!

    (As a side note, I think it’s awesome that you are required to be AFAA/ACE certified in order to teach Zumba…I’m assuming it’s your Zumba company’s policy? I think it’s a great one! While I haven’t passed yet, I’ve already learned so much from studying, and I know it will come in handy once I begin teaching).

    • says

      Nice Danielle! :)

      When I first had to do the AFAA certification (yes, company policy), I must admit, I wasn’t loving the idea. But once I started learning the information for the test, I realized how useful the information truly is for teaching zumba (and group fitness in general). As I continued studying, I really appreciated that I was doing the certification. :)

      Good luck with your AFAA certification! Did you see my post with my tips? http://thechiclife.com/2009/09/afaa-primary-certification-day.html

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