What Do You Learn in CPR Classes? The Ultimate Learning Curriculum


It’s natural to ask yourself: “What do you learn in CPR classes?” However, there are two answers to this question. The first is shorter and encompasses all the CPR basics, such as the proper performance of chest compressions and artificial breaths and the specific characteristics of the various types of life-threatening emergencies.

On the other hand, the second answer is quite long, encompassing all the details related to the CPR and AED procedures, giving CPR to different age groups, performing CPR on victims with various histories of diseases, and much more.

In this article, we’ll delve into the St. Petersburg CPR certification curriculum applicable to various training types and for different levels of CPR knowledge.

CPR Classes: The Universal Guidelines

Before we delve into the CPR certification curriculum, we must acknowledge how the different training centers determine the learning program and methods. Firstly, credible institutions and health organizations, such as the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross, and the National Safety Council, propose guidelines and suggestions for nationwide training centers.

For example, the AHA tailors its guidelines based on the newest scientific findings on CPR and AED practices. The nationwide government institutions and training centers recognize only the CPR certification classes and curriculums licensed by these organizations.

That’s why licensed training centers such as St. Petersburg will provide you with a unified CPR program at almost all knowledge and skill levels. Some basics you will learn in the CPR classes at similar training centers are the correct performance of high-quality CPR, hands-only CPR, infant and child CPR, CPR-mandatory emergencies, and more!

CPR Certification Classes: The Importance of a Unified Curriculum

As we’ve mentioned, all the AHA-certified and licensed training centers have a unified curriculum that touches all the basics and nuances of the cardiopulmonary procedure. Additionally, within the CPR certification program, you’ll notice many incorporated BLS and AED aspects.

We’ve divided the curriculum into categories for a better insight into the program and the learning methods. Following are some of the most common CPR certification learning aspects:

      • The correct performance of the CPR procedure (chest compressions vs. artificial breaths within a single CPR cycle)

      • The various emergency types and the proper steps you should take for performing a high-quality CPR procedure

      • Emergencies when you should avoid giving CPR or AED

      • Automated external defibrillation basics and more.

    The Correct Performance

    If you’re still asking yourself, “What do you learn in CPR classes?” let’s start from scratch. The first thing you’ll be learning is the correct performance of the CPR procedure. The procedure may vary between different age groups and various emergency types:

    Performing CPR on Different Age Groups

    For example, the commonly-accepted rule is thirty chest compressions to two artificial breaths. This compression-ventilation ratio is called a complete CPR cycle, and you should provide the sudden cardiac arrest victim with 100 to 120 chest compressions within a minute. Naturally, you should administer three to four CPR cycles within a minute. You must perform the chest compressions with both hands, and each compression must be two inches deep.

    However, this is the CPR procedure for an adult SCA victim. That’s why you should also learn how to perform CPR on an infant or a child. For instance, if you’re a bystander and encounter a child or an infant suffering from a sudden cardiac arrest, you must modify the CPR procedure according to the American Heart Association’s guidelines. In this emergency, the CPR cycle will remain the same, while the depth should be altered to 1.5 inches for a baby and performed with two thumbs.

    Performing CPR On Persons With Various History of Diseases

    In CPR classes, you’ll learn everything there is to know about the correct performance of CPR for cardiac arrest, drowning, burning, choking, or other victims with different histories of diseases. For instance, you’ll learn about CPR-transmittable diseases, what to do if the person has suffered bone fractures, and much more.

    If you enroll in some long-term care or healthcare-specific classes – also available at training centers in St. Petersburg – you’ll learn about giving CPR to the elderly with or without consent, when to avoid administering the procedure, etc.

    The CPR-mandatory Emergencies

    Even though the last few years – especially with the COVID-19 pandemic – AHA and the American Red Cross are emphasizing hands-only CPR for almost all emergencies, there are emergencies when a full CPR cycle is a must.

    That’s why the next thing you’ll learn is the various emergencies that require the correct performance of the CPR procedure. Following are some of the major emergencies that are part of the CPR certification curriculum:

        • Sudden cardiac arrest

        • Drowning

        • Severe allergic reactions

        • Drug overdose

        • Poisoning

        • Electrocution injuries

        • Chemical injuries

      You’ll learn whether to give hands-only or high-quality CPR for each emergency. On top of that, if you find yourself in a potentially hazardous situation, CPR instructors and the training centers in St. Petersburg will teach you how to handle the emergency and what to do next.

      When You Should Avoid CPR

      The CPR certification classes have a special section dedicated to emergencies in which it’s best to avoid administering the CPR procedure. For example, each training center will acquaint you with the potentially hazardous situations and emergencies when CPR can be counterproductive.

      Following are some of the emergencies when you should avoid administering the CPR procedure:

          • When you see obvious signs of life, such as breathing, consciousness, pulse, or movement of the eyes

          • When you have an Automated External Defibrillator at hand, you should deliver electric shocks before continuing with cardiopulmonary resuscitation

          • When the emergency responders arrive

          • When another trained and skillful responder is nearby and can administer CPR to the victim

          • When the emergency scene becomes unsafe (fires, electrical fields, chemicals, etc.)

          • When you’re too exhausted to continue and run the risk of harming yourself.

        The Mandatory Steps Before Performing CPR

        You’ll learn what you have to do before you proceed to perform the CPR procedure. For instance, the instructor will examine what you’ll do first before administering the CPR procedure. The obvious answer to this question is that you’ll call the emergency responders before you proceed to chest compressions and artificial breaths.

        Additionally, the instructors at the training centers in St. Petersburg will want to know how you’ll ensure that the victim needs CPR or that the scene is safe for its performance. They’ll ask you how you’ll check their breathing, pulse, consciousness, heartbeat, and more.

        CPR Classes: The Automated External Defibrillation Program

        Almost all CPR classes include the automated external defibrillation program. The AED learning curriculums are mandatory because this procedure can significantly increase the survival chances of sudden cardiac arrest victims.

        During the CPR courses, you’ll learn about the functioning and operations of the AED machine. For instance, the instructor will teach you how to tell the difference between automated and external defibrillators. Also, depending on the CPR course type, you’ll learn about the difference between automated and semi-automated AEDs.

        Additionally, you’ll learn in which emergencies you should avoid administering AED, such as potentially hazardous situations with the risk of electrocution or chemical poisoning.

        Different CPR Certification Courses: Learning Materials and Methods

        Training centers like St. Petersburg will allow you to enroll and apply for various CPR certification courses. The course type and the learning materials can differ depending on the skill level, knowledge requirements, professions, groups, or individuals.

        Some universally-accepted courses by all certified and licensed training centers are the Heartsaver CPR BLS and AED Course, the Pediatric CPR Course, the Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support Course (ACLS), and more.

        Each course has a curriculum centered around the specific field of interest and structured for a particular level of knowledge. The test questions will also differ according to the required skills and the final on-site demonstration.

        In St. Petersburg, you can acquire all the learning materials online, such as handbooks, manuals, quizzes, or exercise books. The last step of testing your knowledge is demonstrating all your CPR and AED skills in front of a certified and licensed instructor.

        Final Thoughts

        We’ve provided a thorough answer to the “What do you learn in CPR classes?” dilemma.

        Across the United States, certified and licensed training centers like St. Petersburg have a unified CPR curriculum for almost all CPR certification class types. However, the CPR certification curriculums can differ depending on whether you’ve enrolled yourself or your organization in a basic or an advanced CPR class.

        Nonetheless, the essential aspects of CPR you’ll learn are the various emergencies, the correct performance, the mandatory preparatory steps, and automated external defibrillation.