A Look Into CPR/AED/First Aid Training at the Red Cross

By: Emily Glidden

On Friday, October 24th at 9 a.m. I went to the Red Cross of Greater Grand Rapids to take the Adult & Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED class. I thought the title was a mouthful, but it’s long for a reason. There is so much to be learned through this course.

The first thing I noticed when I walked in was the variety of people. The majority needed certification for their job, or a job they applied for. Others felt that knowing CPR and first aid was important so they could be prepared in an emergency. I was afraid everyone was going to be grumpy because they were there to fulfill a requirement. However, everyone seemed eager to learn.

Students look through training book during CPR/AED course.

Students look through training book during CPR/AED course.

The class was comprised of lecture, discussion, videos and hands on learning. I appreciated the mixed style, which helps people with different learning preferences comprehend the information. The different displays of information kept the class interesting.

This course is set up in three sections: adult CPR/AED, first aid and Pediatric CPR. Those who signed up for just adult CPR/AED leave the class after that portion has been taught, and so on. I thought this was an efficient way to run this course because it opens up more days for classes to be taught. This way, three courses are done in one day without the instructor having to repeat information over and over.

We began with CPR and after listening to lecture and watching video testimonials, we were all ready to start practicing on the models. After running through multiple scenarios it became clear to me how intense CPR could be. I could feel parts of my hands beginning to blister and my arms getting sore, but then I visualized using this skill in a real life situation. I tried to remember that this is a skill that could potentially save someone’s life, which made the exhaustion that came along with pumping my arms up and down not seem as bad.

After learning CPR and how to use AEDs, we had time for lunch and those who were only signed up for the first portion left. We then moved onto first aid, and had some fun bandaging each other’s arms.


All bandaged up!

The final portion of the class was learning how to perform CPR on infants. This was a skill I hadn’t really thought about until recently. With more and more friends of mine having children, I now have a better understanding of the importance of pediatric CPR.

I am an anxious person, so even though I had been CPR and first aid certified years ago in high school, I was always nervous about standing up if an emergency were to occur. It’s common for people to think that when an emergency does happen, someone else will step up to the plate and help those in danger. But the thing is, you don’t know when an emergency is going to happen or who’s going to be around when it does. That’s why it is essential to have these skills yourself so you can feel prepared.

After taking this course I feel confident in my new abilities in first aid and adult and pediatric CPR/AED. It was great because I had a digital certificate to prove my new skills emailed me that same day. This way I have it saved on my computer to pull up or print any time I need it. Redcross.org is also a great resource to keep you up to date and to give you a refresher every now and then. Having all of these documents online reduces paper waste and provides access anytime, anywhere.

Overall, I had a great experience taking a Red Cross course. In one day I learned so much and gained the confidence to potentially save someone’s life. If you are interested in signing up for a class, visit http://www.redcross.org/take-a-class today!


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