Recently, and unfortunately at an increasing rate, I am noticing internet ads suggesting that the new and easy way to get trained in CPR is by doing it all online. The premise of these advertisements, to a trainer such as myself, are both laughable and a definite stomach-turninng level of scary, all at the same time. Not becasue this method threatens my validity in the role as instructor, but because I am concerned as to the number of individuals that will be drawn in to believeing that an hour spent online can properly teach you how to perform the skills necessary to help save a life.
It is true that there is a new and improved delivery method coming in the very near future, one that is best described as a Blended Delivery Method. This new method will include an online portion which will involve participants completeing learning modules at their own pace and convenience within the allotted time-frame. When, and only when, the online portion is successfully completed, will you be able to complete the in-class portion. The in-class portion will require you to put the theory and skills that were shown online, into practical use. As an instructor it will be my job to ensure that the information you were shown and tested on has actually been learned, and to instruct with real-life tips as how to properly and safely deliver the skills.
Cardi0Pulmonary Resuscitation – CPR; its a very important, worth-while, and life-saving skill to know. Instructing this skill is a fine balance. On one hand, the techniques to accomplish this skill are not tedious, they are not overly complicated, and they are certainly acheiveable by most all of us. Half of the battle in instructing CPR is to make participants feel like this is something that they can do, and in the thick of the moment, something that they will be able to do well. On the other hand, we are talking about dealing with situations where someone is not breathing, and the vital importance that is placed on these simple skills. The other half then becomes solidifying the simple skills with the knowledge base of why and how it works. When we understand the principle behind it, we will all be more successful at it. This balance is delicate and honestly dependent on some human interaction, it cannot be taught solely online. I understand the way our world works, and also see where the trends are taking us. I also acknowledge that if we can shorten the training, or make training even more convenient for our busy schedules that it will catch like wild fire. There are however two main issues that I have with this appealing new method. One; I have been on teleconferences with media presentations, I have completed online training for various other courses and certificates, and honestly, these applications were not given my full attention. Both distractions at home or other programs (games) that I could possibly have running during this time are going to take away from the training at hand. I am not trying to lay blame, its human nature, and in our world of distraction and instant gratification, unavoidable. Two; the attraction of a lower price and less time requirement are too irresistable and unfortunately misleading. I am always disappointed when I have participants express how their last instructor did their 4 hour course in just 1.5 hours. The surface appraisal appears the same, where you have paid the same amount, and received the same certificate, so if you can save 2.5 hours, why not? The why not is because you have only cheated yourself! You now have an impression that you are equipped to save a life, and a certificate to say you are good to remember those skills for the next three years. Reality is, you don’t. Sure, I can speed through the course content, and yes, you will know some skills for a day or two. This obviously does not have you actually prepared to act when a loved-one, family member, co-worker, or complete stranger is in a desperate time of need.
The time that is required in a traditional course is to give the information time to set in, really solidify, and obviously have a chance to put your hands to a manikin’s chest and feel it.
In summary, be careful of what you’re getting, or are led to believe you’re getting. What might seem quick and easy today, could leave you blank and confused when the actual situation arises. I know we are all busy, we all have things to do, places to be, and budgets to keep. However if you have a spouse, father, mother, grandparent, child, neighbour, sibling, neice, nephew, co-worker, or have ever been in a public place, and you really want to know how to act in an emergency situation, you owe it to those you love to get the appropriate and proper training.
Please keep in mind, our goal here is not to profit, but rather to create a society of individuals whom are prepared and willing to help!