Basic Cardiac Life Support (BCLS) is a type of medical support offered to people who are suffering from cardiac-related problems until the right treatment can be offered. However, BCLS isn’t necessarily the cure or treatment for cardiac problems. It involves easy steps taken to relieve the patient’s suffering until professional help arrives. BCLS certification is also a type of CPR certification that medical or health care professionals can qualify for if they pass an exam and complete a training program that covers various types of life-saving methods or techniques.

Getting basic certification usually varies from state to state or country to country. The basic steps may be the same universally, but there may be several minor alterations based on the approved procedures by local governments. Therefore, you need to have a certification from that particular country in order to practice BCLS professionally in another country. Generally, this BCLS certification is only given and used in the U.S. However, other countries also have comparable certifications and training as well. Actually, many hospitals often require their doctors, medical aides, and nurses have BCLS certification. Several schools and outpatient care facilities also require their health care or medical personnel to have BCLS certification.

Another point to note is that the medical professionals’ specifics to get certified may vary depending on where they take their exams and train. The basis, though, is that for this kind of certification and training, the basics include participating in hands-on demonstrations, attending classes, as well as passing a written exam.

BCLS certifications usually expire every year, which means that health care professionals and others holding the certificate should re-take the test and at times even attend the BCLS course each year in order to keep their certifications valid and up to date.


What Is BCLS Certification (General Overview)


What is a BCLS certification? You may want to know what this type of certification is all about. The main goal for this kind of medical certification is to equip people with the proper knowledge and skills that would aid them to give emergency life-saving care in case someone suffers heart attacks or heart-related crises in particular. This training course offers training and information that aims to provide basic knowledge and skills that will be very easy for trainees to recollect and draw upon whenever they are needed to act in emergency situations where fast intervention is critical.

People can suffer from cardiac problems and heart attacks at any given time and in any place and, and in these cases, it is important that they get efficient and quick help to mitigate damage. In fact, the kind of emergency response they are offered very often means the difference between debilitation and complete recovery, and at times, it could also mean the difference between life & death. Occasionally, people who hold a BCLS certification can fast step in and provide assistance till that person is taken to a hospital, medical facility or health care center. This is often critical not only in hospitals, health care centers and medical facilities but also in everyday situations.

BCLS Certification: How to Get  Certified


To provide basic cardiac life support to anyone, you have to be certified in this practice or field. There are various universities and hospitals that offer BCLS certification programs, where you can enroll & get this training. Normally, the course can last between 4 hours to 2-day long training.

Acquiring a BCLS certification generally involves a two-step process:

  1. First, candidates should enroll in a class usually held for one day or over a 2-day weekend.
  2. After completing the training course, candidates are required to sit an exam.

The approach can vary depending on the state or the region, though the government and medical regulatory heads are regularly in charge of sitting the exam, setting the curriculum, and generally ensuring that the training course, from place-to-place, necessarily covers the same things.

To acquire the BCLS certification, you should attend theory courses or programs in the classroom. Apart from this, there are several practical training sessions, too! Depending on the course syllabus and certification scope you could learn how to save people who are shocked, people who collapse suddenly, people who are choking, and other commonly encountered situations.


Some courses also offer AED, Automatic External Defibrillator operation options. To pass the examination you should get through a practical test and a written exam. Several institutes offer theory courses in CDs to enable candidates study from home, while others incorporate theory and practical courses, therefore, have classroom sessions.

For instance, some classes can be held at civic centers, nursing homes, and community colleges, while some hospitals can offer day-long courses specifically for their employees. For most course’ venues, candidates can sign up at various points in time each year. If they don’t pass the written exam, trainees are required to sit it again, however, they need to wait till the next course is offered & completed before trying their second attempt.

BCLS Certification: Course Coverage


The course typically trains people on the basic CPR skills for infants as well as adults. People who have any foreign body in their airway or who have just collapsed can be treated using BCLS training. Different scenarios depend on:

  • If the person is conscious/unconscious
  • Age
  • Physical structure, and other aspects

The BCLS certification trains people on all of these aspects.

During the course, BCLS trainees initially learn how to determine and evaluate the victim’s state. Most courses emphasize on teaching trainees ways to stabilize a person’s airway, circulation, and breathing. Trainees will also learn how to use Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) which are machines used to help initiate or restart the heartbeat, as well as how to perform Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). These techniques are used in a proper and timely manner to prevent brain damage resulting from lack of oxygen flow. Sometimes, both techniques are sufficient to save the victim’s life, but most of the time, the methods are used to keep the victim stable until more professional, specialized and extensive measures are taken.

Rommel Rivera BCLS

Other than teaching trainees the right techniques and skills to effectively handle life-threatening emergencies or situations, BCLS training also covers ways that students can utilize to minimize infections and harm as they provide proper care for victims. Generally, students will be able to learn how to use various barrier methods when performing CPR, like how to prevent blood-to-blood contact in events where blood is involved in the emergency. In addition, it is important to note that in the event of emergencies, caregivers are at a great risk, therefore, they should have the necessary skills to protect themselves when they try to render aid.

BCLS Certification Course Eligibility


While there are no pre-qualifications needed for this training course, some of the very common people that can take this course, include:

  1. Physician Assistant
  2. Registered Nurse
  3. Licensed Practical Nurse
  4. Charge Nurse
  5. Clinical Nurse Manager
  6. Licensed Vocational Nurse
  7. Director of Nursing

Some of the organizations that may employ these people, include:

  • Hospitals
  • Companies (Public and Private)
  • Federal, state & local governments
  • Universities, colleges, non-profit organizations & schools

This course is often offered to medical aides and health care professionals. You may wonder who is actually eligible to do the course. Well, in most cases, any person who is interested in this kind of training can eventually sign up for the BCLS training course in order to get formally certified. In spite of this, people who have an interest in the BCLS training should identify that not every course will be readily offered to the public because some hospitals and health centers offer these courses only to their employees. Additionally, one other important thing that should also be considered is that any person who has no professional need for a BCLS certificate may be required to pay more training fees, it all relies on the rules & guidelines of the training course.


There are several courses that can be taken in mortar and brick institutions, but there are also several courses that can be done online. It is important that the place offering the training course must be recognized or approved by the appropriate governing bodies in order for the certificate to be valid.

Professionals who are basically required to have a current BCLS certification, include doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals who give direct care to patients. Nannies, companions for elderly people, as well as babysitters may also get a BCLS certificate so that they can offer better care to people they are often in charge of.

BCLS Certification Online


There are various online options for certification. Some places enable people to take all / part of their BCLS certification course online. Exams are also offered over the internet in multiple places. BCLS online training has the benefit of being instantaneous & accessible virtually anywhere, however, students are not able to really practice their techniques and skills in any form of a hands-on way. Several online programs also need trainees to attend live demos, but not all do! A lot relies on locality, even though employers at times also determine whether their employees can certify online/whether their training should be done in person.

BCLS Certification: Testing and Recertification


Candidates of the BCLS certification courses are required to sit a written exam when the class ends, and the test is commonly given on the same day. The test is designed to evaluate basic competencies and understanding and usually takes one hour to administer. Trainees are also required to pass demonstration exams, where they show the instructor the techniques and skills they have learned. Relying on course specifics, the exam can be held as a one on one assessment / may be incorporated into the course at different points.

Hands-on learning is usually demonstrated using a dummy or mannequin. Instructors will evaluate candidate’s techniques, but several dummies are equipped with computers that provide quick feedback about response time, pressure, as well as the precise location of the touch. Students who pass both the written and physical portions of the training course are given formal certification, which is usually just good for a year/two.


Renewal rules may vary, but often applicants need to repeat the whole course & exam process. Not only is life-saving care important, it is also precise. Skills that are not used are likely to fade from the memory over time, therefore, many certification authorities usually require anyone holding the BCLS certificate to have the necessary skills very fresh in their minds.

In short, Basic Cardiac Life Support (BCLS) is a useful and important certification to acquire if you are in the healthcare/medical profession. Through this form of emergency training, you can make a great impact on people’s lives using this knowledge and skill.





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