Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is an important first aid procedure that every nurse should know. More so, to nurses who take care of older adults who are more susceptible to heart attacks and breathing problems. You should start CPR immediately after a patient has breathing difficulty, or their heart has stopped to prevent brain damage and death. CPR involves compressing the chest as well as the heart to make their blood to be pumped to the brain. You use the heel of your dominant hand, or both hands placed one on top of the other to press sharply into the person’s breastbone.
How long will a CPR Course Take?
Most probably, time is the main reason people don’t go for CPR training, leading to much less certification. You may be worried that going for a CPR course will keep you away for too long from your job of caring for senior citizens. Older adults require close attention. However, if you didn’t know, CPR is a very basic and short course compared to other medical training classes and there are CPR courses that offers group rate price if you join in a group session or create/host one. Most general public CPR classes require going for training between 1-3 three hours only.
Which CPR Class Should a Gerontology Nurse Take?
When going for training, you will notice CPR classes’ course names are different. It is done to differentiate the levels. The aims of training are relatively standardized, but there are 3 different class levels explained below.
1. Adult CPR classes.
The Adult CPR class covers basic techniques for performing CPR on people above 8 years to adults. It is suitable for the public who might require the skills at home and workplaces.
2. Pediatric CPR classes.
The Pediatric CPR classes train you techniques for dealing with children below 8 years old such as toddlers, infants, and young children. It includes procedures such as:
- proper airway clearance
- Chest compression ratio for children
3. Basic life support for healthcare providers
This is the class level recommended for people in the medical field, such as professional rescuers, gerontology nurses, and other emergency personnel. It covers
- two-person CPR techniques
- automated external defibrillator use
- ventilation devices
Which Institution Should You Get Your CPR Training At?
CPR training programs are offered by different institutions which include:
- Fire Departments
- Ambulance Services
- Community Health Centers and Colleges
- Independent Certified courses available online
However, if you are a nurse, check with your employer or union representative before signing up in any CPR class. The reason for this is because some employers require CPR training accreditation from courses specifically offered by:
- The American Red Cross
- The National Safety Council
- The American Heart Association
You can use online locators provided by the above institutions to find an accredited class from around your area.
Can You Get a CPR Class Tailored For Senior Citizen Care?
Yes. Since you will be dealing with people at an old age and with medical conditions that leave them at a high risk of cardiac arrest, you can get classes tailored for their specific needs.CPR for the elderly requires the provision of specific necessary force, which must be cultured. Older people have more brittle bones meaning it’s harder for them to withstand the force of CPR. Taking a CPR course customized for their care will help you learn more specific techniques to lessen the damage. It will also guide you on how to deal with additional complications that are possible after CPR.
Purpose of CPR Certification for a Nurse
A nurse should go for CPR training mainly for professional reasons. It will give them a clear understanding of how CPR for the elderly should be done and also increase their confidence. CPR certification is important because:
Some employers, especially if you are going to be caring for senior citizens, require that you have a CPR certification.
It Improves Your Proficiency
Certifications mean you get quality training that can help you deal with emergencies better and with confidence.
It Can Be An Essential Skill For Your Family
Having a CPR certification can enable you to save the life of a family member if they have breathing problems or a cardiac arrest.
How to Determine the Quality of the CPR Course:
Before paying and enrolling for a CPR course, here are the things you can investigate. They determine if you will be getting quality training suited for your specific needs.
After taking the course, there should be an exam for you to get a card or certificate for providing to your employer.
Investigate what happens next when you don’t meet the pass mark i.e.
- Do you do another exam but for free or
- Do you pay for another course in full or partially?
2. Are You Getting Trained By Certified Instructors And The Right Equipment?
Do not hesitate or be afraid of asking if the instructors are certified. An excellent instructor should get accredited by the institutions we mentioned above.
The right equipment and teaching devices will boost your confidence in performing CPR. Check if there are devices like CPR dummies and AED or airway clearance dummies for training
3. How Much Of The Class Is Hands-On?
Investigate and ask how much of the course involves practical hands-on learning. An excellent CPR course should mostly be hands-on; it’s not a theory class or a watching class. However, some parts should also include,
- video information – statistics, laws,
- take-home materials
Findings on CPR Procedures for Elderly Persons.
Unlike what we see on TV about CPR, quick, painless procedures that always work, CPR on the elderly can be quite brutal but with good reason. Survival rates among the old are low, and that’s why every gerontology nurse should get proper training. Here are some facts every nurse should know when dealing with the elderly:
- CPR has specific risks for older adults; it affects their post-CPR quality of life. It is recommended that older adults get educated on the benefits and risks of CPR as well as their chances of recovery.
- CPR can cause physical trauma and long-term consequences, such as brain damage from oxygen deprivation.
- If an older adult has a cardiac arrest, most healthcare providers agree that CPR can cause broken bones since it’s brutal. However, there is a general consensus among health practitioners that if a senior citizen had not decided on where CPR should be done on them. It is better for them to survive with broken bones than to die.
- There are low survival rates for CPR done on seniors. According to research, only 10-20% of all older people who get CPR survives and recovers enough to be discharged from hospitals. To add on, only 5% of those chronically ill survive long enough to leave a hospital.