I have successfully checked one item off of my 15 Things To Do in 2015 list. I am officially CPR/AED certified.
I was on the fence about whether or not to do this for a very long time. I figure some of you may be in the same boat, so I wanted to give a quick rundown about what the certification was like.
I have to admit that the one thing that was keeping me from doing this for all of these years is that I was honest-to-goodness scared. Having the knowledge and skill to save someone's life is, while wonderful, kind of terrifying.
So, here are my notes.
- I got my certificate through Red Cross. They offer various certifications around the Greater New York area, although I think all of the classes in Manhattan are held in their building on the West side (520 W. 49 St.). The cost was $95. (Note that if you add First Aid, Pediatric CPR, or other things into the mix, the cost goes up. My specific class was called "Adult CPR/AED"; it did not include First Aid.)
- I chose to do a "blended learning" certification, which means I did part of the class at home and part of it in the classroom at the Red Cross building. I highly recommend this to those of you who... no, actually, I'd recommend this option to everyone.
- The at-home portion is a series of videos, modules, and questions all done on your computer. It took me somewhere between an hour or two to complete. It was easy to follow and the videos are hilariously and terribly acted. Upon completion, I received a certificate that I had to bring with me to the classroom session to prove that I was ready for the next step.
- The classroom session was almost completely hands-on. We paired off, acting as a victim and a responder, and then we had to switch and do it again. This was the part when I wished I'd gone with a friend. Flipping over and repositioning a stranger (and vice versa!) was kind of awkward. After that, we watched a few short videos, and then we each got dummies. We practiced several rounds of CPR before learning how to use the AED. After cleaning up our dummies, we were dismissed. I received my certificate via email shortly after.
- The entire process was very streamlined and, of course, highly informative. My only complaint would be the instructor who taught the classroom portion. He kept saying things like, "I'm an EMT, so I'm up here (holding his hand up high) and you're all regular people with a CPR certification, so you're down here (lowering his hand a whole lot)." True, we all clearly had less training than him, but the way he talked down to us was kind of disheartening. Like, we get it bro. We're a bunch of sleezes and you're the second coming. Noted. (He reminded me a bit of the English butler from Three Men and a Little Lady... Please someone say you know what I'm talking about?)
- I definitely think it would've been a different experience if we'd had someone teaching us who was more engaging and encouraging. Then again, this is super serious business so maybe that is too much to ask.
- The certification is valid for two years.
Overall, I'm really glad I got this certification and I hope and pray I never have to put it to real use.
(If you have any questions I didn't answer, feel free to comment or email me!)
image via HBO