Does BLS Include First Aid and CPR? | eMedCert Blog (2024)

Do BLS Certification Courses include first aid and CPR? Basic Life Support includes the basics of CPR for individuals suffering from cardiac emergencies. BLS is designed for first responders and healthcare professionals, whereas a basic CPR course is designed for lay responders and non-medical professionals.

Basic Life Support, in many cases, can make the difference between life and death. If you are in an industry where life and death situations occur on a regular basis, then you will almost certainly need to obtain Basic Life Support (BLS) certification, or some other related certification (such as ACLS, PALS, and CPR).

In a typical BLS certification course, many different topics will be covered, but generally, these courses are designed to help prepare you with the knowledge and abilities needed to act in the event that someone is experiencing an immediate life-threatening situation. Read more about the differences between ACLS and BLS here.

Life support, as the term implies, describes the tools and processes needed to keep an individual alive until additional (and more advanced) support can arrive. If an individual’s heart stops working or if the individual is no longer able to breathe, it will be crucial for someone nearby to take quick and effective action. In some cases, you may have as little as two-three minutes to save someone’s life.

Clearly, BLS certification can be a very valuable thing. Even if BLS certification is not required by your employer or within your specific line of work in general, gaining the skills needed to potentially save someone’s life can still have a tremendous impact. However, if you are unfamiliar with BLS certification, you likely have a few questions. In this article, we will answer some of the most important questions about BLS and whether it includes First Aid and CPR.

Table of Contents

  1. What is BLS Certification?
  2. Does BLS Certification cover CPR?
  3. Does BLS Certification cover First Aid?
  4. Who needs to obtain BLS Certification?
  5. How often do I need to renew my BLS Certification?
  6. How can I obtain BLS certification?

What is Basic Life Support Certification?

BLS certification (Basic Life Support) is designed to ensure that if a life-threatening situation were to emerge, any healthcare (or other) professional nearby will be able to help support the individual that is suffering. Broadly, BLS courses will focus on tasks such as administering CPR, addressing cardiovascular emergencies (such as a heart attack), and effectively communicating with first responders and other essential parties.

In a BLS class, you will learn things such as how to effectively use an AED, how to administer effective ventilations using a barrier device, and how to clear airways in the event they are obstructed. BLS skills can typically be divided into three different groups: infant, child, and adult. Because the recommended actions for these groupings are notably different from one another, you will need to be familiar with how to address all three age groups in order to pass a BLS certification exam.

Does BLS Include First Aid and CPR? | eMedCert Blog (1)

Does Basic Life Support Certification cover CPR?

As suggested, BLS certification does, in fact, cover CPR (shorthand for cardiopulmonary resuscitation). However, it is also important to note that a BLS certification class is still different from a typical CPR class provided by the American Red Cross and other organizations.

BLS certification is often specifically geared towards healthcare professionals (though there are plenty of other people who may need to be certified). Furthermore, BLS certification places a stronger emphasis on working in teams. It will also teach you how to use additional equipment that is much more likely to be found at hospitals, such as bag valve masks (BVM).

Does Basic Life Support Certification cover First Aid?

The term “ First Aid” is relatively broad. Essentially, the term can be used to describe the primary (first) aid given to individuals suffering from both minor and life-threatening conditions. Thus, while CPR and BLS skills both broadly fall into the category of first aid, BLS and first aid should not be considered synonymous. BLS certification classes will not cover things such as giving stitches, addressing minor injuries (or even broken bones), or many other topics. Be sure to confirm whether, for your profession, first aid training will be required in addition to standard BLS training.

Who needs to obtain Basic Life Support Certification?

Whether BLS certification is required will depend on your current job, where you live, your place of employment, and the rules established by whatever organizations are currently governing your industry. In general, most medical professionals will need to have BLS training or, in some cases, a more advanced form of training such as ACLS.

Other individuals who may need to obtain BLS certification include some teachers, lifeguards, firefighters, law enforcement officers, coaches, and many others. Because there is so much variation regarding BLS requirements for professionals, you will want to confirm with your employer or organization whether this training is necessary. You will also want to confirm whether BLS training or basic CPR courses will be recommended.

Related Article: Who Needs a BLS Certification?

How often do I need to renew my Basic Life Support Certification?

BLS certification can make the difference between life and death, which is why you will need to obtain recertification on a somewhat regular basis. BLS certification lasts for two years. If you fail to renew and obtain recertification, you may face potential employment problems or face various legal consequences. Fortunately, getting recertified is measurably easier than obtaining a brand-new certification (assuming your certification has not expired).

BLS certification is valid for 2 years

How can I obtain Basic Life Support certification?

Currently, there are many different ways you can become BLS certified. In most major cities, BLS courses will be offered by organizations such as the American Red Cross and the American Heart Association on a regular basis. These courses are very in-depth and will cover a wide variety of topics. However, due to advancements in technology, most professionals prefer to obtain BLS certification and BLS recertification through an online platform, such as eMedCert.

By getting BLS certification or BLS recertification online, you will be able to work from the comfort of your own home at a time that is convenient for you. In most cases, online certification will be considered to be just as legitimate as in-person certification (though, of course, it never hurts to double-check if this is allowed). If you are a busy healthcare professional, online BLS certification is probably your best—and most affordable—option available.

Related Article: How To Choose an Online BLS Certification Course


While BLS certification covers CPR, it is much more in-depth than a typical CPR course. At the same time, these certifications do not address first aid strategies for minor injuries and other non-life-threatening circ*mstances. BLS certification is a very important type of certification for many healthcare providers that need to be renewed every two years. For more information on BLS certification, or for questions about recertification, visit our website or send us a message.

Sign up for your BLS online course TODAY!

BLS Certification - $90

BLS Recertification - $60

Does BLS Include First Aid and CPR? | eMedCert Blog (2024)


Does BLS Include First Aid and CPR? | eMedCert Blog? ›

Thus, while CPR and BLS skills both broadly fall into the category of first aid, BLS and first aid should not be considered synonymous. BLS certification classes will not cover things such as giving stitches, addressing minor injuries (or even broken bones), or many other topics.

Is First Aid part of BLS? ›

Unlike BLS, which focuses on giving immediate care at the scene in order to stabilize and support life functions through basic techniques like CPR, rescue breaths, and/or the use of an AED Until Help Arrives, first aid courses primarily teach non-medical individuals how to respond to people experiencing various health ...

Is CPR a part of BLS? ›

BLS is a more comprehensive certification designed for healthcare workers and first responders that includes CPR plus additional life-saving techniques for cardiac arrest, respiratory distress, and obstructed airways.

Is it hard to pass BLS? ›

The short answer? No, the class is not generally considered difficult – however, compared to lay rescuer CPR & First Aid classes, there is a greater amount of information covered and the skill requirements are slightly more technical.

What do you need to pass on BLS? ›

To receive a course completion card, students in the Basic Life Support (BLS) Course must pass both skills tests and an online exam with a score of at least 84%. The BLS exam measures the mastery of cognitive knowledge and is administered at the conclusion of an instructor-led BLS Course.

What are included in BLS? ›

Basic life support (BLS) includes recognition of signs of sudden cardiac arrest, heart attack, stroke, and foreign body airway obstruction, and the performance of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and defibrillation with an automated external defibrillator.

What level of first aid is BLS? ›

Intermediate First Aid Level BLS – Basic Life Support course is for those working in healthcare and covers advanced CPR techniques. Upon completion, participants receive a certificate valid for 3 years. This course meets Standard First Aid (SFA) standards.

How many questions can you miss on the BLS exam? ›

AHA BLS Exam Outline

You need to score at least an 84% to pass, meaning you can miss a total of 4 questions.

Is BLS harder than CPR? ›

A BLS certification includes CPR training, but it is more difficult and intensive.

Is it possible to fail BLS? ›

If you do not pass the BLS exam, you can retake the written test once. Note that BLS certification remains valid for 2 years, so you will need to retake the test every two years in order to renew your certification card.

Is the BLS an open book test? ›

What is the BLS certification exam like? These exams include 25 test questions and are generally open-book. You'll get an hour to complete the exam and need to earn a minimum grade of 84% to pass.

Do you need to study for BLS? ›

To truly prepare for any BLS course, you need to know the material and what to expect stylistically – and the best way to do so is by taking a BLS Practice exam.

How to pass the BLS test? ›

Today, we want to share some valuable tips to help you pass the Basic Life Support (BLS) training exam.
  1. Understand the Basics. ...
  2. Use the Free Training Resources. ...
  3. Take Advantage of Practice Exams. ...
  4. Regular Review and Consistency. ...
  5. Stay Updated on Guidelines. ...
  6. Cultivate a Calm Mind. ...
  7. Seek Support When Needed.
Jun 26, 2023

Are CPR and first aid the same? ›

CPR is specific, while first aid is a broad practice encompassing CPR, among other basic lifesaving skills. How to get CPR and First Aid Certified? Enroll in a CPR/AED First Aid Certification course, either online courses or classroom-based, as long as it follows the American Heart Association guidelines.

What is the difference between BLS and ACLS? ›

BLS and ACLS differ in their scope and complexity. While BLS focuses on basic life-saving techniques, such as CPR and AED use, ACLS delves deeper into advanced cardiovascular life support, including advanced airway management, pharmacology, and complex resuscitation algorithms.

Are BLS and BCLS the same thing? ›

BLS may sometimes be referred to as BCLS, or Basic Cardiac Life Support, but there is no difference between BLS and BCLS.

Is AED the same as first aid? ›

No. AED is not the same as first aid. AED certification teaches students how to use an automated external defibrillator. These machines, along with CPR, offer the best chance of survival for persons experiencing cardiac arrest.


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