ACLS vs. BLS: A Guide to Common CPR Certifications

CPR certification generally refers to either the ACLS or BLS certificates, obtained after finishing the appropriate courses. In a nutshell, both courses teach students how to save someone’s life in the event of cardiac arrest. However, the details are much more complicated.

Before you sign up for either class, take a moment to consider what you’ll learn in a BLS training course vs through ACLS training. What are the exact differences? Which certification is likely to help you more? Once you know why you’re taking CPR classes, you’ll be able to make an informed decision on which class to take.

Is the BLS or ACLS certification better for your CPR training requirements? Find out the differences here. Click To Tweet

BLS: Basic Life Support

As you may suspect from its name, Basic Life Support classes cover the minimum emergency care you need to know before professionals can take over. You’ll learn CPR, how to use an AED, rescue breathing, and a few other basic skills. BLS instructors are also not always doctors themselves since the qualification is not required to teach low-level life support. Overall, a BLS class is a good choice if you just want to meet an employer’s requirement or brush up on your knowledge of first aid.

Pro Tip: BLS classes are often attended by teachers, coaches, babysitters, and others who need to know first aid in their everyday jobs.

ACLS: Advanced Cardiac Life Support

An advanced class teaches the same life support techniques as the BLS, but in far more detail and with many more first aid procedures added into the curriculum. The ACLS is designed for healthcare professionals such as future EMTs, who have already passed basic courses and need higher-level education now. Doctors, nurses, and emergency responders will get immense value from an ACLS course.

Which Do You Need?

Your choice of which class to enroll in depends partially on the knowledge you already have. For instance, ACLS students are generally required to have completed a BLS course before attempting the advanced work. But it also depends on your future career choice. Are you planning to enter the healthcare field? If so, it’s absolutely worth your while to complete a BLS course and move on to ACLS as soon as possible. If not, the BLS is likely sufficient for your needs.

Learning CPR

For an aspiring healthcare professional, the ACLS is the superior choice and may very well be required. Meanwhile, a BLS is more suited to anyone who just wants to fulfill an employer’s requirement or learn the basics of CPR for themselves. Either way, you can be confident you’ll learn life-saving techniques from trained professionals.

Connect with us to browse our CPR class schedule and get started learning the proper techniques of CPR.