Only 60 percent of the American pubic is familiar with cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, according to a 2009 study published by the American Heart Association (AHA). The data further state there is no reliable way to figure out how many people receive adequate CPR training each year. Sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death for people over the age of 40 within the United States, with more than 250,000 cases occurring annually. Taking CPR classes with a licensed CPR instructor is one way to potentially save the life of someone you know and love and encourage others to do the same.
A CPR instructor is an individual who is CPR certified and teaches people within the community the proper way to perform lifesaving techniques. The first step to becoming a CPR instructor is to take an AHA-licensed CPR course. There are many institutions that offer CPR instruction, many of which, even outside the United States, follow the guidelines for education set forth by the American Heart Association with little to no variation. Some classes are offered free of charge, while others charge students a nominal fee.
A CPR course is a two-step process. The first step involves the study of written, audio, and visual materials. The second part maintains a hands-on process and is done within the confines of a local classroom. During the course of training, the person seeking certification will work with CPR mannequins to learn the proper technique. These manikins teach learners the proper placement of hands and the proper amount of pressure to use when performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
After certification, those wishing to become CPR instructors teach one or two classes independently. These classes are monitored by a representative of the American Heart Association or other local qualifying institution. Once several classes are taught independently with little or no input from a representative, the individual can then be considered a CPR instructor and teach CPR classes on his own.
CPR instructors may work on a volunteer or paid basis. There is no data suggesting how much a CPR instructor is paid, as pay range varies by the employing institution. A CPR first aid instructor at a college may earn a salary, for example, while a CPR instructor with a non-profit organization may earn little to nothing. Credentials are updated periodically through continuing education. These continuing education classes usually take place annually, depending on the credentialing body and local regulations.