What's The Difference Between American Red Cross BLS vs. American Heart Association BLS?
If you have recently taken a Basic Life Support (BLS) class you probable noticed that there are several options including the American Red Cross (ARC) BLS and the American Heart Association (AHA) BLS class. In this post, we’ll explain the differences between the two curriculums so that you can choose the right one for you.
How are the bls guidelines established?
All BLS courses are based on the guidelines from International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR). ILCOR publishes the guidelines and then the American Heart Association, American Red Cross, American Safety Health Institute and all other training providers base their courses off of that material.
Curriculum COMparison: AHA vs. arc
1. Course Duration and Instruction Models: The American Heart Association and American Red Cross BLS course durations are different. The American Red Cross Basic Life Support course lasts approximately 4.5 hours and/or the American Red Cross BLS Blending learning in-person session lasts 2.5 hours. The AHA BLS is approximately 3.5 hours and/or the in-person BLS skills testing is 30 minutes. Student's have the option of either a 100% in-person class or the hybrid and blended learning model. Please keep in mind that the hybrid or blended learning class also includes an online course portion which can vary in time from 2.0 hours to 4.0 hours based upon proficiency and prior knowledge.
2. Course Methodology: The American Heart Association has two training options available. Students can choose between blended learning, online sessions with an in-person skills check, or traditional classroom training. The American Red Cross also offers both hybrid and traditional sessions.
Are you confused about which class to take? For experienced healthcare providers we recommend hybrid online BLS training. For new providers, or those that are not providing CPR on a regular basis, we recommend the traditional, instructor-led class. That way you’ll get more practice time and be able to ask all of the questions you want.
3. Certification Acceptance and Recognition: Both the American Heart Association and the American Red Cross are widely accepted throughout various industries. We always recommend that you consult with your employer to see which curriculum is required.
The American Red Cross is a well-known emergency response organization established in 1881. The American Heart Association is also a recognizable national organization. It was founded in 1924 and has since grown into the U.S.’s largest voluntary organization focused on heart disease and stroke.
4. Comparison of Cost: The cost of the BLS certification varies based on the curriculum model and whether class is a hybrid or blended learning version or a 100% face-to-face instructional model.
The American Heart Association and the American Red Cross offer digital certification cards for your convenience. The American Red Cross and American Heart Association also have an online portal for students to access their e-cards and both share and print their certifications.
Take a BLS training course with Help-A-Heart CPR and earn your AHA or ARC BLS certification today. If you have any additional questions regarding the BLS provider certification please feel free to email us or call us to learn more about our classes and course availability.
Dr. Tracy A. Jones is the CEO of Help-A-Heart CPR, LLC and an American Heart Association, ASHI, and American Red Cross Master Program Trainer, Instructor, & AHA Faculty Member located in San Antonio, Texas.