Imagine this: you’re at your favorite gym working on your regular workout routine. Then, out of the corner of your eye, you spot a man in his early 50’s clutching his chest in such pain that it forces him to his knees. His personal trainer stands above him, clueless about what to do or how to react. These are the seconds that matter when someone has a medical emergency.
That personal trainer, unfortunately, lacks basic life support training, meaning these potentially life-saving moments are wasted.
But if that trainer had completed BLS certification, this could have been a different story with a better ending.
It doesn’t stop there. Being certified to deliver basic life support as a personal trainer opens you up as the first line of defense in any medical emergency. So, why is it important for personal trainers to receive this crucial training? Let’s break it down.
What Is Basic Life Support Training?
Basic Life Support, or BLS, training is a type of medical training that focuses on providing the necessary care to individuals who suffer from cardiac or respiratory arrest. It is usually a one-day course that teaches people how to recognize when someone is in distress, provide CPR, and use an automated external defibrillator or AED.
These courses are also trained by BLS-certified medical professionals such as nurses and doctors. This allows trainees to receive a quality level of education, hands-on instruction, and real-life knowledge of what to do in any medical emergency. Plus, no one can prepare you for real-world scenarios better than a healthcare professional.
Why BLS Certification for Personal Trainers?
As a personal trainer, it is vital to be prepared for any situation, especially regarding the health and safety of your clients.
BLS training teaches personal trainers how to recognize the symptoms of a medical emergency and how to respond appropriately. In some cases, providing basic life support can save a person’s life. Recognizing the signs of a medical emergency and providing the proper care can be the difference between life and death.
In addition, becoming BLS certified can help you gain the respect and trust of your clients. When they know you receive training to respond in an emergency, they will be more likely to trust you with their health and safety. This will also help you stand out from other personal trainers and make you more attractive to potential clients.
Taking a BLS course will help you stay up to date on the latest medical technology and techniques. This can help you provide the best possible care for your clients, ensuring that they get the most out of their workouts.
Potential Medical Issues at Gyms
Anytime you’re in a place with heavy equipment, you risk injury or worse.
The National Safety Council exercise equipment accounted for 409,000+ accidents in 2021. These types of accidents varied from broken bones to contusions.
Injuries are also common in gyms due to improper form or an inadequate warm-up. Therefore, anyone at the gym should adequately warm up before engaging in physical activity. Additionally, asking a trainer or coach for guidance on the proper form can help to reduce the risk of injury.
However, strenuous activities in gyms can cause more than sore muscles or sprains. According to the American College of Cardiology, strenuous gym activities can increase the risk of heart issues in middle-aged gym-goers.
Being BLS-certified means providing a baseline of proper medical care in an emergency at a gym. This level of care can prevent further injury, heart damage, or death.
What Do You Learn in BLS Training?
While a gym may not require this type of training for its slate of personal trainers, it is necessary for anyone in the healthcare field.
BLS training teaches participants how to respond to medical emergencies quickly and effectively. It typically includes instruction on how to assess a patient’s condition and how to provide CPR, and the appropriate use of an AED. During the course, participants learn how to recognize the signs and symptoms of a heart attack and stroke and how to perform rescue breathing properly and chest compressions.
BLS training also covers topics that may include instruction on how to provide basic first aid, control bleeding, and treat shock.
BLS training aims to help participants develop the skills and knowledge needed to respond to medical emergencies effectively and promptly.
Where Can I Take BLS Training?
There are numerous places where anyone can take a basic life support training course, even as a civilian. You don’t have to be a healthcare professional to take this training. Here are several places where you can become BLS certified.
American Medical Resource Institute
The American Medical Resource Institute offers basic life support certification and is Nationally accredited. Healthcare professionals receive two continuing education (CE) credits upon successfully completing the program. The exam is completely self-paced, and after finishing the exam, you are allowed to retake it another time for free. Knowledgeable support is available daily for any questions.
American Red Cross
The American Red Cross offers basic life support classes for healthcare professionals and the general public. BLS training from the Red Cross complies with American Heart Association standards, so attendees receive the highest quality training possible.
American Heart Association
If you want to go straight to the source, consider the American Heart Association. The AHA’s course includes how to perform CPR, recognize health emergencies, and provide aid to someone choking.
Local Community Centers or Fire Departments
Many local community centers, fire departments, and community colleges offer basic life support classes. These courses are usually taught by BLS-certified healthcare professionals such as doctors or nurses seeking to aid the community.
BLS Training Costs
Whatever your choice in BLS training courses, understand that cost is a potential factor depending on who you choose to help you achieve certification. Generally, classes range from $50-200.
Regardless of the price, think of certification as an investment. Not only will it ensure that you have the knowledge and skills necessary to provide potentially life-saving care, but it will also open up potential job opportunities.
What Happens After I Complete BLS Training?
Completing a BLS certification course is valuable for those who may find themselves in a situation where they need to provide care in a medical emergency. But the work does not stop at completing the training.
Once complete, you must maintain a registration with the appropriate organizations like the American Heart Association. Registration will allow you to be recognized as a qualified provider of BLS services.
A BLS-certified personal trainer should also take stock of nearby life-saving medical equipment at the gym. For example, many gyms provide critical medical systems such as first aid kits and AEDs to help trainers or others to respond quickly and efficiently in an emergency.
Keeping your certification current is also crucial. The AHA recommends taking a refresher course every two years to maintain your certification.
A basic life support training course is essential for any personal trainer. It can help you respond to medical emergencies and gain the trust of your clients. When seconds count, a personal trainer on the gym floor can mean the difference between a client leaving the gym alive or dead in an ambulance. Get certified today.
Kate is the communications director for the American Medical Resource Institute, where they’ve trained over a million healthcare professionals to study for, earn and maintain life support certifications that allow them to better respond to cardiac emergencies. When not in the office, you can find Kate practicing her tennis skills. She also frequents live music venues and is always looking for her next creative hobby.