What is the BLS Certification?

BLS stands for Basic Life Support and is a medical certification designed to verify that an individual has been sufficiently trained in resuscitation and life support care to resuscitate a person suffering from cardiac arrest.

What is the BLS Certification?
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If you’ve ever looked into how to perform CPR, you may have come across the acronym BLS certification and its meaning in your research.

So, what is BLS?

BLS certification stands for Basic Life Support, and it’s become somewhat of a source of confusion for many. It denotes the care a patient might receive during a medical emergency.

While many use the two terms CPR and BLS interchangeably, they are not the same. In fact, BLS typically involves things outside the scope of CPR, such as the administration of oxygen or resuscitation team dynamics.

To clarify things further, let’s look at what’s involved with BLS certification and what it stands for.

What is taught in a BLS class?


BLS certification is designed to verify that an individual has been sufficiently trained in resuscitation and has successfully demonstrated the required level of competency in the core skills involved in delivering life support care to a person suffering from cardiac arrest.

BLS certification does not provide permission to deliver care. Nor does it imply any obligation to act during a medical crisis.

It simply serves as proof that the person in question has, indeed, been appropriately trained and is competent.

Coursework for BLS certification covers topics related to what the acronym stands for, including:

  • Choking for all ages
  • Rescue breathing for all ages
  • Bag mask techniques for all ages
  • CPR for adults, children, and infants
  • Critical concepts of effective resuscitation
  • Use of an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED)
  • CPR with an advanced airway in place (breathing tube)

Who is the BLS Certification meant for?


In contrast with CPR, basic life support training and certification are designed with the medical professional in mind.

That’s why most professional rescuers - such as nurses, paramedics, and lifeguards – are required by their employers to train and obtain their BLS certification.

CPR is typically sufficient for the everyday layperson who wants to know how to assist in a medical emergency.

Why should I take the BLS Certification


The main goal of BLS certification, which stands for basic life support, is to equip professionals with the skills and knowledge they need to deliver the necessary care in a life-threatening emergency.

The fact is, people can suffer a cardiac event anywhere and at any time. This is what makes BLS a life-saving certification. 

BLS training and certification means the cardholder can step in and deliver swift, accurate care to improve the chances of a positive outcome.

It could mean the difference between life and death. As such, employers want to know that their staff is prepared to act in any situation.

How do I get the BLS Certification?


Now that you know what BLS certification stands for, you can start preparing and get your own certificate. There are several ways to obtain a BLS certification. The method you choose will ultimately depend on your needs and preferences.

In-person courses led by instructors are held on designated dates and times.

Online BLS certification is another option. It's one that many find favorable due to its lower cost and greater degree of flexibility.

Whichever method you choose, be sure your coursework matches the American Heart Association's (AHA) guidelines.

The bottom line is that BLS certification stands for basic life support. It doesn’t have to be confusing.

Get Your BLS Certification Today

Understanding what BLS is and how it differs from CPR and other medical certifications, along with why each is important and how to obtain those credentials, can make things much more straightforward.

Now that you know the meaning of BLS certification, you’re ready to take the courses and get certified. Here at ProMed Certifications, we offer affordable online courses you can take wherever you are. 

View our courses now!