May 31, 2013

CPR Skills Retention - Help Your Students Remember

CPR, Retention, CPR Skills So, how much from your high school foreign language class do you still remember? If you’re like most folks, maybe a “Donde esta la biblioteca?” is the best you can do on a good day, and counting to about four or so is as good as it gets on most other days.

CPR, AED, and first aid skills are no different. The more time passes, the more we forget. And the more we forget, the less likely we are to have the confidence to respond in an emergency.

OSHA put it this way in their best practices guide: Fundamentals of a Workplace First-Aid Program

OSHA Best Practice Guide - Fundamentals Workplace First Aid Program

“First-aid responders may have long intervals between learning and using CPR and AED skills. Numerous studies have shown a retention rate of 6-12 months of these critical skills. The American Heart Associations Emergency Cardiovascular Care Committee encourages skills review and practice sessions at least every 6 months for CPR and AED skills. Instructor-led retraining for life-threatening emergencies should occur at least annually. Retraining for non-life-threatening response should occur periodically.”

Re-exposure to course content is key to skills retention. In a randomized trial of participants in a public access defibrillation program in 2008 published in Resuscitation, where the three trial groups were retested at either 6 or 12 months after their initial training:

“Skill retention decreased significantly in the three groups and was lowest after 12 months if no 6-month retests were done. In trainees who did undergo retesting at 6 months, skills did not deteriorate at 12 months.”

With a two-year certification card for most emergency care courses, there’s no guarantee of a mandated 6-month “skills check in.” So what’s a conscientious instructor or student to do?

With ASHI and MEDIC First Aid certification cards, your students get a built-in retraining system. When they login to Passport using the ID number on the back of their card, they can access our LearningLinks refresher lessons.

Demo Learning Links

LearningLinks provides Web-based refresher mini-courses at no cost for the duration of the student’s certification period. The refresher lessons are sent via email, so be sure to remind your students to register. All the information they need is on the back of their certification card. Any time they need a mini-training session, LearningLinks is there for them.

You did a great job training your students, but you probably won’t see them again in 6 months after your class. Don’t forget to tell them about the complimentary “electronic teacher” that comes with their certification!

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MEDIC First Aid Passport for iPhone ASHI Passport App for iOS
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MEDIC First Aid Passport App for Android ASHI App for Android
Learning Links Fact Sheet
MEDIC - Learning Links Fact Sheet

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