Online BLS Certification vs. Classroom BLS Certification

Many people are surprised to learn that they can become certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and other basic lifesaving skills (BLS) online. The question they often have: 

Is it truly possible to learn hands-on lifesaving skills in a digital classroom environment? 

As thousands of students, healthcare providers, and healthcare systems have already discovered, not only are online CPR courses possible, but they are also becoming increasingly popular among individuals who need to learn or stay up-to-date on their lifesaving skills. And while in-person BLS certification courses do have several benefits—including real-time skills assessment and a group learning environment—these courses do lack many of the benefits that students can expect when signing up for their BLS certification online. 

Keep reading to explore some of the key differences between online BLS certification vs classroom BLS certification, what the research says about online learning benefits in general, and how the online classroom environment can help you master BLS information, pass your exam with confidence, and earn your certificate.

Benefits of Online Learning

woman-reading-a-book-and-using-a-laptopThe COVID-19 pandemic accelerated digital trends that have been growing steadily over the past several years, including virtual classrooms, remote work, and even telemedicine. In 2019, for example, market research company Research Markets predicted that the online education market alone would top $230 billion by 2025. Another market research company, Grand View Research, predicted that the telehealth market will grow by a whopping 36.5% between 2022 and 2028, reaching a market value of $787.4 billion. Given this context, companies offering CPR and BLS courses online may no longer be seen as the exception to the rule, but rather key players in an important global trend in healthcare and education. 

Below are some of the most notable benefits of online learning, regardless of the topic studied.

Greater Flexibility

With online learning courses, there’s no hard start and stop time. Instead, you have the flexibility to go through the learning modules whenever it is the most convenient for you, based on your schedule and even your personal learning style. 

For example, you might be more of a night owl who focuses better in the evening, compared to an early riser who likes to get things done in the morning. By being able to sit with the material at your preferred time of day, you’ll set yourself up for enhanced retention and even greater efficiency.

Fewer Barriers

By using online learning for healthcare or other topics, students can access their training (and instructor) without needing to worry about issues that might come up with in-person classrooms. Examples include inclement weather, slow or unreliable public transportation, increased geographical distance from the nearest in-person classroom, and even lack of affordable childcare.

Access to New Technologies

Telehealth has accelerated the growth and affordability of a wide range of new technologies which help to enable a better learning experience for the student. Online learning also makes it easier than ever to have access to the most up-to-date course materials. A simple update to a webpage is much faster and less expensive than having to reprint and repurchase a physical book.

More Time

Another major convenience of an online course is that you don’t need to spend time commuting to or from the classroom itself. Your BLS instructor can teach you anywhere, so long as you have an internet connection! By eliminating or reducing commute times, online learning frees up valuable minutes and hours that you can dedicate to other studies or activities.

Improved Cost-Effectiveness

Companies that offer online learning often have lower overhead costs compared to organizations that rely on brick-and-mortar locations. As a student of an online training course, you can expect to enjoy the savings passed down to you in the form of lower tuition fees.

Online learning is also cost-effective by reducing wear and tear on your vehicle, saving you gas mileage, mitigating the need for parking fees, and even minimizing the number of lost wages and lowered productivity (since you won’t need to take as much time off work to complete your training compared to in-person courses).

Learn Within Your Preferred Learning Environment

Students who choose to take courses online are able to enjoy the comfort of their preferred environment and surroundings as they study. Whether you learn best in the comfort of your own home, the privacy of your own office or workspace, or even in the bustle of a local coffee shop or the solitude of the public library, you’ll be able to take your classroom anywhere.

Encourages Valuable Skills

Taking a course online requires a certain number of skills, including time management, self-discipline, focus, technical proficiency, and even interpersonal communication. All of these skills can enhance your professional and personal life and will help you in a variety of situations.

Some Specific Benefits of Learning CPR Online

Learn At Your Own Pace = Less Likely to Forget Key Information

By taking a CPR training course online, you’ll have the freedom to go through the materials at your own pace. This can help you avoid the concern of forgetting key information, which is a common concern of CPR students.

You Can Listen To Your Instructor Multiple Times

When you sign up for an online BLS course via companies such as Save a Life, you’ll have immediate access to high-quality audiovisual and written material taught by your instructor that you can review and revisit at your own leisure. Online CPR courses also allow you to connect with your instructor and fellow students via email or group chats, giving you fast access to professional and peer support.

You Can Practice Your Hands-On Skills in Privacy

If you ever need to give someone CPR in the future, the environment in which you’ll be performing these lifesaving measures might be unfamiliar or chaotic (and safe, of course, since you will be sure to check for scene safety prior to helping the victim…remember?). It’s important to have mastered your lifesaving skills so that you can still be effective even in these unpredictable situations. 

With online learning, you have the opportunity to practice your hands-on skills as often as you’d like within your preferred learning environment, but still have the materials and instructor readily accessible. This way, you can truly focus on your skills rather than worry about any distracting elements from your surroundings. Once you’ve developed mastery over your hands-on skills in this way, you should be able to find that your skills are more translatable to other situations. 

It’s also worth considering that 70% of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur within the home. This means that some individuals who choose to take online CPR courses at home could end up practicing their lifesaving skills within the exact same location that they will need to use at some point in the future.

Quality Online BLS Courses Are Designed With the Professional In Mind

doctor-holding-a-tabletMany nurses, allied health professionals, and other caregivers find online courses and re-certifications especially appealing because these courses are often thoughtfully crafted and designed with the professional rescuer in mind. Information is presented in a timely manner to maximize efficiency, while also ensuring the quality of retention and skill development. 

Online learning can make it easier for professional rescuers to stay up-to-date and know when they are due for recertification via email notifications. If a healthcare provider needs multiple certifications for their job role (e.g., BLS, PALS, and ACLS), utilizing a single account through an online BLS company can make it even easier to manage all these different certificates and re-certification dates.

Online Courses are Ideal for Re-certifications

Students due for a lifesaving re-certificate usually benefit from a comprehensive yet brief refresher, and likely won’t need to spend a long time in the classroom. Bringing the “classroom” online, dramatically increases the efficiency of the re-certification process.

Getting the Most Out of Your Online Learning: Five Strategies for Success

  1. Ensure you have a good internet connection. Quality online BLS courses should feature plenty of video and audio. To get the most out of these tools and prevent unnecessary frustration and inefficiency, be sure to take your course somewhere with a good internet connection. If you’re taking notes on your computer, be sure to save any word documents frequently.
  2. Surround yourself in an environment conducive to your learning style. Decide where you work best (whether that’s a library, cafe, your office, or your kitchen table) before sitting down to take your course. This gives you the best chance of developing mastery over the material and gaining skills that could quite literally end up saving a life someday!
  3. Minimize distractions. If you want to take advantage of the freedom that virtual learning offers by taking a BLS course online, be sure you’re not distracted by family members, housemates, the fridge, or the television. Keep your cellphone on silent, disable pop-up notifications or email alerts on your computer, and let the people around you know when you’ll need to really focus. Just because you’re not in an actual classroom doesn’t mean the material doesn’t deserve your full attention!
  4. Take your time as you prepare for your exam. Make sure you review and are comfortable with the material before sitting for the exam. Remember, online learning modules allow you to revisit the material frequently with little more than a click of a button.
  5. Get involved. Many online learning programs offer online communication portals or forums where you can ask questions and interact with other students who are enrolled in the course, too. Use these networks, email, and other communication networks to help you feel more connected and informed.

What About In-Person Learning for CPR and BLS? Things to Consider

As more and more people transition to digital access for education and health care, many students still might find themselves gravitating toward in-person learning opportunities. This includes students who:

  • Still need to learn the basics (e.g., complete beginners or laypeople who have no experience in healthcare)
  • Tend to be very hands-on learners and would like access to CPR mannequins, AED devices, etc.
  • Enjoy the socialization aspect of in-person learning and enjoy interacting with other students and instructors face-to-face
  • Have any visual, hearing, or learning impairments that make it more difficult to learn in the online environment

If you’re not sure whether in-person vs online learning is right for you, speak with your job supervisor. Alternatively, you can call our team at Save a Life. We’d be happy to help you figure out which option will best suit your needs and learning style.

Looking for High-Quality CPR Training Online?

Over the past two years, social distancing and other efforts to curb the spread of SARS-CoV-2 have driven many people to the internet, which has only heightened the demand for opportunities to learn, earn a living, and receive personalized health care online. For individuals looking to learn CPR, earn a nationally recognized BLS certificate, or complete recertification, the online classroom continues to be a valuable resource. 

Whether you’re a healthcare provider, a healthcare student, a teacher or other professional for whom CPR training is required, or simply someone who wants to learn some valuable lifesaving skills for the benefit of yourself, your family, and your community, completing your course online is now easier and more affordable than ever. Contact Save A Life today at (888) 688-3545 to speak with one of our team members today to learn about online BLS certification and other resources we offer. Share your wisdom and thoughts in the comments below, or head on over to the discussion about this post on Facebook.

Our ACLS, PALS, and BLS courses are backed by a 100% Satisfaction Money Back Guarantee and accredited by the Post Graduate Institute for Medicine.

About Mackenzie, Life Saver, NHCPS

Mackenzie is a seasoned life saver and a multifaceted professional in the medical field. With an impressive 8-year track record in medical education, Mackenzie boasts a comprehensive set of certifications, including ACLS, PALS, BLS, and CPR, which reflect her unwavering commitment and expertise. Her significant contributions to teaching and the development of medical content underscore her profound knowledge and dedication to advancing healthcare.

Beyond her medical prowess, Mackenzie seamlessly integrates her passion for education with her proficiency in media and marketing. Her academic journey at Indiana University culminated in a degree in Media and Marketing, further solidifying her expertise in these domains.

In addition to her impressive professional achievements, Mackenzie possesses a refined taste for global exploration, photography, design aesthetics, sartorial elegance, and the culinary arts, with a particular affinity for Chinese cuisine. Currently based in the vibrant city of Manhattan, she continues to be a driving force in the medical community. She is an invaluable asset to, where she champions excellence and innovation with unwavering dedication.

Contact Mackenzie, Life Saver, NHCPS at.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *