In today’s learning environment, online options are available for nearly every field of study,including healthcare certification and continuing medical education. If you’re new to online learning and seeking basic life support (BLS) certification, you may wonder if an online option is right for you.
If you’ve checked into BLS certification, you probably already know that it involves both a cognitive portion and a hands-on skills validation. When considering whether to do the cognitive portion of your Basic Life Support course online or in-person, keep in mind these three important facts about online learning.
1. You can learn at your own pace and in your own time.
Like many nurses, EMTs or other healthcare professionals, you may not work a regular 8 to 5 schedule. Finding time to take – or even commute to – an in-person class can be difficult. The flexibility of a Basic Life Support online course allows you to review materials at your own pace and on your own time – even if that’s occasionally at 2 a.m. which might happen with a career in nursing field!. Then, once you’ve finished the online portion of the course, it’s easy to schedule a convenient time to validate your hands-on skills and complete a skills check at a local American Heart Association training center.
2. Online continuing education is the wave of the future.
Online education is growing in usage and legitimacy – especially in the healthcare field. Over the past few years, continuing medical education, or CME, has increasingly moved online. In fact, a new study ("The Growth, Characteristics, and Future of Online CME," Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions, Winter 2010) predicts that by 2016, half of our doctors will be getting their CME through online learning. Taking your BLS course online now is a great way to start becoming familiar with this new learning approach.
3. You just might learn more.
Students who take all or part of a class online perform better, on average, than those taking the same course through traditional face-to-face instruction, according to a 2009 report (Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning) released by the U.S. Department of Education. The review of key findings from more than 1,000 online learning studies published from 1996 to 2008 confirmed not only how popular online learning was becoming, but also how effective it was as a learning strategy.
How can you be sure that taking your BLS course online will be as effective for you as it has been for others? Focus on the big three of online learning: commit to a specific study time (and make sure it’s respected by others), create a supportive “study environment” (uncluttered space, comfortable chair, good lighting), and review, review, review!
View more information about Health Education Solutions’ BLS online course.
The information included in this article is based on the 2005 guidelines for CPR, first aid and advanced cardiovascular care. Read more about how the 2010 Basic life support guidelines impact BLS classes.