Who Needs CPR Training in Healthcare and Who Does Not

Hira Rashid, Ph.D.
Medical staff training on CPR

As an essential skill set in the healthcare industry, thousands of healthcare organizations provide CPR training for their staff. But not all staff are required to obtain CPR certification. From doctors and nurses to billing specialists and IT, this blog post outlines the CPR training requirements and expectations for each professional role. By understanding who needs to be certified and why, you can ensure your healthcare organization is compliant with regulatory standards.

Why CPR Training Is Important for Healthcare Professionals

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training is crucial for healthcare professionals, as it equips them with essential skills to respond to cardiac emergencies. In healthcare settings, where seconds can mean the difference between life and death, the ability to perform effective CPR is indispensable. Training ensures that healthcare workers can provide immediate assistance in cardiac events, significantly increasing the chances of survival and reducing the risk of long-term complications for patients.

CPR training also instills confidence and readiness in healthcare professionals. It prepares them both technically and mentally to handle high-pressure situations with calm and efficiency. This is particularly important in environments like emergency rooms, intensive care units, and surgery, where prompt action is critical. Moreover, ensuring staff are properly trained and certified in CPR is part of maintaining regulatory compliance. Without CPR training, your organization is susceptible to increased risks including patient safety, loss of accreditation, lawsuits, and more. 

Types of CPR Certifications for Healthcare Professionals

There are several different types of CPR certifications specially designed for healthcare professionals. Knowing who needs CPR training and who doesn’t begins by defining the types of certifications.

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Certification: This foundational certification encompasses essential skills. It typically covers CPR techniques for adults, children, and infants, including chest compressions, rescue breathing, and the use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs).

Basic Life Support (BLS) Certification: Commonly mandated by healthcare organizations, BLS extends beyond basic CPR. It focuses on high-quality chest compressions, effective airway management, and the importance of team dynamics in emergency situations.

Advanced Life Support (ALS)/Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) Certification: Designed for healthcare professionals who handle cardiac emergencies, this certification concentrates on team-based response, comprehensive airway management, and pharmacological interventions.

Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) Certification: For healthcare professionals who specialize in pediatric care, PALS certification is often necessary. This training emphasizes respiratory management and advanced support techniques for infants and children.

Which Professional Roles in Healthcare Require CPR Training?

CPR training and certification is vital to many roles in healthcare — essentially most employees that come in contact with patients. Let’s identify who needs cpr training and certification, role by role. 

Emergency Room Doctors: These physicians often encounter critical situations where immediate CPR is necessary. They must be proficient in advanced techniques, such as Advanced Life Support (ALS) or Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS).

Nursing Professionals: The Basic Life Support (BLS) certification is typically required for RNs, LPNs and ARPNs. For nursing professionals working in intensive care units, ACLS and PALS certifications can be highly useful to respond swiftly to cardiac emergencies in various settings. Paramedics and Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs): As first responders, they are frequently the first to administer CPR in emergency situations, requiring a high level of proficiency in BLS, ACLS and PALS.

Anesthesiologists: These specialists must be adept at CPR, as they deal with situations where respiratory and cardiac functions can be compromised.

Pediatricians: They require PALS certification, given the unique anatomical and physiological considerations in pediatric care.

Dentists and Dental Hygienists: Dental professionals need CPR training to manage potential cardiac emergencies that can occur in dental settings.

Physiotherapists: They often work with patients who have cardiovascular issues, making CPR knowledge essential for patient safety.

Pharmacists: Especially those working in clinical settings, pharmacists should be equipped with CPR skills to respond to emergencies that may arise in their workplace.

Medical Lab Technicians: While not directly involved in patient care, lab technicians in healthcare settings benefit from knowing CPR in case of emergencies.

Hospital Administrative Staff: While not a clinical role, administrative staff in hospitals are encouraged to learn CPR, enhancing overall safety in healthcare environments.

Which Professional Roles in Healthcare Do Not Require CPR Training?

Now that it’s been established who needs CPR training, let’s briefly list some of the roles in healthcare that do not typically require certification.

Medical Billing Specialists: These professionals work in an administrative capacity, dealing with healthcare billing and insurance, and typically do not engage in direct patient care where CPR skills would be necessary.

Healthcare IT Technicians: IT technicians in healthcare focus on maintaining and managing digital systems and are not typically required to have CPR training due to their limited patient interaction.

Hospital Housekeeping Staff: Housekeeping personnel are responsible for maintaining cleanliness and hygiene in healthcare settings, and while important for hospital operations, they usually are not required to perform CPR.

Medical Records Clerks: These clerks manage patient data and healthcare records, a role that predominantly involves desk work and does not usually necessitate CPR skills.

Human Resources Personnel in Healthcare: HR staff in healthcare facilities handle employee relations and administrative tasks and are generally not involved in situations where CPR would be required.

Healthcare Marketing and Public Relations Professionals: These roles focus on promoting healthcare services and managing public communications, which do not typically involve direct patient care or emergency response duties.

Get CPR Training for Your Healthcare Organization

CPR training is a key component of healthcare safety and compliance for professionals that interact with patients. Hospitals and clinics should have a system in place for regular training sessions to ensure staff are up to date with the latest CPR techniques and guidelines. To achieve this, healthcare organizations often adopt a learning management system to promote standardization of life-saving skills. Equipping staff who are required to get certified with quality CPR training, is not just a requirement but a responsibility of any healthcare organization. Get CPR training for your organization and schedule a demo today.