Although it feels like almost everything is canceled or closed due to COVID-19, the American Red Cross is still offering CPR classes during this tumultuous time.
The agency has provided online only courses, but officials are seeing a spike in registration numbers.
As part of the YMCA’s #SwimSafe campaign, water safety advocate Maria Hechanova took the course to find out what changes have been made because of COVID-19 to help protect students and instructors.
Classes range from adult to pediatric First Aid, CPR, AED, Babysitting & Child Care.
Students can go at their own pace, but each class suggests an amount of time to complete the online portion.
For example, it’s listed on the Red Cross website, the Adult and Baby First Aid/CPR/AED online only class can take about two hours and 45 minutes to complete. However, students can take as long as they want.
The interactive online curriculum for that specific class offers “31 missions” which walks students step by step of what they need to do in certain scenarios.
The training exercises look similar to a cartoon. Bubbles pop up near the characters including the victim and bystander for the user to click and give options of what to do.
CPR and rescue breaths are handled through quick clicks of a mouse of the victim’s chest.
The estimated 1 hour and 30 minute in-person part of the hybrid online and in-classroom part allows for students to demonstrate what they learned online to an instructor who provides the simulation mannequins.
As for how the agency is protecting for COVID-19, class sizes at the Phoenix location have been reduced to six students and each student has their own mannequin. Before that, students would share a mannequin. Also, once rescue breaths are demonstrated correctly with the student’s lips to a plastic protective barrier over the nose and mouth once or twice, the rest of the practice rounds are counted by simply saying, “Rescue breath one, Rescue breath two.”
Also, all students and the instructor are required to wear a mask. All training equipment is wiped down by the instructor after each use. Each student table has hand sanitizer provided as well.
“Before you check in for the class, everyone gets their temperature taken,” explained Jim Gilloon, Red Cross spokesperson. “So what we’re doing is limiting the amount of students coming in and then we’re only allowing one mannequin per student, normally it would be a pair to one mannequin,” he added.
To sign up for a class, visit redcross.org, click the menu tab, training and certification tab, and then choose a class type and city.