How to Prepare for Basic Life Support (BLS) Certification

Basic Life Support (BLS) training covers a series of guidelines that healthcare providers follow to give care during emergencies. 

The goal of providing care, according to BLS guidelines, is to ensure that patients receive medical treatment with less risk. If you want to become, for example, an EMT or Paramedic, you need to prepare for your upcoming BLS certification exam. 

You can study effectively and pass your exam on the first try by learning some key tips. The following info gives you everything you need to know about BLS training and certification. This includes  an update on new BLS exam goals, access to study resources, and tips for passing your BLS test.

Updated Guidelines for BLS Training and Certification

The American Heart Association (AHA) offers BLS training similar to a CPR course. However, it’s directed more to healthcare workers. Therefore, the material expands on basic CPR training by covering CPR in the medical setting.

The course covers realistic scenarios, animations, and simulations of rescuers performing CPR. It also includes instruction in AED. Course participants learn how to use oxygen masks and control bleeding. Although the training is delivered online, the course may require an appointment with a BLS instructor. Participants take part in the hands-on portion of the training for this section of the course.. 

The Chain of Survival 

The course is structured so it also includes the chain of survival for CPR patients. Chain of survival starts with CPR and ends with post-resuscitation and recovery.

Training includes the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED) as well. Instructors teach students how to provide sufficient ventilation through different barrier devices. Course participants also learn how to remove airway obstructions in children and adults to provide clear respiration.

The Emphasis is Placed on Team Rescue

Classes focus on team rescue situations and how responders can perform their role more effectively. Like other CPR/AED or first aid training modules, students receive the necessary study materials. 

Once you complete the training and pass the test, you’ll receive a BLS card that is good for two years. Therefore, you’ll need to take the training to renew your certification every two years.

Who Usually Needs to Take BLS Training Certification?

Because BLS training places a priority on using CPR for advanced life support training, students who receive certification typically work as:

  • Medical employes, including nurses, paramedics, and EMTs
  • Lifeguards
  • Police officers
  • Safety managers
  • Bus drivers
  • Firefighters

BLS training is also a prerequisite for organizations or institutions that want to upgrade their CPR training. Therefore, daycare providers, coaches, teachers, and construction managers also take the training.

How Long Does BLS Training Take?

Usually, you will spend 4 hours on training.

Study Resources

The new BLS certification exam features a new syllabus, new objectives, and new questions. Therefore to learn basic life support, you’ll need to do the following:

  • Brush up on your medical terminology and knowledge of anatomy
  • Use flashcards
  • Take practice tests
  • View videos

Pass Your Test the First Time You Take It

Don’t cram for your exam the day before you test. Instead, take your time to make sure you understand what you’ve read. Learn the concepts, terms, and scenarios that you’ll see on the exam. 

Memorize key facts, but don’t overthink it. When you study for the BLS exam, focus on the core concepts of the test.

Practice taking the test under timed conditions. Choose a quiet place with nothing distracting you. Get acquainted with the test format and learn from your mistakes. While the test is not timed, you can use these tips to improve your score.

Final Words

You need to remember a lot of details when preparing for a BLS certification exam. However, if you prepare for the exam, you won’t have too much trouble passing.. You need to score 84% on the exam, so you can only give four incorrect answers.

Follow the above tips, and you’ll be well on your way to becoming certified. With a little preparation and commitment, you can pass the test or even ace it on the first attempt.



Donna Ryan
Donna Ryan is a writer and editor with extensive writing and editing experience. She has covered subjects, such as health and fitness, home and gardening, technology, travel, business, and general news content. She is also an award-winning poet. You can send her a message by visiting