Having a Lifeguard CPR Certification can help you land that lifeguard summer job, but it goes without saying that it is also a responsible one. It allows for learning and applying valuable life skills, as well as improving communication and interpersonal skills, developing leadership skills, and much more.
However, lifeguards also need to know how to handle medical emergencies. Cardiac arrest can strike anywhere and anytime, and being in the water when it does, increases the chances of fatal endings. This is why having lifeguard CPR certification is non-negotiable!
Let’s take a look at what CPR training for lifeguards involves.
Why Is A Lifeguard CPR Certification Needed?
Lifeguards are emergency responders whose responsibilities include monitoring the people and situations near the water. All aquatic facilities, beaches, and water parks must have a lifeguard overseeing that safety rules are respected and enforced.
Depending on the location where the lifeguard is employed, they will need to have the right equipment and pass the relevant training. Accidents and other situations can occur in a matter of seconds, so lifeguards must be trained to immediately recognize and quickly respond to an emergency.
CPR, first aid, and basic water rescue are a few of the techniques that a lifeguard should be trained in. Acquiring CPR knowledge and gaining the skills will enable lifeguards to remain calm and in control in a most-likely chaotic situation.
The Job of a Lifeguard
Being a lifeguard means having to handle and control situations that may easily get out of hand. While the main focus is on giving CPR and trying to help a victim, it also means controlling the crowd around. Everything needs to happen fast because time is of the essence.
In most cases, everyone who has a Lifeguard CPR Certification will work in teams administering CPR to help a person in need. One lifeguard performs chest compressions while the other performs rescue breathing. This is to ensure that everything is done correctly and that there is no chance of either of them getting tired if the CPR needs to be done for a longer period.
Knowing Basic Life-Saving Skills
According to the Center for Disease Control, the number of unintentional drownings is high, especially in children. Possessing the right life-saving skills is vital when found in a life-threatening situation. Below we outline the important skills you may need in such occasions:
Check For Signs of Life
When faced with a medical emergency, the first thing you need to do is check for signs of life. This includes checking the pulse and breathing. Always make sure to provide a safe environment to attend to the person in need of help. If there are crowds gathering around, ask everyone to give you and the person space to be able to assist them.
Knowing how to perform high-quality CPR can be the tipping point between life and death. It is a life-saving technique used when you witness someone having a sudden cardiac arrest. This is a major reason why a Lifeguard CPR Certification is so crucial.
It’s worth mentioning that cardiac arrest and heart attack are not the same. A heart attack happens due to a blocked blood flow to the heart, while during cardiac arrest, the heart malfunctions and stops beating.
Manually pumping oxygen and blood through the body allows the victim to be kept alive until emergency medical help arrives. Undergoing proper CPR training for lifeguards is the best way to learn this skill.
Use of AED
During the administration of CPR, the chest compressions enable the blood to flow through the body, but they don’t restart the heart. This is why the use of AED is advisable. The automated external defibrillator (AED) can analyze the heart activity and deliver an electric shock to restart the heart and help it return to its normal beating.
Lifeguard CPR CertificationSkills
CPR training for lifeguards can teach you a bit more than just basic lifesaving skills. To get this position, here is what else you’ll learn with your Lifeguard CPR Certification:
Opening the Airway
Providing rescue breathing and quickly opening and maintaining the victim’s airway are essential in preventing drowning fatalities. During the CPR courses, lifeguards will learn how to react quickly in opening the airway or use suction devices to clear the person’s throat.
Once the person’s breathing is back, the lifeguard has to prepare them for safe transportation to the nearest hospital.
Administering Supplemental Oxygen
Clearing the airway and establishing rescue breathing is always a priority in drowning rescue situations. During the rescue process, a lifeguard may use supplemental oxygen but also make sure that it doesn’t interfere with the rescue.
Cervical Spine Injuries
Surfing, diving, or other water activities may result in spinal injuries and drowning incidents. These are cases when lifeguards need to take all precautionary measures to protect the spine of the individual. This means that the lifeguard has to modify the rescue strategy.
If a spinal injury is suspected, clearing the person’s airway is a priority, after which the lifeguard can proceed to immobilization and preparation for transportation to the hospital.
Other Required Competencies
A lifeguard is nothing without the necessary physical skill set, especially if they are to rescue a struggling and drowning swimmer. The physical skill set may vary depending on the location’s unique features.
In general, every lifeguard must possess water skills, physical strength, and stamina if they are to prevent a tragedy from happening. Some of these skills include learning to descend deep waters when working at beaches or entering the water from a watch tower at water parks and other aquatic facilities.
Lifeguards must also know how to reach a struggling swimmer quickly, retrieve them and bring them to a safe location. This should be immediately followed by performing CPR.
Finding Lifeguard CPR Certification Classes
If you do some online research, you will find many training centers that offer training and certification services. Becoming a lifeguard means getting an accredited lifeguard certification, as well as CPR, first aid, and AED certifications. But, ensure that the training center you choose follows the OSHA requirements to ensure you have received the right training.
The CPR classes for lifeguards in all training centers are usually conducted in two parts. You will be allowed to do one part of the course online, and then you’ll need to complete an in-person aptitude test. According to OSHA standards, the training and physical skills should be learned by undergoing in-person training. This part of the training is performed on mannequins.
Future lifeguards have to possess extensive knowledge of CPR to be able to get a recognized CPR certification for lifeguards. Pool managers, owners of aquatic facilities and water parks, and visitors can rest assured that CPR-certified lifeguards can do the job.
The institutions issuing the certificate vouch that the lifeguards on the beaches can handle an emergency. In case the pool does have lifeguards on duty, the pool management and other staff should be trained in administering CPR.
Upgrade and Refresh Your CPR Knowledge
The Lifeguard CPR certification vouches that you have the knowledge and skills to save a struggling swimmer. However, it never hurts to refresh and reaffirm your knowledge occasionally.
CPR certificates have an expiration date and need to be renewed every 2 years because CPR programs are continuously updated with discoveries hence CPR activities are broadened. You can also choose to refresh your knowledge and check your skills by taking a refresher course before the expiration date.
Wrapping Up Everything For Your Lifeguard CPR Certification
Being a lifeguard is a very demanding job that is accompanied by some serious responsibilities. Lacking the knowledge to react properly during a threatening situation can lead to serious consequences. Pool managers and aquatic facilities must be cautious about hiring professionally trained lifeguards with the right lifeguard CPR certification.
When it comes to saving a life, every second matters. Communities must ensure that beaches, water parks, and pools are safe places for everyone. Certified lifeguards can give everyone peace of mind knowing that they will be helped in the case of an emergency.