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Resuscitation Competency

December 19, 2019

Sure, your staff or your team members has been trained on cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), but do they retain the training they’ve received? On any random Tuesday in February, are they ready to perform life-saving CPR? Studies show that timely high-quality CPR can play the biggest role in survival. The unfortunate thing is, many providers–who are both skilled and trained—are not always able to perform that high-quality and timely CPR as needed in a dire situation.


Advancing resuscitation competency should be a main priority of providers everywhere. With the traditional CPR approach, many staff members only need to take their CPR course every two years. However, studies show that skills can decay in just a few months after training. It’s clear that something needs to change, and soon.


Interval training—periods of intense work followed by a rest period—has shown to improve resuscitation outcomes. It goes back to that idea that refreshing one’s skills every two years doesn’t allow participants to retain those high-quality CPR skills that are necessary in saving lives. This is due in part to the fact that, in non-emergency care situations, codes are less frequent, so skills are practiced even less. The success of interval training as applied to CPR relies on building muscle memory. Think about athletes at the top of their game physically. They complete interval training to build endurance and improve their skills. Effective resuscitation training works in a similar way. Your organization can choose the interval at which best suits them to receive training: 3 months, 6 months, 12 months, or 24 months. Practicing CPR more frequently in short bursts goes a long way in helping providers maintain skills and remain sharp. Develop your staff to make more competent caregivers.


A one-size-fits-all style of training doesn’t always suit everyone on the team. You need an adaptive learning design that optimizes learner retention. Realistic patient scenarios should be used, as well as immediate feedback on the efficacy of compressions. Thankfully, many of these resuscitation competency programs are coming to fruition across the country.


If you want to learn more about resuscitation competency, give Specialized Health and Safety a call at 320-248-3679.