One of the requirements to work as a dental assistant in North Carolina is basic life support for healthcare providers. We contract with companies in Charlotte to provide this certification as part of our Model Dental Assistant training class so you will be ready to work once you graduate. The card is valid for two years and we can help put you in touch with someone to renew, if you need.
What is BLS for healthcare providers?
Basic Life Support (BLS) for healthcare providers is a set of skills and techniques used to provide immediate care to individuals experiencing cardiac arrest, respiratory distress, or other life-threatening emergencies. BLS is designed for healthcare professionals, including doctors, nurses, paramedics, and other healthcare providers who may respond to emergencies in clinical settings or pre-hospital environments. The class covers seven basic areas.
- Early Recognition and Activation: Recognizing an emergency situation and promptly activating the appropriate emergency response system is crucial. Healthcare providers should be trained to identify signs of cardiac arrest, respiratory distress, or other life-threatening conditions and initiate the response process.
- Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR): CPR is a vital component of BLS. It involves a combination of chest compressions and rescue breaths to circulate oxygenated blood to vital organs. Healthcare providers should be proficient in performing high-quality CPR, including proper hand placement, compression depth and rate, and adequate ventilation techniques.
- Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Use: BLS training includes instruction on how to use an AED. These portable devices analyze the heart’s rhythm and deliver an electric shock, if needed, to restore a normal heart rhythm. Healthcare providers should be familiar with AED operation and how to integrate it with CPR.
- Airway Management: Ensuring a patent airway is crucial in life support. Healthcare providers should be trained to open and maintain an airway using techniques such as head tilt-chin lift or jaw thrust. In some cases, additional airway interventions, such as insertion of an oral or nasal airway or bag-valve-mask ventilation, may be necessary.
- Rescue Breathing: Healthcare providers should be proficient in providing rescue breaths to individuals who are not breathing adequately or have stopped breathing. They should be trained to use various methods, including mouth-to-mouth or mouth-to-mask ventilation, while ensuring effective chest rise.
- Team Dynamics and Communication: BLS training emphasizes the importance of effective teamwork and communication during emergency situations. Healthcare providers should be trained to work collaboratively, assign roles, and communicate clearly and assertively during resuscitation efforts.
- Recognition and Management of Choking: BLS for healthcare providers includes techniques for recognizing and managing choking emergencies in adults, children, and infants. This involves performing abdominal thrusts (Heimlich maneuver) or chest thrusts, depending on the age and size of the individual.
It’s essential for healthcare providers to maintain their BLS certification through regular training and renewal courses to stay up to date with the latest guidelines and techniques.