10 Hot Tips For Passing the AHA BLS and CPR Exam

Here is a guide to help you improve your chances of passing the AHA – American Heart Association certification exam for BCLS, BLS, and CPR. If you take the advice given here seriously, you will do very well on the exam. But you must allow yourself plenty of time to learn all of this material – especially if you are new to this.

Zombie Notes Study Charts

Zombie Notes Study Charts

1. Study and memorize the Zombie Notes study chart
The Zombie notes for BCLS/BLS helps you study the need to knows and it is easy to take with you to study in your spare time.  The study guide is not a replacement for the hands on practice and testing sessions that CPR class is known for. The Zombie notes helps you memorize the important things that help you perform better. There are guidelines for all age groups with the most up to date information based on evidenced based practice and research.  Infants, children – large and small and adults are included with the how to do- one and two rescuer CPR, choking – conscious and unconscious, AED and pads application, and airway management.

2. Read and study the BCLS/BLS Certification Manual

3. Dress comfortably and be prepared to work on your knees (explain to your instructor if this is not possible)

4. Watch Michele’s YouTube videos on BCLS, BLS, AED and other topics

5. Take practice tests over and over until you get them all correct
There are questions on many topics, including age specific questions. Topics on the exam include AED use, safety at the scene of the victim, conscious and unconscious choking victims, ventricular fibrillation and early defibrillation, one and two rescuer CPR scenarios, initial assessments, infant techniques for two-rescuer CPR, depth and rate of compressions for all age groups,  and airway and ventilations.

6. Practice doing fast and hard compressions
(5 cycles of 30 compressions to 2 breaths) on a doll or cushion for 2 minutes, so you can perform high-quality-CPR at the class, know the landmarks for chest compressions, depth and recoil of compression, 2-thumb technique;

7.  Review the differences between the age groups and the BCLS/BLS requirements for CPR
Review choking, AED pads, quick assessment for responsiveness, heart rates in infants that require initiation of chest compressions, breathing rates, a 10 second pulse check, positioning of the airway, and recovery positions, etc.

8.  Understand the non-trained “hands only” CPR concept versus healthcare 30:2 CPR ratio
Consider purchasing your own face shield or pocket mask with a one-way valve.

9.  Read about the Bag-Mask-Valve (AMBU bag)

Also, the pocket masks, positioning the victim’s airway with or without suspected neck injury other airway adjuncts; first aid. Diagnosis that are life threatening and important to learn about and recognize the symptoms; examples are myocardial infarction (heart attack) and stroke.

10. Participate in class, and ask and answer lots of questions
Speaking up and asking many questions helps you understand and will facilitate your classrooms ask more detailed questions as well.

If you enjoyed this article, you might also like…
Watch Michele’s video “10 Hot Tips For Passing The AHA BLS And …”
Watch Michele’s video “BCLS Orientation For The AHA Certification Class”
Watch Michele’s video “BCLS 2010 Updates”

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About Michele G. Kunz

I am a nursing educator and AHA Certified Instructor and I specialize in providing AHA Certification classes in ACLS, BLS, and PALS to healthcare professionals and students. I am also a certified six-sigma green belt (CSSGB).
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