No matter what the length of the course. A good CPR class should have the following components:
- Hands on practice. Just watching a demonstration of a skill is not the same as learning it. Each participant in the class should have hands on practice time.
- Questions and answers. If you have a question the instructor should answer it. Keep in mind that while instructors do go through training to teach CPR, we aren't perfect and we don't know the answer to every question that could possibly be asked. Personally I like a good question that stumps me. It gives me something to research after the class and helps me to be a good instructor.
- Time. This might sound odd, but I'm referring to is hands on practice time. The instructor should not rush you through the skills, the idea is that you practice and LEARN, not feel rushed to practice once or twice and then you're done.
- Equipment in good working order. You can't learn how to do chest compressions or how to breathe into the mannequin if it doesn't work.
- Enough equipment for the group. The courses are set up to have equipment shared. Usually up to 3 people can share 1 mannequin. However each participant should have their own barrier device - those are not meant to be shared. If the instructor wants 4 or more participants per mannequin then there will not be enough hands on practice time to learn the skills.
- Evaluation. Most CPR programs have a course evaluation at the end. Don't worry about anyone's feelings here, be honest. This helps the instructor to improve if improvements are needed and gives them feedback if they're doing a good job.
No matter what the length of the course you should leave the class feeling confident that you can perform the skills of CPR if the need arose. If you don't then make sure you put that on the evaluation form or contact the training center or agency that offered the course.