Just how long is a First Aid CPR AED course?

Every now and then I get a call from someone who seems surprised by how long a class is.  Today was no exception. 

A CPR AED course is about 3 hours long.  It can run shorter if everyone is renewing their card or if it is a small group.  Since I teach both AHA and ASHI I find the full course is about 2.5-3 hours long.  Renewal courses that I offer through the ASHI program can be as short as 2 hours.

A First Aid or Pediatric First Aid course is also about 3 hours long.  Sometimes I plan on 3 1/2 hours for a class if I know the group is large or if it is a first class for most of the group.  The AHA video has a lot of information on it and I just can't make it play any faster than it is supposed to.  With the ASHI program I do a mix of video, lecture and scenario-based practice.  But still, it takes time.  Even if everyone is renewing their cards there are key topics I am required to cover and have participants practice.

So you can guess that a First Aid CPR AED course, covering both First Aid AND CPR AED can be anywhere from 4-6 hours long.  Shorter if it is a refresher or renewal course, longer if there are folks who have never taken a course before.

I guess I should not be amazed when someone calls and tells me that they need a course for their staff, the person who used to provide their courses is no longer teaching, and ... they did the entire First Aid CPR AED course in 2 1/2 hours.

Part of me wants to say.... maybe that's why they are not teaching anymore.  But I don't.  It's just not worth it.  Instead I have to explain why the course is as long as it is.  I give them lots of info, how much it will cost, how to schedule a class with me and sometimes some dates that I am available to teach.  But I know they probably won't call back.  All I can think after the call ends is that you get from the course what you put into it and what is provided to you.  What can you learn about adult, child, infant CPR AED, choking and first aid in just 2 1/2 hours?  Is there time to practice any of the information provided?  For the staff who needs this for work  & state licensing I question how well prepared they will be to handle an emergency in the workplace when they've not been provided with enough instruction and practice to know what to do.


  1. Great job, thank you for writing about cpr & aed . Glad to come across this post.


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