Yeah, they'll never call back.

Last month I had a phone call I was initially really excited about.

It was from an organization that provides training and continuing education resources for childcare providers.  A child care center I had taught CPR & First Aid at referred me to them.  Can I say that I absolutely without a doubt LOVE referrals?  I do, I truly do.  It means I did a good job training their staff and they're not embarrassed to admit I taught them.  Anyway the caller from this organization was thinking of trying someone new to provide classes for them.

Sadly I know they will never call me back.

I didn't scare them away.  At least I don't think I did.  I told them how long a CPR or First Aid class is and what is covered.  A full class is 6 hours long, but can be broken up into 2 3-hour classes.  A renewal class can be about 4-5 hours long and can also be broken up into 2 classes.  I can do really focused skills-based renewals through the American Safety & Health Institute.  I also told them how much it would cost per person. 

Their current course provider is an AHA Training center that I will politely not name and am not affiliated with.  They do a 3 hour class at a very low price for them.  They're a volunteer organization so I'm guessing their instructors aren't paid much, if at all.  I can't compete with that.  I have 4 children, 'nuff said. 

The caller said they spend 2 hours on CPR AED and 1 hour on First Aid.  I'm having a hard time comprehending that.  How can you learn or review basic first aid principles; how to treat breathing difficulties, asthma, choking, fainting, heart attack, stroke, seizures, shock, bleeding, internal bleeding, use of tourniquets, injuries to the head, neck or spine, splinting, bites, stings, allergic reactions, heat emergencies, cold emergencies, poisoning and burns in only 1 hour?  The American Heart Association requires us as instructors to use their course DVD's, and the First Aid DVD is almost 2 hours long if you watch it without pausing.  I can't compete with that.  Nor do I want to. 

I'm not sad that she'll never call me back.  I'm sad that there are a lot of childcare providers who will take these courses and not know what to do in an emergency.  Okay, maybe that's a little harsh.  I bet a lot of them have excellent common sense skills and will take care and treat the children in their care very appropriately.  I think I'm more sad that they will pay for and sit in a class for 3 hours and get rushed through it so quickly that they aren't going to be able to learn or review that much.  That makes me sad. 

It also makes me a little angry because some of these childcare providers are going to think all CPR AED and First Aid classes are like that, which is not the case.  I have many colleagues who are instructors.  They all do an excellent job, use the course materials appropriately and take the time to make sure the participants in their class are learning the material.  These are the folks you want to take a class with and I'm happy to refer any of them, and I have.

Okay, useless venting rant over.  When you sign up for a course just keep in mind that if the course time seems really quick ask what is covered and if there is enough time for you to learn the material.


  1. Gail, thanks for pointing out the disparity in the quality of CPR & first aid courses. Maybe parents looking at childcare options should not only ask if the staff are certified, but where they took their courses! I'm sure you're worth every penny you charge, not because you have four kids, but because you care so much about making sure your students actually learn, so they can provide the best possible care to the people who depend on them.


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