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I'm Certified: Earning Red Cross First Aid Certification Through Blended Learining

I recently completed my Standard First Aid CPR Level C certification. It was time well-spent gaining knowledge and training about something I hope I never, ever have to use. But let’s get real. With the types of things me and my family do in our spare time, I’m eventually going to use some of that training. In fact, I can count a number of times over the last year or two where I wished I had more formal knowledge to apply first aid treatment, but instead had to reach into the far depths of my memory to provide some basic help.
One of the biggest obstacles to taking the training before now was time. The certification course I wanted to take is traditionally held over two, full days. I work full time, so weekdays weren’t a good option. My weekends are filled with getting all the regular life chores completed. And then there are the camping trips and hikes and canoe trips and general getting outside and doing stuff activities that I like to tell you guys about. Finding an entire free weekend when the first aid training was offered proved to be a challenge.

I started to look at online learning as an option. But as I dug deeper into what was offered online, I learned that most of the training offered online doesn't actually earn you OFFICIAL Red Cross certification. And on top of that, a lot of employers won't recognize the training if you need it for your work. It was discouraging, but it actually made sense. Can you truly learn how to do CPR simply by watching a video?

And then I discovered that KMW Outreach Inc., a local, certified, Canadian Red Cross training partner provides an option to achieve your Red Cross Standard First Aid certification that combines online training with hands-on time in the classroom. 
I spent around 6 hours over approximately one week taking on-line training on my home computer, at a time convenient to me. Then, I spent one day in the KMW classroom applying the skills I learned online in a hands-on training environment.

At this time, KMW Outreach Inc only offers the in-class portion of the training during a weekday. But getting my First Aid certification was too important for me to NOT take the course, so I booked a day of vacation to devote to the class. Taking the blended online and in-class training really did seem like the best compromise. According to my instructor, Vikki, the in-class portion isn't currently available on weekends because this style of training is new for the company and not in high demand..... yet.

I found the online portion of the training easy to follow and informative. I really like the ability to take my time reading the material and going back to re-read information if I needed a refresher or to simply "wrap my head around" the content. At the end of each training module, there is a knowledge test. I have to admit, taking a test in a low-stress environment (while eating a bowl of ice cream) is a pretty awesome way to work towards certification! Students are allowed to repeat the tests if needed to achieve a passing grade, but to be perfectly honest I found the tests quite easy to successfully complete on the first try.

Once you've completed all the online tests, that's it! There is no testing component in the classroom portion. Phew! If that sounds a little too easy, don't worry. Our instructor was very thorough in our hands-on training and everyone had to practice our techniques under her watchful eye. Vikki was a great instructor, using humour and real-life stories to help us learn, and there was never the feeling of being pressured or under scrutiny.

If you've been considering a certification in first aid, but just can't seem to find the time, I highly recommend the blended learning option. KMW Outreach Inc is located in Guelph. You can do a search on the Canadian Red Cross training website for providers in your area here. At the end of the day, I walked out of the classroom with an official Canadian Red Cross certificate in my hand and a feeling of greater confidence that I can handle a first aid emergency.