You have plenty of options when it comes to obtaining your ACLS, PALS, BLS, or CPR certification. You may choose to go to a traditional certification provider to become certified in person. Alternatively, you could obtain or renew your medical certification online. Online certification is an increasingly popular route — several providers offer courses, though ProMed is known best for its comprehensive courses and excellent customer service.
If you’re conducting first-time research about online certifications, you may have come across a few misconceptions about this training route. As a community, health providers are comfortable with an analog approach to training and practice. As a result, we tend to question the legitimacy of virtual instruction. This mindset, combined with the following related misunderstandings, might cause you to second-guess pursuing online medical certification, even though it’s faster, more accessible, and more cost-effective than other methods of certification.
We’re here to tell you that you have nothing to worry about! We’ve looked across the web in search of the most common misunderstandings people have about getting their certifications online. Let’s take a look at each, and why they’re far from the truth.
All Medical Certifications Require AHA Approval
The American Heart Association (AHA) is a name you’ve likely seen across many medical certification websites. You’ll see it on ProMed! The AHA is a large topic of contention when it comes to online certification, as many websites claim that they are “approved” by the AHA, and this approval is necessary for a certification to be legitimate.
This couldn’t be farther from the case. The AHA is not an authority on the legitimacy of certification courses. They don’t endorse any certification websites or providers. They provide certifications — in fact, they are the sole providers of AHA certifications.
So, a website’s certification courses can fall within the guidelines of the AHA; however, they cannot be “approved” or “certified” by the AHA. ProMed’s courses, for example, have been created specifically to align with the latest AHA guidelines, because they are considered the gold standard for medical training. That’s because the AHA’s guidelines are based on those of the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR), the real group that established global standards for resuscitative technique.
Be wary of websites that claim to be AHA approved. You don’t need AHA approval to obtain a certification. However, it is recommended that you speak to both your employer and a customer service representative from the website you choose to ensure your work requirements will be met by the courses you take.
You Must Take a Pre-Assessment Test Before Taking a Course
This is something that more dated certification providers require. Some services may even charge you for this unnecessary component to increase the overall cost of the certification process. However, skill assessments are hardly a necessary part of becoming certified in ACLS, PALS, BLS, or CPR. Thankfully, most providers — both online and in-person — do not implement this requirement.
A quality online certification course should be thorough enough to give a first-time trainee all they need to pass. The coursework should cover every possible component in full detail. Some more experienced health practitioners may like the idea of a skill assessment test because there stands the possibility that they could skip over learning areas in which they already feel confident.
But there’s a reason you must renew these certifications. The point of renewal is to refresh your memory on the entire course and ensure your full confidence in your knowledge. Skipping content could diminish confidence in your skillset down the road.
Online Courses are Easier to Pass
People often gain the impression that using a website for medical certification is significantly easier than taking a course in a live classroom setting. This misconception is understandable, as many benefits come with online learning.
Using a certification website means you can take a class at virtually any time, eliminating the stress of fitting a live class into your busy schedule. You can also learn at your own pace and test anywhere you’d like. If you’ve never used an online learning website before, you can take extra time to get used to the platform.
Convenience, however, doesn’t mean an easy pass. Online or not, certification takes concentration and dedication. If you aren’t the best at being self-motivated, completion might take longer than it needs to. Moreover, the coursework doesn’t get easier just because you’re accessing it from your laptop or phone. Online courses still require you to focus, study, and put in the work required to pass.
Many Workplaces Don’t Accept Online Medical Certifications
Some practitioners worry about the professional validity of online certifications. All over the web, you can find forums that host debates between healthcare workers about whether employers can or should accept online certificates. You don’t have to worry; as long as you choose a trustworthy certification provider, you have nothing to worry about. A large majority of healthcare employers allow online certifications. What matters most is the validity of the certification course, not the way in which the testing was conducted.
If the course was created by medical professionals and the materials align with AHA and ILCOR guidelines, there should be no reason why your employer doesn’t view that certification as valid. These rules apply to online certifications, as well as live classes. Certification websites like ProMed guarantee quality certifications at a lower cost since your payment doesn’t have to go toward paying for a live classroom or an instructor.
Have you heard any myths about online certification that you think should be busted? Let us know! We’d love to get your take and tackle it in our next article. If you have any questions or concerns about any of the available ProMed Courses, visit our help center or contact us today.