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Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, is a technique used to restart the heart when someone is not breathing and has no detectable heartbeat. If the heart cannot be restarted, the person dies. If CPR is not implemented within a few minutes, brain damage can occur.
Some work places have CPR requirements for employees. Depending on the workplace, some employees may be required to maintain advanced skills. If a workplace has an automated external defibrillator (AED), a machine that can deliver an electric shock to restart the heart, the staff needs to be trained to use it.
Hospitals require medical personal to be CPR certified. Medical personnel like doctors, nurses and laboratory technicians may be required to perform CPR in the course of their duties. Human resource personnel, secretaries, maintenance personnel and other nonmedical employees would seldom need the skills but may be required to have CPR skills.
Medical personnel must maintain advanced CPR skills, which includes the use of basic equipment and how to do two-man CPR. Nonmedical personnel could maintain CPR certification at a basic level. AED instruction may be required as a part of the CPR certification process.
Law Enforcement and Firefighters
Police, sheriffs, firefighters, emergency medical technicians (EMT) and first responders must maintain CPR certification. EMTs and first responders need advanced CPR skills. Basic skills may be sufficient for law enforcement and regular firefighters.
Medical and Dental Offices
Like hospitals, all medical personnel in a doctor’s office must know how to perform advanced CPR. Office personnel, while less likely to perform CPR, may be still be required to maintain a basic CPR certification. Most offices will likely have an AED on premise, and employees must know how to use it.
Dentists and dental assistants are required to know and maintain CPR certification. While dental offices may seldom have a need for CPR skills, some dental procedures could cause a patient to experience a cardiac arrest. Dental office staff may not be required to maintain CPR skills.
Flight attendants may need to respond to a medical emergency while in the air. The flight attendant cannot guarantee there will be trained medical professionals on board to respond, so the flight attendants must maintain CPR and first aid skills. AEDs are common equipment in airports and on planes, and flight attendants are required to know how to use one.
Jails and Prisons
Jail and prison personnel are often required to maintain CPR certification. In the event of an emergency, medical staff may not be immediately available, and guards or other staff may need to respond until medical support arrives.
Most states require public school teachers and day care workers to maintain CPR certification. If a student or teacher is injured, a teacher can respond to the emergency until medical assistance arrives.
Pools and Beaches
Lifeguards must maintain CPR skills. Drowning victims may require CPR, and a lifeguard with CPR skills can respond appropriately to the emergency.
Rev. Kathryn Rateliff Barr has taught birth, parenting, vaccinations and alternative medicine classes since 1994. She is a pastoral family counselor and has parented birth, step, adopted and foster children. She holds bachelor's degrees in English and history from Centenary College of Louisiana. Studies include midwifery, naturopathy and other alternative therapies.