How to become an AHA Instructor
How to become an AHA Instructor
Have you ever wondered what it takes to become a successful American Heart Association Instructor? If you enjoy teaching and have a background in healthcare, this article is for you! First and foremost, relax, the steps are simple.
Step 1 – know the information
Step 1, In order to teach and reach instructor status you must first know the information you are going to teach. As a result, the American Heart Association requires you to hold certification as a “provider” in the curriculum you wish to teach. If you wish to become a BLS CPR for Healthcare Provider Instructor, you must hold current AHA BLS CPR Certification.
The good news is that as healthcare providers, we are already required to hold this American Heart Association level healthcare CPR certification. This credential is one of the two pre-requisites required to attend an actual “BLS Instructor” course. Along with your CPR certification, you will need to complete an online training program, AHA Essentials. Once complete you will print and bring that certificate of completion with you to your instructor class.
So now you are attending the actual BLS Instructor course and have your American Heart Association BLS CPR provider certification card and AHA Essentials completion certificate in hand, whats next?
Step 2 – learn about documentation
Step 2, you will quickly learn about documentation, and why it is that AHA course certifications are accepted by all governing agencies. The reason is simple, the AHA has strong operational guidelines that promote consistency.
Therefore, it is understood that any instructor teaching AHA classes has not only successfully completed all the steps to become an instructor, but also upholds those policies and expectations of their students.
At the beginning of your instructor course, you will fill out an Instructor Candidate Application and provide copies of your driver’s license and provider card to develop your “instructor file”.
This file will remain at whatever Training Center has accepted you to aligned with.
Next you will spend the entire day learning about the American Heart Association structure, curriculum, policies, guidelines, documentation, general expectations and the (PAM) Program Administration Manual. At the end of this training you are close, but not there yet.
Step 3 – teach a section of the course during an actual class
To this point you have taken a provider class, did some required online training and attended the instructor course. You have all the tools in your arsenal, and then comes Step 3.
Now is the time to get “monitored” and teach a section of the course during an actual class. Not to fret, during your instructor course training you learned about using the AHA’s course videos, and the “instructor manual”.
This is kind of like an open book test, but for the instructor. All the guidance you need to teach is right there at your fingertips.
You will quickly learn that these resources are invaluable not only in teaching your class but answering any questions students may have. Over time your experience as a healthcare provider and the experience you gain as an instructor will make your classes both awesome and informative!
The Final Step – become an instructor
The final step in your quest to become an instructor is alignment. You will receive communication from your AHA Training Center after the completion of your course monitoring telling you its time to get on the American Heart Associations Instructor Network to create an account, and request alignment with the Training Center.
The Instructor Network is filled with tons of information and updates to keep you informed and help you sharpen your skills as an instructor.
During this process, you will be issued your official American Heart Association Instructor Identification Number…Congrats!!!! You are now an official Instructor in the eyes of the AHA!
What happens now that you have achieved AHA Instructor status?
Check out our next article “I’m an AHA Instructor, what’s next?”