BLS instruction

Nurses General Nursing


Im training to be a BLS instructor. Our previous instructor was boring and uncreative.

Does any one have ideas to make BLS instruction interesting?

How to get learners attention and interst?


89 Posts

I've been teaching BCLS for 10 years now and find that the best way to get folks interested is to not stand up there and lecture but to get interaction going. Include them in your scenarios. Give them examples (just a few) of things that you have encountered. Allow short time for them to give examples if they choose. Give breaks. Don't expect people to perform perfectly but do expect them to be able to perform if they walk out the door and someone falls out in front of them. They need to know this up front. I always tell them that I expect them to learn it well enough that if I fell out in front of them on our way out of class that they would know what to do and would do it to the best of their ability. Good luck. I always have fun teaching this class.


124 Posts

Are you using the American Heart Association's material? I believe you have to teach it the way they want you to do it. They appear to want the material taught uniformly. We use their material and do not give a lecture because it is all on the video along with what is expected of the students. We show the video and pause it for the students to practice the skills expected during each portion of the presentation. Just as we were instructed.


603 Posts

Even with uniform material, you can make it better. :) Smiles, a comment when you pause the video. Most of my better instructors have made jokes about the dummies (no, not the people in class :) ). A little humor goes a long way.


386 Posts

Thanks guys for the input.


386 Posts

4 of us are teaching this BLS class. I'll be teaching FBAO.

To make the class interesting Im looking for stories or experiences involving someone who is choking. These may be funny,interesting,tragic,or whatever.

For instance, yesterday someone told me about a instructor teaching a class of first year nursing students. I guess the instructor was just finishing her lunch. She then stood before the students to instruct but was speechless,her air way was obstructed,she grabbed her throat and started turning blue. These first year students did nothing but stare at her throughout the entire ordeal. Luckily,another instructor walk in the class room ,assessed the situation and saved the instructors life with a few abdominal thrusts.

So I'd appreciate you sharing your stories with me.Thanks

PS,Im really nervous teaching this thing,as Im a first time instructor with little experience with real airway emergencies,so Im using other nurses experience with FBAO events. Thanks.


577 Posts

Please what are BLS and FBAO? Thank you!

micro, RN

1,173 Posts









(aka: cpr)

You can still teach BCLS through the appropriate AHA guidelines......

and yes "officially" you must use the videos now as the course is set up in a watch and do methodology.........

rather you hold to this pattern absolutely or make slight alterations

You still teach exactly as to what AHA teaches.......

you cannot deviate.....and it also makes it easier when you have a class with two docs, three paramedics, one ICU nurse, and a dentist and dental tech.........teach by the same guidelines......

everyone must know the basics.........the same.......

But to the original question.....can you make it more interesting...

Yes, by relaxing.........and just talking to the class and involving the class........

I've been teaching bcls for a good number of years now, and have taken cpr since i was thirteen.....

So have most of the people that I teach.........

So you just chill, have people tell you their backgrounds at the start of class, when last taken cpr, as there have been changes 1/01..........

take away the stress from test taking........bcls is a knowledge/practice class...............

depending on who is in my class depends how i teach, but i make a point of putting everybody to ease.........

learning is done better if stress is not felt



89 Posts

If you are teaching American Heart there are a lot of scenarios in the instructor's manual that may help you with your teaching. Yes, you do have to follow American Heart guidelines by using the viewing material but you still can do scenarios to help make the class more than just films and practice. I think it helps the content stick in the students minds so that they will remember it when needed.

In answer to question about what is BCLS and FBO - Basic Cardiac Life Support and Foreign body obstruction.

Again, have fun teaching the class. you would not have been asked to do it if someone didn't think you would be great at it.


693 Posts

I taught BLS for 15 years until Jan of this year. I found it easy to get the students interest and attention through using scenarios that involve them. For instance, if two friends/ co-workers were in the class together, I would create a scenario in which one student gets into the elevator only to find the friend laying on the floor. I would say things like " You know she's tired after a busy shift, but you've never seen her take a nap in the elevator before!" Then they would "be" the victim and rescuer, role-playing the situation. My observation over the years was that creating personal scenarios increased motivation while decreasing performance anxiety. It made the classes more fun for everyone, including me! I used to get lots of positive feedback about the scenarios and it didn't interfere with AHA's requirements at all.

Monica RN,BSN

603 Posts

Specializes in ER, ICU, Nursing Education, LTC, and HHC.

I teach the American red cross course, and we always have so much fun. I teach about 1000 + students a year and they tel me it is the best class they have attended for CPR. I involve the class with the discussions and scenerios. We take a break about half way through (4 hour class) and we relate the material in real life experiences they may have encountered. Be relaxed and let the knowledge flow. I give out little pieces of candy when someone answers correctly. They love this....

Monica in Florida

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