CPR classes are comprised of students from all backgrounds and learning styles. Some of them want to be in class, and others are required to be there. Therefore, it’s up to each Emergency Care Instructor to adapt and create an engaging learning environment for their audience.
What makes an effective CPR class? An Instructor who is passionate, has good communication skills and is committed to improving their craft.
Good communication skills are essential
An Instructor can “make or break” a CPR class. Good communication skills are an essential part of being an effective Instructor and helping students build the confidence to respond during a medical emergency.
When communicating with students, Instructors should always be honest, protect confidentiality and address people directly.
The Golden Rule applies to all CPR training classes: Treat others how you want to be treated.
Verbal and nonverbal communication matters
Instructors should intentionally work on public speaking behaviors, such as:
Speaking clearly and distinctly
Using understandable language
Adding humor appropriately
Using respectful forms of address
But nonverbal communication is just as important. Be sure to maintain eye contact and move around the training space. Adopt proper posture and avoid folding your arms or making yourself appear smaller.
How to improve your CPR students’ learning experience
If public speaking doesn’t come naturally, consider recording yourself during a live class or at home for practice. Try changing your approach or delivery. Focus on any area of concern until it becomes second nature.
As you gain experience, you’ll start to master the art of timing. No two classes are the same, so Instructors must read the audience and determine when it’s time to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.
Finally, consider adding novelty to improve content retention. What does this mean? Try adding an unexpected element to your class presentation, like something humorous or something that simply catches people by surprise.
People generally retain more information when presented with novel, as opposed to routine, situations. So, get creative and make your CPR class one to remember!
Thinking about teaching emergency care skills? Learn more about HSI's path to becoming a CPR Instructor.