two sets of hands in medical gloves, one stabilizing the head of a cpr mannequin, the other doing chest compressions

A first-of-its kind program has been developed by the American Heart Association in collaboration with the National Organization of Nurses with Disabilities to allow individuals with disabilities who cannot perform the physical skills of CPR to obtain an Advisor: BLS card.

By successfully advising others how to perform CPR and use an automated external defibrillator, people with physical disabilities can receive their advisor card. While some individuals with disabilities can perform CPR skills to the required standards, others who are unable to perform the motor skills of CPR have the ability to take the Advisor: BLS program, which permits verbal recognition of the required knowledge and skills. This program is designed to increase the population of individuals trained to respond to emergencies, ensuring CPR is performed until emergency medical services arrive.

“Americans are living longer with more comorbidities, so now more than ever individuals need to learn CPR,” said Bridgette Jenkins, active American Heart Association CPR instructor and NOND board member. “We were thrilled to collaborate with the American Heart Association to help problem-solve this issue for people with disabilities at a time when it’s most critical to have these lifesaving skills.”

Advisor: BLS cards are available exclusively to authorized American Heart Association Training Centers. Students must first take HeartCode BLS online and present a course completion certificate before the skills session. For more info on how to take the BLS course, visit: https://cpr.heart.org/en/cpr-courses-and-kits/healthcare-professional/basic-life-support-bls-training