We have observed an increasing number of posts on social media related to canine and feline cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Given that this is a topic that we are quite passionate about, coupled with our advocacy for evidence-based medicine as the gold-standard of care, we wanted to take this opportunity to provide some clarity around the various CPR training and certification programs you may be seeing advertising for.
CPR is deployed across the vast majority of clinics and hospitals (i.e. general practice, emergency, specialty, etc.), and it is important to remember that CPR training should be provided for your veterinary health care team on a biannual basis at the very least. This training can be performed in-house or be outsourced, but should ideally be led by a Certified RECOVER Instructor. If you do not have any Certified Instructors in your hospital, we encourage you to pursue RECOVER certification for, at minimum, one team member. This team member must be a licensed veterinarian, credentialed veterinary technician, or registered veterinary nurse (in countries where this is a recognized title).
If you do elect to pursue outsourcing (for yourself or for your hospital), you will find numerous programs. While perusing and evaluating each of the CPR training programs available, it is important to note that the only program that provides official certification from the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care (ACVECC) and the only certification endorsed by the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society (VECCS) is the certification provided by the RECOVER Initiative. RECOVER currently certifies Rescuers in both Basic and Advanced Life Support, along with their Certified Instructor training. Additional programs for first responders and non-credentialed veterinary personnel are coming soon. The options are available through RECOVER are detailed on their website (listed above) under the “How Certification Works” tab. This training provides 8.5 hours of RACE-approved continuing education credits.
When identifying the best program for you and/or your hospital, the important questions are:
1. Does the program teach the RECOVER guidelines?
2. Upon successful completion of the program, are you awarded a Certification? Who provides/endorses this Certification?
3. If Certification is provided, are the instructors/facilitators of the program RECOVER Certified Instructors?
4. Does the program utilize the content and materials provided by RECOVER?
If the answers to any of the aforementioned inquires are no, we would encourage you to pursue an alternate program. While the program may still deliver evidence-based content and provide you with a certification, it will not be recognized by ACVECC, which is the gold standard in veterinary emergency and critical care. Remember that CPR training is an investment on many fronts; be sure to maximize the benefits for yourself, your colleagues, your clients, and your patients.
Brought to you by East Coast Veterinary Education
Joseph M. DeFulio, CVT, LVT
Liza Wysong, BAS, CVT, VTS (CP-CF, SAIM)
With special contribution by
Liz Hughston MEd., RVT, CVT, VTS (SAIM, ECC)
Did you know that RECOVER is the only official certification in veterinary CPR by the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care (ACVECC)? Our educators are Certified RECOVER Instructors and are ready to bring CPR training to your team.