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5 Reasons NOT to Become an AHA Instructor!

Do you have doubts about becoming an AHA Instructor?

It can definitely be scary to start a new business or dive into something unfamiliar. We absolutely understand the concerns you might have! That’s why today we’re talking about the 5 reasons NOT to become an AHA Instructor!

1. You don't have time

What I’ve learned is that if you really want to be successful at something, you’ll find that you put the time in. You won’t just ask somebody if it’s a good idea, you’ll go figure out if it’s a good idea.

- Mark Cuban

As a CPR instructor, you’ll be running your own business and let’s face it – that can be hard work and it takes effort. The thing is, it’s a different kind of work than you’re probably used to when you’re working for yourself. The work just feels different. You’re investing in yourself, your business, and your own success. If you don’t have the time or make the effort to invest in yourself, you probably won’t be successful and becoming an AHA instructor might not be right for you.

2. You're not willing to learn new skills

Along with any new endeavor also comes challenges and learning new skills. For a CPR instructor, this means learning how to navigate the AHA Instructor Network, learning how to issue AHA certifications, understanding how to assist students with claiming and accessing their certifications, and learning how to properly submit documentation. And that’s just for starters! As your business grows, your skills will need to grow as well. There are endless business skills you can learn including digital marketing, online scheduling, and even social media design. Our advice? Take it one step at a time and just start with the basics, making sure you know the in’s and out’s of being a good AHA instructor before you spend a lot of money on things you might not even need.

At Mid-Florida CPR, we know what areas new instructors tend to struggle with and we’ve created a dedicated instructor resource site (free to all of our aligned instructors). This site is full of all the information you need to be successful –  interactive learning courses, discussion forums to find answers and ask questions, posts to keep instructors up-to-date with any AHA changes, and private messaging where you can communicate with us and other instructors. So if you aren’t willing to learn new skills, you probably won’t be successful as an AHA instructor.

3. You're not flexible

Healthcare is constantly evolving – and therefore, the AHA guidelines have to change from time to time too! The American Heart Association ensures the guidelines they release are research based with the main focus of improving patient outcomes and survival rates. AHA updates their guidelines about every 5 years so that means a complete re-haul of materials from manuals, course DVD’s, and exams. As an AHA Instructor, you have to be willing to adapt to these changes. The latest guidelines were released in October of 2020 so now is the perfect time to become an AHA instructor since all the materials will be current for several more years. Additionally, policies and procedures tend to change from time to time and as an instructor, you have to be able to go with the flow and work these changes into your classes. So if you hate change and aren’t willing to stay up-to-date with the latest evidence-based practice guidelines, being AHA instructor won’t be an ideal choice for you.

4. You tend to cut corners

If you find yourself cutting corners a lot, you may want to re-consider becoming an AHA instructor. As the standard for healthcare providers for BLS, ACLS, and PALS courses, the American Heart Association has specific rules and policies for their instructors. Your Training Center is responsible for ensuring that you know and follow these policies. For this reason, the very first step to getting started teaching is to find the right Training Center to align with. Finding a good Training Center can make all the difference in your success or failure as an instructor. It’s important to shop around and see the differences in requirements before selecting a Training Center since these can vary.

A few quick tips on selecting the right Training Center:

  • Check out the Training Centers website. Does it look like it’s been updated recently? If you don’t see a list of current available dates for instructor classes listed on their website, they probably don’t conduct instructor level classes very often and are less likely to be able to support you as an instructor. Check out the next available dates for our AHA instructor classes.
  • Ask your prospective Training Center if they charge additional alignment fees, roster fees, or any other fees on top of the instructor course fee. At Mid-Florida CPR, we don’t charge any additional fees for our independent instructors – you’ll only pay to renew your instructor certification every two (2) years and for the eCards you purchase to issue to your students. We do charge annual fees for our Training Sites – but there are plenty of benefits that certainly outweigh the cost.
  • Find out when you’ll receive your official AHA Instructor Certification and when you can actually start teaching after you complete your instructor course and monitoring session. At Mid-Florida CPR, we issue your official AHA instructor certification the day of your monitoring session so you have it before you leave our office and you’re cleared to start teaching that same day.

In summary, if you find the right Training Center to help guide you, you’ll be setting yourself up for success from the start. But if you like to cut corners or you align with a poorly run Training Center, your business and reputation will likely suffer.

5. You have a hard time communicating

No matter what job you have in life, your success will be determined 5% by your academic credentials, 15% by your professional experiences and 80% by your communication skills.

- Anonymous

As an AHA instructor, you’re going to need to communicate with your Training Center about any issues you have – whether business or personal. Additionally, you’ll need to communicate with students and potential students about requirements for classes. Instructors who have a solid foundation of knowledge tend to communicate better and we aim to make sure our instructors are well-informed.  At Mid-Florida CPR, our top performing instructors have a very open line of communication with us and take advantage of all the resources we provide. So if you have a difficult time with communication, you should think twice about becoming an AHA instructor.

These are just a few things to consider when you’re deciding whether you want to become an instructor or not. There are plenty of benefits to becoming an AHA instructor – we’ve even outlined our top 5 reasons for becoming an AHA instructor. We encourage everyone to make a decision that is best for their personal life journey! If you have questions or concerns about being an AHA instructor, feel free to leave us a comment below!

Mid-Florida CPR is an American Heart Association Training Center based in Longwood, FL (near Orlando) and supports hundreds of instructors across the nation who have invested in themselves and their communities – are you ready to join them? Register for an AHA instructor class today!



Amanda is the Training Center Coordinator (TCC) of Mid-Florida CPR, An American Heart Association Training Center. She received her Doctorate degree in Nursing Practice in 2019, is a Board Certified Emergency Nurse (BCEN), and has completed research on increasing bystander CPR rates within communities which is currently pending publication. She loves the beach and Starbucks coffee.

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