Why It’s Important to Be Trained in ACLS

Advanced cardiovascular life support is a system that offers urgent care for someone who is in cardiac arrest. ACLS training equips you with a higher level of knowledge and qualifications that enable you to perform advanced cardiac life support. For people experiencing cardiac or respiratory arrest, it can make the difference between life and death.

If you know BLS or CPR, you are ready to initiate basic life-saving skills and start resuscitation. In the highly specialized field of medicine, training and certification in ACLS can qualify you to respond with life-saving skill in a cardiovascular emergency. The effort that you put into education shows that you care about advancing in your profession, but also provides you with the skills to use specialized lifesaving equipment.

The knowledge that you acquire in training prepares you to identify conditions that may threaten a patient’s life and how to treat them immediately. Your willingness to spend time studying reflects well on your ability to learn new skills that make you a reliable resource when someone needs expert assistance. The ever-advancing field of medicine welcomes the guidelines that the American Heart Association maintains and updates for the care of cardiovascular emergency events.

Understanding ACLS

When you study ACLS for certification, you sharpen your skills as a qualified healthcare professional. By becoming certified or renewing regularly, you can maintain skills that make a significant difference in the quality of life for a recipient. The range of experienced healthcare providers who can respond to a cardiac emergency include doctors, dentists and nurses, paramedics and anesthesiologists among others. A condition that requires emergency ACLS care calls for your attention as a qualified expert who can take decisive and effective action to produce life-saving outcomes. You provide clinical interventions to treat stroke, cardiac arrest, and other conditions that threaten the life of a patient.

Administering ACLS

The process of delivering advanced cardiovascular life support requires you to use basic methodologies that include the following:

  • recognition of cardiac arrest
  • chest compressions
  • bag-mask devices
  • automated external defibrillator
  • CPR
  • airway management
  • management of peri-arrest situations
  • management of acute coronary syndrome
  • ability to communicate with resuscitation teams
  • appropriate pharmacology

Meeting Qualifications

The skill set that you, as a healthcare provider, must possess includes an assessment that checks a patient’s responsiveness, pulse, and breathing along with a clear call for assistance. The Cycle 1 requires you to complete 30 chest compressions within 15-18 seconds and deliver two breaths through a barrier device among other life-saving tasks. Cycle 2 requires you to repeat the steps in Cycle 1. The steps that the instructions offer show the correct way to use an automated external defibrillator by activating the device and attaching the pads to the patient. Additionally, analysis of the situation, and subsequent requests for a clear space prepares a way for you to deliver a safe shock before safely providing it.

Finding a Type of Training for Certification

A key reason to seek ACLS certification is to expand your skills and abilities as a healthcare professional working in highly sophisticated medical facilities. Training can prepare you for the challenges that you meet in providing advanced resuscitation within a hospital or other healthcare environment. Different approaches to earning certification give you options that may suit your preferences.

Local Classes

Your attendance at a local class provides a reliable way to obtain American Heart Association ACLS certification, and many hospitals prefer that method. In fact, some offer significant discounts to employees. The cost for the course may be as high as $200, so any discount is advantageous. Some educational institutions in your area may offer training in BLS and first aid as well as ACLS. When you choose a training course, keep in mind that most emergency services, as well as hospitals, require American Heart Association-approved ACLS certification. Classes that have the approval of AHA requires a hands-on skills test and a written exam.

Online Classes

The convenience of taking classes online may appeal to you, but make sure to examine the description of the course. A search online may produce many websites that purport to offer ACLS certification, but the critical qualification that you need to see is verification that it has the approval of AHA. The effort and expense that you put into a course that does not have the approval from AHA may produce nothing of value to you, and it may create an embarrassing experience as well. Most medical facilities in the United States do not recognize any certification for ACLS other than AHA.

If you prefer to study your classes online, you may find several that do have AHA approval. The ones who have it are proud of it, and their websites are sure to cite it as a qualification. Some sites advertise that they use AHA guidelines, but the assurance that you want to find is “AHA-approved.”

Choosing an ACLS Training Course

You have choices among training programs that have AHA approval and others that AHA presents.

  • CPR & First Aid Emergency Cardiovascular Care offers classroom training with an AHA instructor. The course provides instruction as well as case-based scenarios that let you actively participate in the diagnosis and treatment of patients. The organization offers ACLS for Experienced Providers (ACLS EP) and ACLS – Instructor-Led Training.
  • The American Heart Association offers a self-directed course online or on CD, HeartCode ACLS Part 1, that lets you study at the pace that you prefer. Part 2 evaluates your hands-on skills.
  • The American Heart Association offers a classroom course that emphasizes team dynamics and communication as a critical aspect of care.
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