Get Your ACLS Certification in 1 Hour
Advanced Cardiac Life Support or simply ACLS refers to a course or certification where students are taken through clinical algorithms to acquire life saving practices that will be used for treatment of cardiovascular conditions that is life threatening. ACLS is an extended procedure that utilizes guidelines provided by AHA (American Heart Association). These clinical algorithms help healthcare providers to treat serious cardiac conditions like ventricular fibrillation, tachycardia and A-systole. ACLS is not only designed to treat serious cardiac conditions, but also to find the underlying causes that results in these medical conditions. Basic Life Support (BLS) which involves managing serious medical conditions is not as extensive as ACLS, but is still important in saving human life.
Unlike BLS which can be offered by other disciplines including lifeguards and policemen, ACLS can only be offered by qualified professionals working in the medical field especially first responder and emergency response positions. This is because BLS only teaches students to offer CPR and defibrillation to students while ACLS includes advanced techniques like ECG analysis and interpretation to determine the medical cause requiring the emergency care. ACLS is administered when a patient finds himself in serious cardiac conditions, including heartbeat and respiratory problems which require the use of advanced life support techniques.
Therefore, ACLS is an extension of BLS which uses an advanced techniques to offer first aid to patients with like threatening conditions like stroke. It is typically offered in health care facilities such as hospitals, nursing homes and rehabilitation facilities. ACLS is designed to not only offer short term medical intervention, but to eliminate the root cause of such serious medical conditions. The following includes techniques that are performed during treatment of serious cardiac conditions.
- Administration of drug (IV)
- The application of oxygen tanks.
- ECG and blood gas assessment.
- The application of ventilators or respirators.
- Treating different kinds of arrhythmias conditions.
The advanced treatment guidelines that students will learn in this course will involve application of rigorous medical intervention. There have been reports of under par training which has resulted in unwanted health care outcomes. That is why a detailed system of algorithms is emphasized in ACLS training to teach students advanced resuscitation techniques. Evidence has shown that clinical guidelines used in ACLS training have increased the effectiveness of treatment when it is uniformly applied. ACLS is designed to treat chronic cardiac conditions like cardiac arrest to recognizing a stroke and effectively treating them.
There were major guideline changes in 2010 to the clinical algorithm guidelines that was first published by the AHA in 1974. The new guidelines which was adopted from a statement by the American College of Cardiologists and the American Heart Association, was published in several associated journals. The changes included an increased emphasis on minimum CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation) interruption, AED (Automated External Defibrillator) integration and use in addition to several algorithms changes. The changes came after the discovery of some drugs which were not effective in treating cardiac conditions, while others were life threatening to patients. In 2015, there was a minor change to the 2010 guidelines. Some of the changes included:
- Use of cell phones to notify nearby rescuers and activate ERS.
- Naloxone administration for opiate overdoses.
- Atropine use is not recommended unless there is a risk of developing bradycardia.
- Vasopressin was eliminated from cardiac arrest algorithm.
- Temperature management was changed to a new range between 32 to 36 degrees.
- Ordinary people are allowed to perform minimum CPR before the arrival of EMS.
The most convenient way to attain ACLS Certification and Recertification
If you are looking to obtain an ACLS certification, there are different ways you can do it. One way to do that is by attending a local ACLS class which offers AHA approved ACLS course. ACLS will offer students advanced PALS and BLS to reinforce the importance of advanced techniques in treatment of cardiac conditions. Today you can find local hospitals in your area which offers this course to their employees. Cost of this ACLS class ranges from $150 to $200. Although there are some hospitals, which offers the course at a discount to students. Before enrolling for the class, it is important you ask if the certification is approved by AHA. This is because the majority of hospitals in the US requires a course that is approved by AHA. Typically, a course that is approved by AHA requires a student to write an exam including a practical skills test.
ACLS recertification is also offered online to students by accredited providers. However, students looking to enroll for online classes should be careful. Today you can find many online providers who offer ACLS recertification but not all of them are approved by AHA. However, some websites take advantage of students by misleading them that the course they offer is recommended by AHA certified healthcare practitioners. But if the online ACLS certification is not approved by AHA, it will not be recognized by most health care facilities and hospitals in the US. AHA approved websites will let students know they are approved right from the start. They will not include any tricky phrases to confuse you. Instead, they will make it clear that the online ACLS certification they offer is approved by AHA.
The best thing about online ACLS certification training is that it gives you the flexibility to study whenever you are free. Most institutions offer students unlimited exam retakes including 24/7 access to learning modules. After successful completion of the course, students will be issued with an AHA digital provider card including CME information. ACLS certification is normally valid for 2 years. Thereafter, students will be required to renew undergo ACLS recertification so that they can keep up to date their life support skills in accordance with the recent AHA guidelines. Most employers in the US require their employees to renew their ACLS certification so that they can stay employed with them.
ACLS certification training is a great way to equip health care professionals with advanced knowledge and skills to prepare them to offer advanced resuscitation to patients with life threatening conditions.
Frequently Asked Questions About ACLS
- What does ACLS stand for?
ACLS is an acronym for Advanced Cardiac Life Support. It is made up of a series of protocols and clinical interventions that are used to manage life threatening medical emergencies such as cardiac arrest or other such types of emergencies. Our program trains healthcare providers and medical professionals with the most up-to-date guidelines and clinical interventions.
- What does PALS stand for?
PALS is an acronym for Pediatric Advanced Life Support. The PALS course is designed for healthcare providers who respond to emergencies in infants and children. Our PALS program trains healthcare providers and medical professionals with the most up-to-date PALS guidelines and clinical interventions.
- Are there prequalification requirements to take your online ACLS or PALS certification or recertification exams?
No. Anyone in need of an ACLS or PALS certification card for the first time or an ACLS or PALS recertification card may register to take our online program. Since our courses and exams are written by AHA-trained medical providers, the training material that you will be given covers all of the major topics of PALS and ACLS that you will need, even if you do not have prior ACLS or PALS knowledge.
- Will I receive an ACLS or PALS certification provider card if I pass the exam?
Yes. Immediately upon passing the exam, you will receive a printable digital certification provider card. You will also receive a hard copy certification provider card in the mail free of cost. Both certification provider cards will bear your name, the date you've passed the exam, the date your ACLS or PALS certification provider card expires and our instructor's name and medical license information.
- Can I certify for the first time by taking this online ACLS or PALS course?
Yes. By choosing the ACLS certification or the PALS certification package option, you will be on your way to becoming certified for the first time. This option contains everything you need to become certified including an up-to-date study guide based on current AHA guidelines.
- Can I recertify by taking this online ACLS or PALS course?
Yes. Medical providers and others who have obtained an ACLS or PALS certification in the past may recertify with our online program by choosing our ACLS or PALS recertification package option. An up-to-date study guide written by AHA-trained practitioners will be available for you to view before taking the exam.
- How long does an ACLS or PALS certification remain active?
Your ACLS or PALS certification will remain active for 2 calendar years from the date that you pass the exam.
- How long will it take to get my exam results?
Exam results are instantaneous. Your results will show which questions you've missed and which questions you've answered correctly for your own reference, also making exam re-takes, if necessary, simple.
- Do you offer a rush delivery certification option?
Yes. You will immediately receive a printable digital provider card with your information on it via email once you pass the exam.
- When will my hard copy certification provider card arrive in the mail?
You will receive a hard copy ACLS or PALS provider card in the mail within 2-5 business days. If you choose our next-day shipping option, your card will arrive in 1 business day upon passing the exam.
- Can I retake the exam if I do not pass?
Yes. If you do not pass the exam on your first attempt, the exam may be re-taken 2 more times. You will be given the opportunity to study the questions you’ve answered incorrectly on your first attempt.
- Is there a time limit to take the exam once I've registered?
Our exams have no time limit. You may begin the exam at your leisure and you may take as much time as you need on the exam. The exam is in a printable format for your convenience and ease of studying.
- Do I need to purchase a separate manual to prepare for the exam?
No. We provide you with all of the training material that you will need to prepare for the exam without the extra cost of manuals. Our comprehensive study guide and unlimited practice exams are 100% online and are included in the cost of the exam.
- Is a clinical skills evaluation class necessary to attend?
No. Our courses are 100% online. Once you pass our ACLS and/or PALS exam, you will receive your certification or recertification provider card. If your employer or organization requires that you attend a clinical skills check, you may still sign up for our course and then we will guide you on how to complete and obtain credit for a clinical skills check in your area.
- Will I receive Continuing Education Credits for this course?
Yes. We award 8 Continuing Education Credits for passing a certification exam and 4 continuing education credits for passing a recertification exam. You will receive a Continuing Education Credits certification in the mail free of charge.
- Can I receive a refund if I am not satisfied with this course?
Yes. Try our course risk free for 45 days. If for any reason you are not satisfied, you may receive a full refund. Refunds will be issued only if you have not attempted the exam. In the event you wish to request a refund, please contact us and we will assist you with the refund process.
- How can I contact a customer service agent?
Please visit our “Contact Us” page for contact information.
ACLS on Wikipedia
ACLS on NIH