What is ACLS certification?
ACLS stands for Advanced Cardiac Life Support, which is a series of technical skills used to provide emergency care to an individual in cardiac arrest or in other similar medical scenarios. All doctors and nurses working in an emergency room, intensive care unit, an operating room, or a recovery room are required by law to be certified in ACLS; it equips these healthcare providers with the knowledge and skills to respond adroitly in a medical crisis and, ultimately, teaches them life-saving strategies. The American Heart Association has served as the primary supplier and authority for ACLS literature, standards, and courses since its implementation in 1974.
ACLS certification requirements are extensive.
The first requirement is that an individual must first be certified in BSL, which stands for Basic Life Support. BSL is chiefly first aide and emergency care (i.e., resuscitation). Mastery of BSL is necessary to be competent in ACLS, as ACLS can be thought of as a continuation of BSL. Then an individual must pass an accredited ACLS course, which some of these can be found online. However, most effective ACLS courses heavily rely on hands-on learning experiences and assess a student’s competency with technical procedures in real life scenarios. After an individual passes a course, he or she must pass an ACLS examination. These exams can be found online or in a program, and usually consist of 50-70 questions concerning the material covered in class. After passing the class, an individual will be issued a license, which will expire in two years unless it is kept up-to-date.
Many hospitals and clinics require their employees to acquire “continuing education” credits. Fortunately, ACLS is usually counted as a continuing education credit; moreover, hospitals and clinics will often reimburse their employees for the class and exam costs. This is because healthcare facilities strongly encourage their employees to acquire such certification.
ACLS certification classes teach students a wealth of information. They will teach students to identify all the different types of cardiac arrhythmias, read and interpret EKGs, start IVs, and know emergency pharmacology. Online courses are a convenience, but offline courses may be found at a local Red Cross facility, fire dept., or community-based healthcare site. Course expenses vary between 100 dollars to 300 dollars. Some include the price of the ACLS exam when they quote a price, which is 150 dollars. Hidden fees will include textbooks, if required by an instructor. The ACLS manual published by the American Heart Association usually runs around 100 dollars. Altogether, the entire certification process should cost no more than 450 dollars, but can be as cheap as 300 dollars.
Physicians and researchers are constantly developing new techniques and technologies that rewrite current medical practices. As a result, the American Heart Association revises their ACLS guidelines every year. It is important for those who already have certification to keep up with the literature and keep their license up-to-date. Read more at this link.