Being able to provide ACLS (Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support) is a crucial skillset. ACLS training equips a student with the ability to deal with a range of complex respiratory and cardiovascular incidents, including (but not limited to) cardiac arrest, stroke, ACS (acute pulmonary systems) and reactions to toxic substances. As such, a student who has gained ACLS certification will be able to provide not just basic cardiac care (for instance CPR) but also more complicated care on a more advanced level. ACLS training applies not just to the immediate treatment of the medical emergency in question (for instance, a stroke) but also care prior to the emergency, and care afterwards as well.
What does the ACLS Certification process consist of?
Medical professionals who wish to acquire this professional accreditation will need to undertake a full instructor led training course. The instructor will need to be AHA accredited. The course will cover a set of specific topics in depth, namely the recognition and care of pre-arrest, arrest and post-arrest patients. The medical emergencies that students will learn to deal with are acute dysrhythmia, immediate post cardiac arrest, cardiopulmonary arrest, ACS and stroke. The course will combine theoretical instruction with hands on, practical scenarios that are based on the types of medical cases that are likely to arise in real life. As of 2015, AHA guidelines have allowed course instructors to deploy ‘blended learning’ techniques. Blended learning enables the students to direct their own learning for part of the course, using e-resources that range from traditional resources such as online articles to more advanced technologies such as eSimulatious, which provide virtual reality style training about how to deal with a medical emergency.
At the end of the course, students need to take an ACLS exam in order to acquire Certification. The exam was written by medical professionals and it is regularly updated. Passing the exam is a requirement for anyone who wishes to achieve Certification. Those who pass the exam will receive a marker of their new status in the form of an ACLS Certification card.
Who should acquire ACLS Certification?
Currently, ACLS Certification is not mandatory, though many medical professionals argue that it should be. Anyone who wishes to can take an ACLS course and gain certification, though for some professionals (for instance emergency workers and surgeons) it is a requirement for their job whilst for others (such as operating room assistants) it is not required but may nevertheless be seen as a desirable addition to their repertoire of skills. Cardiologists are a prime example of a professional who needs ACLS certification: it is part of their job description. However, any medical worker who works in scenarios that require more than the BLS (Basic Life Support) skills that are taught in the first year of medical school should consider ACLS Certification. This includes anesthesiologists and anyone required to administer emergency medicine.
Certification and recertification.
All ACLS Certification cards come with an expiry date. Medical professionals who wish to preserve their ACLS Certified status will need to be recertified, and it is recommended that this is done around 60 days before the expiry date of their current ACLS Certification card. The good news is that recertification is easier to achieve than the original certification. There is no need to retake the ACLS course (though if you would like to refresh your memory and your skills, then you are welcome to do so), but you will need to retake the exam. The exam can be retaken online and it usually takes a mere 2 hours to sort out recertification. After this, you will automatically receive your new ACLS card, with an updated expiry date, in the mail.
What are the benefits of ACLS Certification?
When more medical professionals have ACLS Certification, patients receive better care. If an operating room assistant is trained only in BLS such as CPR, for instance, the only way that they can help a patient experiencing a complex metabolic pulmonary incident is to call on another professional who is trained in ACLS. This can take valuable time and endanger the patient’s life. If that operating room assistant had an ACLS certificate, on the other hand, they would have been able to act immediately themselves to resolve the situation.
Is ACLS Certification for you?
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