ACLS, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Training and Certification
As the article title clearly indicates ACLS is an acronym representing the Advanced Cardiac Life Support program, which specifically provides for the emergency treatment of any person unfortunate to suffer from a stroke, cardiac arrest, or indeed any other type of life threatening condition which can be dealt with by direct medical intervention.
ACLS can only be used by health providers who have received the necessary training and certification, and who are fully conversant with all of the medical equipment required to deal with the emergency. Such items may include tubes to clear blocked air passages, the immediate initiation of intravenous (IV) techniques, the use and interpretation of electrocardiograms and their readouts, and the use of pharmaceutical medicines and drugs.
The ACLS is closely affiliated to the American Heart Association (AHA) from whom many of its guidelines are obtained and along with the International Committee on Resuscitation Practices (ICRP) publishes a five yearly review which updates the most recent innovations for the treatment of life threatening heart situations, and provides up to date educational material relating to these topics.
What is ACLS Certification?
ACLS certification will be required by any health care worker who is actively interacting with hospital patients and since it involves invasive procedures associated with patient treatment the certificate is usually awarded to advanced medical professionals. The support for the ACLS certificate is provided by the AHA who are deeply involved in providing a variety of up to date advanced courses and instruction by experienced staff members.
It is not too difficult to imagine that the course work involved in training for ACLS certification is fairly intense and involves not only hours of classroom instruction, but includes hands on demonstrations, textbooks and interactive training processes.
The training course emphasizes the use of CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) techniques, AED (Automated External Defibrillation) functions and the all important ECC (Emergency Cardiovascular Care) routine. Any person wishing for ACLS certification will be required to absorb and be totally informed and competent enough to administer any emergency life support treatment to preserve life, and carry out the associated treatment prior to passing the exam
How to Prepare for ACLS Certification
The ACLS certificate is provided via the AHA to advanced medical practitioners, senior medical staff, and to members of emergency rescue teams following accreditation by the AHA. The training is intensive as has been stated earlier. The proper preparation for getting the appropriate certification is briefly outlined below.
If you are currently of sufficient medical status then there are many courses available, probably the hospital where you are employed will run training courses. Other than that your local education department may be able to steer you to the right medical training center. You will find that any such center dealing in Basic Life Support (BLS) will usually accommodate an ACLS training course in their syllabus also.
Having located a training center which advertises ACLS courses make certain that the ACLS certificate being offered is accredited by the AHA. Sometimes you will find that the courses being offered are in fact BLS courses which are excellent in their own way but are not on the same level as the ACLS course. Realistically if you take the course in your local hospital, this kind of situation should not arise.
Beware of online ACLS course, they may have good intentions (apart from grabbing your money!) but can never provide the amount of hands on training which a classroom environment will provide. How they can provide practical demonstrations online stretches the imagination a little to say the least. Many of these online ACL:S courses will have the tempting line "recommended by AHA physicians" but this in no way means that the course has indeed been accredited by the AHA.
However the AHA does in fact offer an online CD course entitled "Heart Code ACLS Anywhere" which any person looking for ACLS certification may find to be extremely useful in assisting their training.