What is an ACLS Certification?

ACLS means Advanced Cardiac Life Support, an American word used for intervention when a patient is having a myocardial infarction or other severe breathing or circulation problems. The certification process is provided by the American Heart Association in conjunction with the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation. This training is commonly recognized in most Westernized countries as the gold standard for continuing medical education credits. The main objective of Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) practice is to make licensed medical experts more knowledgeable of the timeline of a cardiac arrest and how to work to rebuild blood flow to the heart and brain as quickly as possible. Getting a certification can be a great supplement to a professional skill set, and considerably increases an employee’s worth on the job.

Most people are already accustomed with Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), but ACLS takes these experiences one step further to include functions like defibrillation, starting intravenous drips, reading Electrocardiograms (ECG) and intubation. Courses in ACLS explain the significance of recognizing regular and irregular heart rhythms and putting members in a position to diagnose an arrhythmia before it can progress into full-blown cardiac arrest. Most classes are geared towards working professionals, offering a choice of online-based programs that teach theory, or an in-person course that comes with the advantage of live skills practice sessions. Both types do not need the completion of a Basic Life Saving (BLS) course as a requirement, though it is highly approved.

Picking the right ACLS certification program means making sure that the latest procedures have been executed. Modern developments involving procedures, as well as pharmaceuticals, have changed the design ACLS classes are handled. Among the most remarkable transitions is the end of the classic A-B-C order. The class now supports chest compressions as the first level to cardiac occurrences that happen outside of a hospital environment. Additionally, drugs such as Atropine are no longer part of ACLS protocols amid cardiac arrest. Changes such as these make the current certification course a must for any health professional.

After finishing the course, an exam will be offered to confirm the participant’s understanding of ACLS, and some programs allow up to three retakes before demanding that the course be repeated wholly. After passing the exam, remember that it is not a lifetime accreditation, and has to be redone every two years. Accreditations are also only sound in the US, so health specialists with jobs that deliver them out of the country should check on local conditions.

Who Can Take ACLS Certification?

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is only a part of ACLS. ACLS providers are needed to know a lot more than just the basics to be able to rise up to the occasion. These people are needed to be a good judge of the situation and have to be able to understand what remedy will best alleviate the patient from his / her physical condition. This is a crucial decision to make, and people with the nonmedical background will seldom be able to understand what to do or what not to do. ACLS not only requires a person to be able to manage a patient’s airway, but they are also required to know how to initiate IV access, read and interpret electrocardiograms, and also have a very clear idea about basic medication and pharmacology. All this put together, one can easily make out that it is not for any common and ordinary to take up ACLS certification. Only those who are related to medicine and health care in some way or the other can take certification courses in ACLS. This is very unlike CPR courses that can be taken by almost anyone and everyone. It must be remembered though, that ACLS does call for thorough understanding and practical application of CPR, which is considered basic and nonnegotiable.


Where to get a certificate?

ACLS certification is available from diverse sources, including Private colleges, public junior colleges or technical colleges; and nursing or medical schools. The cost of this education varies widely within the United States. Private training and some military medic training include ACLS qualification. Many medical schools offer the training, and hospitals frequently offer in-house training. AHA’s web site has a locator tool that matches students with the classes they require and the guidelines for each medical profession. Also, instructor training courses are available for qualified candidates.