If you’re like most healthcare professionals, you probably attended an Advanced Cardiac Life Support course and received your certification years ago. If this is the case, it’s time to renew your certification and update your knowledge on new treatment protocols and medications.
1. How The Course Is Taken
ACLS Certification lasts for two years from the date of initial certification (not when you completed your BLS and ACLS training). After that time has passed, you will need to take another class in order to be re-certified. Many health care workers let their certifications lapse because they believe it costs too much money or takes too much time away from work.
However, if you get certified again within 60 days of the expiration date, there won’t be any additional cost or time involved. The most popular ACLS course is an online class. There are many accredited online websites, and you can get more info on the kinds of course structure to expect if you do proper research. Generally, this type of training is as effective as attending a live, instructor-led course. If you have never taken an ACLS class before and plan on taking one within 60 days of your certification expiring, it’s recommended to go to a live course once first just so you can see what it’s like and ensure that it will be able to keep up with the pace of the online version. The choice is yours, though – if you want to take an online ACLS class followed by the testing from home using your PC or Mac, go for it. One big benefit of taking an online class is that the testing (and grading!) is done for you.
2. It Is Not Just For Healthcare Workers
ACLS training and certification isn’t only necessary if you work in a hospital or other healthcare setting.
There are a number of people who need this type of training besides healthcare workers. For example, EMTs and paramedics have been required to take this course for a long time. However, it’s now mandatory that anyone who wants to work as a lifeguard must be certified in CPR and First Aid. The same goes for coaches of sports teams at the high school level or above. If you are one of these people, get your certification done before it expires, so you don’t have to pay extra money or wait any longer than necessary.
3. There Are Other Options for Renewal
As mentioned above, you can get your certification done online. You will have to take a test at the end of the class and receive a passing score in order to renew your certification. However, there are other ways to take an ACLS course and get certified if this isn’t something that would work for you.
If you want more flexibility in when and where you take an ACLS course, look into local classes offered by hospitals or private groups. For example, some cities offer classes through their local EMS service providers (think FDNY) while others might offer classes through the city’s fire department or evening programs held at public sites like parks and community centers; courses may be free or low cost.
4. What To Expect To Learn
Students will learn how to manage a wide range of medical emergencies.
The most important thing you will take away from the class is knowing when it is appropriate for someone to receive CPR or when you should call for help, versus trying to treat them on your own. Also, knowing how to respond when someone’s airway is obstructed by either something they are choking on or their tongue falling back into their throat is important. Another thing that could happen is someone having a heart attack, which is why it’s critical to be able to tell the difference between different types of chest pain. Recall information about using nitroglycerin for chest pain and remembering what the warning signs are for stroke so you can act quickly if needed.
In conclusion, it may sound scary, but taking an ACLS class isn’t as difficult as it used to be, so be sure to take an ACLS class before it expires to avoid having to pay more money or waiting longer. There are multiple options for taking the class, including online and local courses taught by hospitals, city EMS providers, and fire departments. Finally, make sure you know what’s covered in an ACLS certification course so that you can prepare yourself beforehand if necessary. Knowing when it is appropriate to call for help versus treating someone on your own is essential knowledge everyone should have.