CPR, BLS And ACLS Training Courses – What To Expect

ACLS, or Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support training is designed for healthcare professionals who work with critically ill patients that may require resuscitation. ACLS courses and CPR courses are very different and it is important to understand those differences.

CPR Courses

CPR courses can be taken by anybody, even those who don’t work as nurses. CPR courses are often provided by employers to their staff and are designed to teach people how to deal with those who have a cardiac arrest. It is a simple course that is designed to help people save lives while waiting for professional medical people to arrive. CPR courses are very important, of course, but within hospital settings, greater expectations are placed on their staff, and this is what is provided through ACLS courses and BLS courses.

BLS Courses

BLS is basic life support and this is a slightly more advanced than CPR courses. Within a hospital setting, BLS is generally a minimum requirement. It teaches people to provide life support once they are received in a hospital. Although a BLS nurse will generally not be employed in a front line service like Accident and Emergency, they are working at the forefront on specialist care.

ACLS Courses

Lastly, there are the ACLS courses. These are designed for those that are likely to come across situations where highly critical care is needed. Someone with an ACLS certification is able to deal with highly unexpected situations. There are a few basic necessities required in order to take part in the ACLS course. A CPR course certification is needed, as is the ability to deal with EKGs (basic dysrhythmia recognition). Also, they have to show that they are effective in team communication and keeping their heads cool during a resuscitation and other stressful situations.

During an ACLS course, simulated clinical scenarios are used to teach people the skills needed. This means they have to participate in a real hands-on manner. Besides this, they use video tools and scenarios. There is time to practice as an individual, but a lot of the simulations are designed for team work. Also, each participant will have to take on the role of team leader at some stage. The course teaches about how to handle a cardio pulmonary emergency. This means it teaches how an adult with sudden respiratory arrest is managed and evaluated. The course will increase understanding on when defibrillators are used and when synchronized cardioversion is required.

Once the ACLS course has been completed, participants are provided with a certificate that is valid for two years. During those two years, those who have been certified are able to understand, identify and treat various rhythm disturbances. These include V-fib (ventricular fibrillation), tachycardia (stable and unstable), V-tach (ventricular tachycardia), Pulseless Electrical Activity (PEA), Asystole, heart blocks, bradycardia and pacing. In terms of managing conditions, the course will teach participants how to deal with an acute stroke and acute coronary syndromes and also provides AED training.

It is for good reason that the training is only valid for two years. Medical science is developing very quickly and new tools and techniques come to the forefront. Do make sure you update your course every two years, in other words.

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