The Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) Certification is a bit more advanced than a CPR certification because it covers subjects such as; defibrillation, use of intravenous lines, intubation, and electrocardiogram analysis. All of the people who hold this certification are able to deal with major life support issues such as if someone is going into cardiac arrest. The main requirements for an ACLS certification are as follows:
You must be a trained healthcare professional: Unlike a CPR certification this is not taken at a beginner level. Practitioners for this certification assume that the students in the course already have some sort of medical background and the course moves quite quickly. In some cases the course will serve as a refresher for what has already been learned in a healthcare education program. The course is only offered to medical workers who would be likely to respond to a life threatening emergency. Typically this includes doctors, nurses, paramedics and other health practitioners.
You must have a previous certification in CPR: CPR and background medical knowledge is required and assumed to be known. There is no way to get an ACLS certification without already holding a basic CPR certification. A student would not only be completely lost without this information, but their certification would not be legally binding without holding the CPR prerequisite.
You must finish the training course: Organizations such as the American heart association offer courses in this certification. The starting fee is usually about $275 for first time certifications. The courses are generally quite fast paced as it is meant to refresh previous knowledge. Typically courses last about 14 hours and can be done even over the course of a weekend. There are plenty of study guides and manuals which can help students to review and prepare for testing during these courses.
Generally there is a lot of material covered in a short period and this can make it very difficult to study. There is an examination which tests the proficiency and abilities of a student both working as a team providing life support, and providing solo life support. This exam is done using real equipment in simulated life support situations. If the student is able to pass the final exam they are then given a card proving they are certified in ACLS.
ACLS Renewal/ Recertification: In order to ensure that each health care practitioner is able to perform the most up to date methods of ACLS, recertification is required every 2 years. The course is usually much shorter and generally only covers any changes in policy or technology that are available. Prices are also reduced with a recertification costing only $175. It is important to recertify before an old certification expires as if a health care worker, who is required to have an ACLS certification were to make a mistake or cause a patient harm, they may not be covered under the hospital insurance and could bear the brunt of legal action.
Keeping these requirements in mind you should now know exactly what is needed to obtain the ACLS certification and what the certification entails.
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