Today, heart diseases are one of the major reasons for increasing death rate worldwide. In order to save lives of people suffering a cardiac arrest, specialized medical intervention is required. The patients suffering from cardiac arrest are usually given treatment prior and post the condition, but what really makes the difference is the immediate response in case the patient is in a crisis situation. The immediate treatment given can save the life of the patient. Hence, it is important that medical practitioners have full expertise in dealing with such crisis.
Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) is the standard and proven method for saving lives in such emergency situations. It is the most effective life saving method for immediate treatment provided to cardiac arrest patients.
This brings us to the question what is ACLS certification? The Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support or ACLS is a special course designed for the treatment rendered to the patients. It includes the basic medical procedures that may be followed by medical professionals in emergency situations.
Who requires the certification?
According to American Heart Association (AHA), all medical professionals involved in managing cardiovascular emergencies are the ones who may need the certification.
ACLS certificate can only be given to medical professionals including physicians, trained nurses, paramedics, pharmacists and other providers who have the requisite qualifications for dealing with cardiac emergency situations.
The professionals taking the certification must be qualified in emergency pharmacology, with the ability to manage the following aspects:
- Interpretation of electrocardiogram
- Connecting an IV
- Managing the patient’s airway
It is hence essential for medical providers who act as primary responders in cardiac emergencies, to get an ACLS certification and also to renew it routinely. The certification has a validity of two years and may need to be renewed after the expiry of the term. However, just getting the certification may not be sufficient, unless the standard algorithms are memorized.
This can help in easy application of these principles in emergency situations. The standard algorithms have proven to be extremely useful in saving lives in emergency situation.
What does the certification course cover?
The course deals with a number of aspects related to cardiovascular life support and emergency cardiovascular treatment. The other aspects covered in the course are:
- Chest compressions
- Respiratory arrest management
- Acute coronary syndromes
- Resuscitation team dynamics
The course structure
The ACLS courses are led by instructors and include learning techniques like interactive learning, workbooks, group sessions and demonstrations. The course incorporates hands on learning procedures.
The duration of the course may vary from 10-12 hours for beginners and usually 6 hours for medical professionals who enroll to renew their certification.
ACLS certification is given to individuals who prove to be competent during the course and subsequently clear written exams and assessments relating to CPR, Megacode and bag mask ventilation.
Guidelines regarding ACLS are updated frequently. Hence, medical providers can make efforts to stay abreast with the latest updates so as to serve the patients better.