The Top 3 Things People Forget From Their ACLS Course

ALCS Certification

What is ACLS? ACLS is a course meant for trained healthcare professionals, and the techniques taught are used during serious medical emergencies, like acute coronary syndromes, aka heart attacks, and cardiac arrests. Healthcare professionals need to know many techniques and pharmacology to identify certain medical conditions and treat them accordingly. The ACLS certification course teaches healthcare professionals all these things, but it can be difficult to remember them all, especially when in an emergency.

Here are the top 3 things people often forget from their ACLS course and should continue to practice:

  1. Each of The ACLS Algorithms.

During the ACLS course, you will learn algorithms with their specific procedures for different medical emergencies. Knowing these procedures often comes down to the difference between life and death for some patients, so thoroughly understanding them and practicing your knowledge is essential. The algorithms you should continue to review are: Asystole/PEA, V-Fib, V-Tach, Bradycardia, Tachycardia, Acute Coronary Syndromes, and Acute Stroke.

You may also have learned various methods for remembering the algorithms and their probable causes. One of these memory methods is known as the H’s and T’s and can help you remember the potential causes affecting your patient more quickly.

  1. Mnemonic Phrases for Medications And Doses.

Another aspect of knowing the algorithms is identifying the correct medications and doses that correspond with certain emergency situations. During the ACLS course, mnemonic phrases are often used to help students understand the medications. For serious emergencies when you need to act quickly, it is important to memorize methods you find helpful to quickly retain the information. For example, one of the common methods used to remember the treatment options for the algorithm Bradycardia is All Tall Dogs Eat, , which translates to Atropine, Transcutaneous Pacing, Dopamine, and Epinephrine.

  1. Case Scenarios.

The ACLS course include hands-on training for all students. This involves using real life, case scenarios for various situations healthcare professionals may be faced with, and the procedures to follow for each. Many times, students study these case scenarios only for the certification exam and forget them after they’ve taken it. However, continuing to review these case scenarios and practicing your reactions can help prepare you mentally for dealing with different situations and how to train your brain to respond correctly.

Many healthcare professionals already have experience determining the different ECG rhythms before taking the ACLS course, but those who aren’t experienced should continue to practice listening and being able to dictate which medical condition each rhythm correlates to.

ACLS certification is valid for 2 years and all healthcare professionals need to re-certify to remain knowledgeable and up-to-date on methods and procedures. Emergency situations don’t leave room for mental fuzziness nor the time to review course work; They require the caregiver to apply mentally set-in techniques to give the patient their best chance of survival.

If you need to know what is ACLS, or you need to re-certify, check out the course from SureFire CPR.





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About the author


I spent 15 years as a
firefighter and paramedic...

And too often I would arrive on the scene of someone unconscious, surrounded by a circle of people feeling helpless. Sometimes those people would even have CPR training but lacked the confidence and experience to act.

That’s why I started SureFire CPR. Our classes are practical and engaging – teaching you the crucial skills you need to know what to do and feel empowered to take action.

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