ACLS certification is a requirement for many health professionals, including nurses. This includes nurses who work in critical, urgent, or emergency care units, and in places where cardiac-related emergencies are common, such as senior care facilities. Even if you don’t work in these types of high-risk areas, it’s a good idea to obtain your ACLS certification.
ACLS is a program designed to enhance your life support skills while providing training in effective team dynamics and basic drug therapy. The main goal is to enable you to improve patient outcomes and sustain life by making efforts to keep neurological function intact during cardiovascular events such as stroke and heart attack.
ACLS involves more than just basic lifesaving skills. So before signing up to obtain yourACLS certification for nurses, you should have:
- Working knowledge of basic life support
- Experience with resuscitation team dynamics
- Basic knowledge of ACLS pharmacology
- Ability to interpret ECG rhythms
ACLS incorporates basic life support in the course, and teaches more advanced skills. The class typically starts with a review of basic life support skills before moving on to the new material. Next you will learn intubation, rhythm interruption and other cardiac life saving skills. These include how long to perform CPR during interventions, what medications can be used, and how to deliver an electric shock when a person goes into sudden cardiac arrest.
Many employers like their employees to have ACLS certification and are willing to pay for the classes. Check with your employer before signing up for an ACLS class.