Advanced Cardiac Life Support or ACLS is a set of techniques used to handle patients who are suffering severe cardiac problems like cardiac arrests. These are the pre-hospitalization techniques that are administered to help save the patient’s life in the critical moments before help arrives.
Unlike the BCLS or Basic Cardiac Life Support techniques, ACLS is more advanced and focused on emergency patients with cardiac problems. As a result, you need to be a recognized medical professional like a doctor, specialist or nurse to apply for this certificate. Common public does not have adequate know how to take up this course.
There are many hospitals that provide training and certification for ACLS techniques. American Heart Association offers these courses in many colleges and hospitals. You just need to inquire around in the locations close to your locality for more details. You can also search for institutions offering these certification courses online too.
There are many techniques taught in ACLS course. It includes the CPR or cardio pulmonary resuscitation and the other common techniques that are taught in BCLS. Some other simple checks taught I this course include checking if the windpipe of the patient is clear and no obstruction there, the pulse rate is normal and that the breathing is regular.
On the more advanced side, the training also includes intubation of the open windpipe and the use of defibrillator. As a certified ACLS one can also administer some medication that assists resuscitation. ACLS certified person can also read ECG reports and analyze the condition of the patient, administer IV or intravenous lines, injections, etc. Besides there are some other advanced medical procedures too that are covered in the ACLS training.
Typically anyone who would be in the emergency ward of the hospital must take the ACLS training. Being exposed to emergencies all the time, ACLS knowledge is invaluable there. Besides the regular staff, most medical students too opt for ACLS training and certification. This helps them when they are posted in emergency ward as a part of their rotation.
To get ACLS certified you need to pass the exam which tests your knowledge of 2005 Guidelines for CPR and Emergency Cardiovascular Care as published by the AHA. Once you pass you get the certificate. If you fail, you can retake the exam once for free and later for additional fees. The ACLS certification needs to be renewed every couple of years through recertification.
Thus it is clear that ACLS is a more advanced and specific training than the BCLS. As a result, not everyone can apply and get certified. Without adequate medical background and knowledge, you must not attempt this certification.