Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS)
ACLS builds on the foundation of lifesaving basic life support (BLS) skills, emphasizing the importance of continuous, high-quality CPR. This advanced course highlights the importance of high-performance team dynamics and communication, systems of care, recognition and intervention of cardiopulmonary arrest, immediate post-cardiac arrest, acute dysrhythmia, stroke, and acute coronary syndromes (ACS).
After successfully completing the ACLS course, students should be able to:
- apply the BLS, Primary, and Secondary Assessments sequence for a systematic evaluation of adult patients
- perform prompt, high-quality BLS, including prioritizing early chest compressions and integrating early automated external defibrillator (AED) use
- recognize and perform early management of respiratory arrest
- discuss early recognition and management of ACS and stroke, including appropriate disposition
- recognize and perform early management of bradyarrhythmias and tachyarrhythmias that may result in cardiac arrest or complicate resuscitation outcome
- recognize and perform early management of cardiac arrest until termination of resuscitation or transfer of care, including immediate post-cardiac-arrest care
- model effective communication as a member or leader of a high-performance team
- evaluate resuscitative efforts during a cardiac arrest through continuous assessment of CPR quality, monitoring the patient's physiologic response, and delivering real-time feedback to the team
- recognize the impact of team dynamics on overall team performance
- discuss how the use of a rapid response team or medical emergency team may improve patient outcomes
- define systems of care.
ACLS training is intended for healthcare professionals
who either direct or participate in the management of cardiopulmonary arrest or other cardiovascular emergencies, including:
- staff in intensive care units and emergency or critical care departments
- other professionals who need an ACLS course completion card for job or other requirements
Before taking the ACLS course, students must pass the online ACLS Precourse Self-Assessment with a score of 70% or higher. This test is part of the ACLS student Web site (access granted with purchase of the ACLS Provider Manual). For successful course completion, students must:
- demonstrate skills competency in all learning stations
- pass the high-quality BLS skills test
- pass the bag-mask ventilation with OPA/NPA insertion skills test
- pass the the Megacode test
- pass the ACLS exam with a score of 84% or higher.
Choose from classroom-based and blended-learning formats to expand your reach!
American Heart Association offers the ACLS course in either a classroom-based or a blended-learning format, which gives you a complete, flexible training solution.
Classroom-based training is entirely Instructor-led. Students complete the entire course in one video-based classroom session with an Instructor, which covers course content, skills practice, and testing.
- Hands-on instruction with an American Heart Association Instructor allows students to practice skills and ask questions throughout the course.
- Students complete their training in a single convenient session.
- Ideal for students with limited access to technology.
- Students keep their provider manual for ongoing future reference.
Blended learning combines self-paced online training with an Instructor-led classroom session. Students first learn the course content online using HeartCode ACLS. After passing the included online exam, they attend an Instructor-led, video-based classroom portion focused on skills practice, debriefing, and skills testing.
- The online portion allows students to complete exercises and learn at their own pace.
- The classroom portion allows time for practice and discussion.
- Students have access to HeartCode ACLS for 24 months after activation, allowing them to revisit simulations and videos after they complete the course.
Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support for Experienced Providers
Based on 2010 American Heart Association Guidelines for CPR and ECC.
The goal of the classroom-based, Instructor-led ACLS EP course is to improve outcomes in complex cardiovascular, respiratory, and other emergencies (e.g., metabolic or toxicologic) by expanding on core ACLS guidelines and encouraging critical thinking and decision-making strategies. Through instruction and active participation in case-based scenarios, learners enhance their skills in the differential diagnosis and treatment of prearrest, arrest, and postarrest patients.
The ACLS EP course is intended for those who must respond to cardiovascular emergencies and special resuscitation situations in the workplace, and who are mandated to have the highest level of training in order to perform their jobs, including:
- seasoned professionals who wish to renew their provider status
In order to take the ACLS EP course, students must first pass an online exam to demonstrate their ACLS knowledge. After taking the course, students must pass a written exam and skills test in order to qualify for an ACLS Experienced Provider Course Completion Card.