Many times in life people are thrown into unexpected situations. From divorce to house fires to car accidents. Most of the time, these situations are heart breaking, but not deadly. With time and compassion, many people will pull through. They will build a new house, get another car. But what happens when an unexpected situation may be life-threatening? When every second counts and every breath could be the last one?
A massive heart attack. A drowning victim. An electrocution. These situations require skills that few know. The skills of advanced cardiac life support. ACLS training & certification skills can save these lives.
Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support is a set of interventions that qualified medical personnel will administer in cases like those mentioned above where the heart has stopped beating properly. ACLS is more complicated than basic life support or BLS. Basic life support may be a first step though, before more extensive care is provided.
ACLS training takes many hours of hands-on practice. Persons must know how to administer IV’s, read electrocardiograms, and give drugs needed to save a life. While lay people can be certified in ACLS, most of the time the ones who administer ACLS are medical professionals.
So what does a person learn in an ACLS class? Basic life support is taught. Compressions and how to do them effectively. How to recognize a heart attack, bradycardia and stroke. The person will learn how to communicate on a resuscitation team. They will also learn of related medications needed to stop or prevent a cardiac event. Students can use computer simulations of cardiac victims to assess and form treatment plans. Teaching includes how to use airway products in resuscitation, read ECG’s and how to properly identify normal and abnormal cardiac rhythms. A course will also teach how to reverse a heart attack using drugs and other measures.
The courses are approximately 10-12 hours and can be taken in a classroom or online. Students must be able to properly demonstrate how to do CPR and how to use a bag mask. They must be able to use an AED. Students have to show that they have mastered skills such as reading rhythms and that they can administer proper medications through an IV to prevent or reverse a heart attack or cardiac event. They must also pass a written test. Testing supplies and books are usually included in the course prices. Prices start at about 129 dollars and go up from there.
Upon completion of the course, written test and skills demonstrations, the student will be given an ACLS certification card that is valid for two years.