Have you ever been a witness to an accident that happened right before your eyes and you felt completely helpless? Or maybe you see how many people pass away after an accident when they should’ve been able to be rescued. Whatever the situation that got you thinking, learning Advanced Cardiac Support can definitely help save a lot of lives.
Acquiring an ACLS certification, as explained by the United Medical Education, trains you according to the latest guidelines and algorithms outlined by the American Heart Association (AHA). This qualifies you to make decisions and practice the best processes to save those in need in emergency situations.
So what is ACLS? How is it different from First Aid and Basic Life Support (BLS)? Can anyone get an ACLS certification? We’ll get into all of these details right away.
What is ACLS?
Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), sometimes also known as Advanced Life Support (ALS) is a medical protocol composed of algorithms following guidelines outlined by the American Heart Association. The protocol focuses on the treatment of severe cardiovascular emergencies. These emergencies range from bradycardia (slow heartbeat) and tachycardia (fast heartbeat) to cardiac arrest, stroke and myocardial infarction.
ACLS vs. BLS
This might sound just like First Aid and Basic Life Support training. While both certifications can help save lives, ACLS is much more advanced.
A background of BLS is critical to intervene right away as soon as the accident or emergency takes place, which can help restore circulation to the heart and brain using compressions and CPR. It may even minimize the level of damage till the patient can be carried to the hospital.
ACLS takes this basic knowledge a step further, where the certified professional can call upon their expertise of BLS, knowledge with operating machines, reading and interpreting ECGs, and taking medical intervening decisions that could be surgical. An ACLS certified person will also have good knowledge of pharmaceutical drugs, their doses, and they can decide when pharmaceutical intervention should be done.
ACLS Algorithms and Guidelines
ACLS is based on the AHA guidelines, also referred to as Emergency Cardiovascular Care (ECC). These guidelines used to be updated every 5 years based on the new finding of research and case studies, but now it’s updated continuously.
Such guidelines set a list of algorithms through which the ACLS certified person follows the clues until the right diagnosis can be made. Sticking to the algorithm is critical in saving lives. One fraction of a second delay can make or break the deal, so a fast and accurate acting according to those algorithms is of extreme importance to save lives.
Who Qualifies for an ACLS Certificate?
Normally, anyone can apply for ACLS course materials to study and then take the certification exam. However, it is highly recommended that they be of medical backgrounds. That’s because the course addresses students on the assumption that they have good basic knowledge of human anatomy and physiology, and medical and pharmaceutical terminology.
As such, medical students and graduates, pharmacists, and physicians of all backgrounds are more encouraged to take the course. It’s especially more important for practicing nurses to have an ACLS certification, as they are the ones who spend the majority of time next to the patients.
Saving Lives With ACLS
Acquiring an ACLS training and certification is important for any medical personnel aspiring to take their career to the next level, but it’s even more important to have enough expertise to save lives. ACLS is much more advanced than Basic Life Support, and it requires more knowledge of medicine, pharmacy, and surgical intervention, according to the guidelines outlined by the AHA. Anyone can apply for the ACLS course, but those with medical backgrounds are always more encouraged to do so.