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.