ACLS Requirements for Physicians – What are the Basics of this Course?
The American Heart Association (AHA) has created ACLS (Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support) guidelines for physicians. Taking an ACLS course is a requirement for all physicians, including clinicians, emergency nurses, and EMTs.
The ACLS course is designed to teach the basics of advanced cardiovascular life support in a medical emergency situation. It is broken up into several modules, which were traditionally designed to be taken over a period of 1–4 days, in-class, with an instructor providing lectures and practical demonstrations. However, there are now virtual training options available for online learning that are equivalent to in-class certification courses.
ACLS certification courses cover the following required topics:
- Basic Life Support (foundational)
- Working within a resuscitation team
- Normal heart physiology
- Initial, Primary, Secondary and Diagnostic assessments
- Airway management
- Medication access routes
- ACLS pharmacology
- Identifying and treating abnormal heart arrhythmias
- Cardiac Arrest
- Post-resuscitation care
Why is it Important for Physicians to Meet the AHA Requirements for ACLS?
The American Heart Association (AHA) has been guiding healthcare professionals for years on the proper handling of emergency situations. The AHA is one of the most trusted names in the industry, and they are the leading provider of ACLS research and evidence-based recommendations for physicians working in adult advanced cardiac care. That is why physicians must take care to ensure that their training is AHA compliant.
Is the AHA the Only ACLS Certification Provider?
Recently, ACLS certification providers other than the AHA have created a variety of accredited online courses that meet AHA standards, making it even easier and more affordable for healthcare providers to stay up-to-date on their ACLS certifications.
It’s important for physicians to take an ACLS course because it will teach them the information and skills needed to provide excellent resuscitative and post-resuscitative care to their patients.
Are Physicians Required to Prove That They Are ACLS Certified?
In most healthcare employment situations, an ACLS certification is an essential requirement for healthcare providers. Obtaining your ACLS provider card proves to your employer that you are qualified to provide advanced cardiovascular life support. It shows that you have been trained to perform and demonstrate professional competencies in advanced life-saving cardiopulmonary resuscitation, medicine and post-resuscitation care.
ACLS certifications are also a requirement for many medical professionals in order for them to maintain their medical licence.
How Long Does it Take Physicians to Complete the Required ACLS Certification Course?
The length of the certification process depends on whether or not you decide to study online or in-class.
Online ACLS Certification Requirements for Physicians:
For candidates taking their certification online (with a program like Medical ProCerts), there are 3 components:
- Approximately 2–3 hours of learn-at-your-own-pace online study modules
- A 20 question multiple choice skills test
- A 50 question multiple choice exam.
The online exam is not timed. You can stop and start the exam and pick it up from where you left off, and retake the exam multiple times if you fail at no added cost.
All-in-all, you can complete the ACLS course and be certified in 3 hours if you choose the online option.
In-Class ACLS Certification Requirements for Physicians:
For candidates taking training in-class there are also 3 components that generally require more time and expense to complete than the online option:
- Approximately 8 hours of in-class training and lectures (over the course of 1–2 days)
- An in-class written exam that includes 50-100 questions, generally lasting one-to-two hours
- A hands-on skills test where you need to perform a set of tasks with a mannequin.
In-class written exams are timed, must be completed within 2 hours, and there is an additional skills test component that may or may not take place on the same day. Both must be passed the first time, or you must retake the course at a later time and attempt the exam again. That means you must pay for another course and find time in your schedule for another 1–2 days of training.
3 Requirements For Choosing the Right ACLS Certification Course for Physicians
Most employers who require an ACLS certification of their employee will look for 3 things:
- Is the ACLS certification provider accredited?
- Are the course materials compliant with the latest standards and guidelines from the AHA?
- Will the course materials provide their medical employees with the resources they need to perform their job adequately?
Medical ProCerts is one example of an accredited ACLS certification provider that is 100% online and can be completed in as little as 3 hours. The course is compliant with the latest AHA standards and recommendations, and provides not only an ACLS certification card, it also qualifies physicians for 3 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.
Registering is easy (no proof of prior education or certification is required), and your certification card AND CME credits will be automatically awarded upon completion of the exam and evaluation.
Online learning platforms like Medical ProCerts offer convenient, well-priced and learn-at-you-own-pace certification courses that you can take anywhere you have access to a computer or mobile device.
Find out more about certifying with Medical ProCerts today at www.medicalprocerts.com