ACLSheart in hands ACLS

What ACLS Certification Is and How Being Certified Can Further Your Career

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By Johnny Bevers

ACLS Certification is an important qualification for healthcare providers and professionals.  ACLS stands for Advanced Cardiac Life Support and once you have passed this course you are considered qualified to deal with cardiac arrests, and other heart-related emergencies.  Put simply, it’s a qualification that may help you save a life.  Many high and medium-level positions within the healthcare industry require that you be qualified in ACLS, and at the very minimum it is highly advantageous to the career of those working in the healthcare industry.

Why Healthcare Professionals Should Consider ACLS Certification

As a healthcare professional you are amongst the most qualified of healthcare providers and many, many positions that you are applying to as a healthcare professional will expect and require you to have passed your ACLS exam.  Many of the positions within the professions of nursing, midwifery, medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy and more, will require that you have studied for and passed your ACLS, or, at the very least, that you are currently seeking to obtain your certification.  Indeed, if you are a healthcare professional and refer to yourself as one, why have you not yet taken your ACLS?  In your line of work you should know how to deal with heart-related emergencies; it may be that you are the only person that the victim can turn to for help.

heart in bed

In short, passing the ACLS exam and receiving certification is highly desirable for healthcare professionals.  It will enhance your career prospects and make you more qualified for your current job.  In addition, the confidence to deal with life threatening situations that comes with being a trained ACLS practitioner will remove a great deal of stress from your working life.

Is Getting ACLS Certified Worth It?

Becoming ACLS Certified is absolutely worth it. In addition to the potential of enhancing your career prospects and salary, you might end up saving someone’s life.  What could be worth more than that?

Even if your current job doesn’t require you to be ACLS certified and you have no ambition to find a job that does, if you are working in the healthcare industry, it is an extremely important qualification to possess.  Just imagine being in a situation when a patient of yours suffered a cardiac arrest and you didn’t know what to do.  The knowledge that comes with being ACLS certified means that in a situation like this you may be able to keep someone alive until further help arrives.

heart and capsules

In addition, the course is relatively cheap and does not take an inordinate amount of time to complete.  It’s really a no-brainer.

How to Become ACLS Certified

In order to become ACLS Certified you must first be CPR qualified.  If you have already obtained this qualification then you are ready to take the ACLS course and examination.  To find a course near you, examine the American Heart Association’s website, where they provide information on recommended courses.  Any course that the American Heart Association recommends will be recognized nationwide in hospitals and other healthcare institutions.

review questions on screen

Courses may take place in a variety of settings such as community centers, schools or healthcare institutions.  In many cases, because it is understood that healthcare providers will probably be employed throughout the week, courses are held on weekends.  There may also be courses available in your area that are held in the evenings and at other times suitable for healthcare providers and professionals.  Your course will be made up of both theoretical and practical components and you will learn to treat victims of cardiac arrest, strokes and other medical emergencies related to the heart.  Parts of the course include:

  • Fundamental life support skills, including chest compressions and the like; defibrillator use
  • IV use
  • Pharmacology
  • And much more

This course generally takes 16 hours after which you will need to pass a written exam and demonstrate proficiency in all the key areas in a practical exam using a mannequin.

Sixteen hours seems to be a relatively short amount of time to learn a potentially life-saving skill.

Should I Expect An Increase In Salary After Becoming ACLS Certified?

Some healthcare professional positions may offer an incentive to their employees should they become ACLS Certified.  This, however, would depend on the profession, the position and the terms of the employee’s contract.  It may be worth talking to your employer to see whether they offer incentives to their employees to become ACLS Certified.

acls provider card

A more concrete way in which becoming ACLS certified may increase your salary is due to the increase in number of jobs you may become eligible to apply for.  So if you are thinking of moving up the career ladder in the healthcare industry, it will almost certainly be an advantage to be ACLS Certified and will open up the possibility of becoming employed in a higher-paid position.

Is There An Online Option For Becoming ACLS Certified?

It is recognized that many people in the healthcare industry work irregular hours and that taking a traditional classroom-based course may prove difficult.  Because of this, there are indeed many online options for people to become ACLS certified.  Again, as with classroom-based courses, check with the American Heart Association’s website for details of which online courses this prestigious organization recommends.

Most online courses are extremely accessible.  These courses offer participants the opportunity to access their course or program 24 hrs a day, seven days a week, and so they are able to study whenever they have some free time.  Even on-line courses though, require participants to undergo a practical exam at the end of the course in order to receive their certification.

How Difficult Is It To Pass The ACLS Exam?

If you prepare properly then it shouldn’t be too hard.  Most people who choose to take the course pass and it is usually those who failed to prepare who find it the most difficult.  The course is relatively short so it is assumed that you have some knowledge of the procedures and theory before you take the course.  It is recommended that you study the course content before you take the course and do some background reading on any of the components that you are unfamiliar with.  In addition, talk to others in your profession who have taken the course and ask them to recommend any study materials that you should look at before the course. Although the course is relatively cheap, it would be foolish to waste time and money on a course only to have to retake it.

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.

Cracked heart

An ACLS course is one of many courses that you can take to further your career and enhance your job prospects.  Should you ever be required to use the skills that you have learned on this course then you will be using them to potentially save a life.  As a healthcare provider or professional, it is an extremely important qualification to hold and there are few, if any, reasons why you shouldn’t take this course.  Even if you don’t work in emergency rooms or the like, and the chances of you needing to use the skills you have learned are slim, you will be extremely thankful for said skills should you encounter a heart-related emergency.

below is a video with some tips to help you pass your ACLS exam.

We really hope you’ve enjoyed this article. A lot of love and care goes into these articles.

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