If you are working in the healthcare industry or even in the professional medical caregiving industry, then you realize the significance of the Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) certification. Even if you are not looking to progress your career in a direction where you will have to directly interact with patients, and ACLS certification will still come in very handy. In fact, most of the administrative jobs in hospitals and posts such as a medical officer require this certification. This is a pivotal certification that will help immensely with career progression and greater professional diversification later on. However, many people are still unaware of how to properly go about becoming a part of this program. Most people who look into this certification often don’t follow through as this does require both a theoretical understanding of the concepts as well as a physical demonstration of skill in certain tasks. For applicants who come from medical schools, this is a common path and is much like what they have done throughout their medical studies.
However, for those that have come from a managerial degree, this can seem quite daunting. While those with a medical background do have a slight advantage, it is still quite possible for other applicants as well. If you are considering an ACLS certification, these are some of the most important things that you need to consider.
1. Meet Prerequisites
Just as is the case with many other advanced programs, ACLS also has a few preliminary requirements that applicants have to meet to be eligible for the certification. The most basic criteria are that applicants need to have a valid Basic Life Support (BLS) certification. Secondly, applicants also need to pass the pretest before they can be considered for enrollment in an ACLS class. More importantly, the passing mark for the pretest is 70% and you will need to have a printed copy of your results to provide your institute. The pretest is available online and you don’t have to take the exam at a testing center.
2. Finding A Program
The most important thing when it comes to getting an ACLS certification is making sure that it is AHA compliant. If you are looking to use this ACLS certification in the US, then it has to be AHA compliant. To make this easier, you can refer to this website and find out where you can find the right kind of ACLS certifications near you. There are a variety of courses you can take and various methods by which you can take them. On one hand, you can go completely remote and have an online program that you can pursue at your convenience, while on the other you could also enroll in a full-time program where you would be attending in-person classes. There is also a third option where you can have some courses online while others are in-person. In both cases, you will also have to perform physical procedures and for this part of the certification, you will need to go to a testing center.
3. Getting Certified
As mentioned, the certification criteria are broken down into a written exam and an evaluation of your command of the hard skills. For the test of the actual procedures that you have to demonstrate you might be asked to perform CPR, a bag masked ventilation test, or a mega code test. You have to score at least 84% for the written exam to pass. This is a multiple-choice test that is usually between 50 and 75 questions long. Depending on the kind of study path that you choose you might also have additional requirements such as module tests and other examinations along the way through these won’t necessarily impact your final certification. These are still important, however, as not passing these smaller tests might prevent you from being eligible for the actual ACLS tests.
Also, you should be aware that the ACLS certification, just like the BLS certification, is something that needs to be renewed every couple of years. The certification is only valid for two years and if you need to present the certification down the line for another position then you will need to retake the exam. However, when you apply for a new certification you only have to apply for a renewal of the certification and you don’t need to go through the entire registration process. You will still need to take the exams but the preparation period is significantly less. Also, during the courses, you will have three attempts to clear each module. If you don’t clear that module in three attempts you will need to start over. With all the modules cleared you can move on to the final assessment.