ACLS, or Advanced Cardiac Life Support, is a critical part of your medical training and healthcare success.
Whether you are completing your ACLS certification online or in a classroom, these training tips will help prepare you to successfully complete your certification and pass your exam.
Find or Create a Good Study Guide
The ACLS certification exam covers a lot of ground. You’ll need to know how to respond properly in a variety of life-threatening situations, including strokes, cardiopulmonary arrest, acute dysrhythmia, myocardial infarction, and acute coronary syndromes.
The first step to effective studying is to get organized. Determine what information you will need to know for the exam, and start creating an in-depth study guide. Or you can take advantage of pre-prepared study guides like this one from the National CPR Association. As you study, take advantage of practice tests to check your understanding as you go.
Whether you make your own or use one from a reputable source, your study guide will help you keep your studies on track and focus your efforts. Remember to take regular study breaks, anywhere from 5-15 minutes for every 50-90 minutes of study.
Memorize Your Algorithms, Hs and Ts
Memorization will play a huge role in whether you pass your ACLS certification or not. Start with the ACLS algorithms. These algorithms are designed to help medical professionals understand the best way to put the various ACLS protocols into real-life practice during an emergency.
Here are the algorithms you’ll need to study and memorize for your certification exam:
- Adult Cardiac Arrest
- Adult BLS
- Adult Tachycardia
- Adult Bradycardia
- Adult Suspected Stroke
- Acute Coronary Syndromes
- Opioid-Associated Life-Threatening Emergency
- Immediate Post-Cardiac Arrest Care
- Unstable Tachycardia
You’ll also want to devote some time to the good old Hs and Ts. The Hs and Ts all represent possible causes and reasons behind the condition your patient presents. Memorize and understand the following:
- The Hs
- Hydrogen Ion (Acidosis)
- Hyper or Hypokalemia (Potassium)
- The Ts
- Tamponade (Pericardial Tamponade)
- Tension Pneumothorax
- Thrombosis (Acute Coronary Syndrome)
- Thrombosis (Pulmonary Embolus)
Try using mnemonic devices to help you with your memorization, and don’t forget the power of repetition.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Just like the rest of your medical training, there is no substitute for practice. Your ACLS certification course should include access to several practice exams. You can also find free practice tests online. The more practice tests you can take before the real thing, the better.
With solid practice behind you, you’ll be able to nail your ACLS certification exam year after year with confidence, which is the same confidence needed to treat and ensure the welfare of your patients. Discover the difference you can make in someone’s life with ACLS recertification online.
For convenient online certifications that fit your schedule, check out ACLS Certificate Institutes online certifications. Our certifications are nationally-accredited and can be easily completed from anywhere on your phone or laptop.
- ACLS Study Guide. National CPR Association. Accessed on March 19, 2020. https://www.nationalcprassociation.com/acls-study-guide/.
- Patel N. When, how, and how often to take a break. Inc. Dec 11, 2014. https://www.inc.com/neil-patel/when-how-and-how-often-to-take-a-break.html.