Bing Ads
Home » Blog » CPR Certification » Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS): An Overview

Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS): An Overview

image for AED(defibrillators) CPR Certification

Let’s begin by understanding what is ACLS. ACLS stands for Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support. This is high-quality life support training designed for healthcare professionals and doctors. It teaches them skills and gives them knowledge about managing cardiac emergencies. For example, heart attacks, strokes, and other life-threatening conditions. It was founded in 1974 and has been constantly updated to ensure that healthcare personnel keep the skills necessary to support patients in an emergency. Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) certification is a necessary qualification for healthcare personnel who deal with cardiac emergencies.

What is ACLS Certification?

ACLS certification is the primary training for physicians and nurses. It teaches them how to help people with heart disease through advanced skills and knowledge. To obtain ACLS certification, you generally must pass a written exam and demonstrate that you know what to do in an emergency. So, who can do ACLS certification? These certifications are essential for healthcare professionals in settings such as intensive care units and emergency rooms, where they need to know how to provide additional support to people with heart failure.

Why is ACLS performed?

ACLS is performed to treat the following medical conditions:

  • Coma, such as a coma brought on by a stroke, head trauma, meningitis, seizures, or diabetes.
  • Drug toxicity and chemical exposure, such as poisoning, poisoning, or severe side effects from prescription medicines and illegal substances.
  • Electrolyte imbalance, involving excessive levels of potassium, calcium, or magnesium in the blood.
  • Heart disorders such as congestive heart failure, cardiac arrhythmias (abnormal heartbeats), some congenital heart defects (birth defects), cardiac arrest, and heart attacks.
  • All types of arrhythmias such as ventricular fibrillation (V-Fib), ventricular tachycardia (V-Tach), supraventricular tachycardia, and fast atrial fibrillation.
  • Cases of respiratory failure such as asthma issues, pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs), and pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lung).
  • severe allergic reactions, such as anaphylaxis, which is a potentially fatal allergic reaction.
  • Shocks that can result from severe bleeding, spinal cord damage, heart problems, and sepsis (a systemic immune response to infection).
  • Terminal illnesses such as advanced cancer and end-stage liver disease.
  • Trauma and injuries such as severe burns, serious wounds, multiple trauma, brain and spinal cord injuries, and smoke inhalation.

Read More: Why is BLS Certification in Nursing Essential in Kansas City?

What is the difference between ACLS and BLS?

There are several key differences between ACLS and BLS:

  1. While BLS is appropriate for medical professionals and laypeople, ACLS is specifically designed for healthcare providers who are directly responsible for patients, such as doctors, nurses, and paramedics.
  2. BLS includes CPR, using an AED, and handling a choking situation. Whereas, ACLS addresses advanced life support procedures such sophisticated resuscitation algorithms, advanced airway management, and emergency cardiovascular pharmacology.
  3. BLS requires no pre-qualifications. However, ACLS applicants often need to be certified in BLS and have a firm grasp of emergency pharmacology and ECG interpretation.
  4. ACLS training puts a larger emphasis on good team dynamics, communication, and leadership during critical situations as compared to BLS which emphasises on the value of collaboration during resuscitation.

What is taught in ACLS training?

Participants in ACLS training learn and practice advanced procedures such as:

  1. Recognizing cardiac rhythms: Healthcare providers are taught how to identify different heart rhythms on an electrocardiogram (ECG) monitor. This ability is critical for detecting potentially fatal arrhythmias.
  1. Medication administration: ACLS addresses the administration of specific medicines meant for cardiac emergencies. For example:
  • Antiarrhythmics
  • Vasopressors
  • Other medications used to stabilize a patient’s condition
  1. Airway management and ventilation: This comprises strategies for intubation, ventilation, and oxygenation in urgent settings to guarantee effective respiratory support.
  1. Cardiac arrest algorithms: ACLS provides a set of policies and guidelines to direct healthcare providers on steps to manage cardiac arrest, such as CPR and defibrillation.
  1. Post-resuscitation care: This refers to the treatment given to patients after they have regained spontaneous circulation (ROSC), including methods to improve their recovery and prevent subsequent problems.

Read more: BLS Certification Lookup Guide: BLS Certification Providers in Your Area

Benefits of ACLS Certification for Healthcare Providers

When a patient experiences a medical emergency, ACLS provides healthcare professionals and physicians with the tools they need to save lives by maintaining patients’ neurological functions. This requires technical skills and knowledge that can only be learnt proficiently by those who are experienced in the area of patient care. ACLS empowers healthcare providers to optimize resuscitation efforts and improve their chances of saving a patient’s life. Here are some benefits of ACLS certification:

  1. Better Patient Outcomes: ACLS-trained medical professionals can respond to cardiac emergencies promptly and efficiently, potentially saving lives and reducing complications.
  1. Consistent Services: ACLS adheres to defined standards that provide consistency in the delivery of healthcare services, resulting in improved patient outcomes.
  1. Professional Competency: ACLS certification displays a healthcare provider’s competency in treating critical cardiac circumstances, which increases their credibility amongst colleagues and patients.
  1. Career Advancement: Several healthcare organizations demand ACLS certification for particular positions, which can help you advance in your career.

Can I get an online certification in ACLS?

Yes, you can get an online ACLS training and certification. You can also get your ACLS recertification online. Accepted online ACLS courses are available through respected organizations and websites. These courses are taught through video lectures and interactive simulations. After finishing the course, you can take online assessments anytime and from anywhere. These courses are perfect for busy healthcare professionals who may find it difficult to accommodate a regular classroom learning course in their schedule. They can study from anywhere and at any time of the day. They can upskill themselves with their internet-enabled phone, tablet or laptop. They can attempt the final quizzes as many times as they want and improve their scores until they score high enough to qualify for the certification.

Read more: Five Ways Modern Technology in BLS Classes is Used

Where can I get ACLS certification online?

You can easily sign up for a free Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) online certification course with a reliable and industry-recognized certification course provider. It comprises high-quality training materials and skills assessment procedures established by OSHA-certified specialists. When you enroll for an online ACLS recertification or certification course, you will receive the appropriate CE credit hours as well as updated training materials to study at your leisure. Every day, medical personnel need this ECC-compliant online certification course to manage huge and complex cardiovascular problems in hospitals.


If you are a healthcare worker who has not previously finished an ACLS course or if you want a more in-depth refresher,  ACLS certification is a suitable choice. If you have a valid ACLS certification which is near expiry and are an expert ACLS healthcare professional, you must enroll in an ACLS certification renewal course.

Author Bio