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What Is ACLS Certification, and Who Needs It?

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In the evolving landscape of the medical field, healthcare professionals must stay prepared for emergencies. Advanced cardiovascular life support (ACLS) is one such certification that helps individuals navigate through critical times. If you are wondering ‘what is acls certification’, the AHA’s ACLS course follows the basic premise of saving lives by providing high quality CPR. The certification indicates that an individual has specialized in handling such emergency cases, especially when they deal with heart malfunctions or other fatal incidents. In this blog, we will explore more about ACLS certification, its benefits, ACLS requirements, and who needs it.

What are the benefits of ACLS Certification?

ACLS certification stands for advanced cardiovascular life support. There are many factors explaining why ACLS is vital. Here are some key points highlighting the benefits of ACLS certification:

1. Enhanced Patient Care: When it comes to providing critical cardiovascular care, ACLS certification prepares healthcare providers with what they need to know. Timely interventions in such life-threatening situations as cardiac arrest and stroke enhance improved patient outcomes. This, in turn, leads to better outcomes for society.

2. Increased Confidence: Healthcare providers gain confidence in handling critical cases by attending ACLS training. It helps them stay calm and provide quality care to patients.

3. Teamwork and Communication: The need for good communication and teamwork in the ACLS program is highly emphasized, especially when revival efforts are underway. This helps healthcare providers understand the roles of different members of the team and promotes high-quality patient outcomes.

4. Legal and Regulatory Compliance: ACLS certification is a prerequisite in most healthcare environments. The certification ensures that health professionals are adequately trained and adhere to established regulations while ensuring they avoid legal troubles.

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Who Should Get ACLS Certified?

ACLS certification is mostly relevant to those who deal with healthcare settings requiring advanced cardiovascular life support skills. Here are some of the healthcare professionals who can take ACLS:

  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • Paramedics and EMTs
  • Dentists and surgeons
  • Respiratory therapists
  • Physician assistants
  • Medical students

Nevertheless, ACLS certification does not only cover healthcare positions but is of great use to anybody willing to respond during cardiac emergencies who can be ACLS certified.

How to Get ACLS certified?

It is crucial to get advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) training for health care providers to deal with different cardiac emergencies. ACLs certification takes a step beyond the basic life support training by discussing advanced techniques that are necessary in critical situations. Individuals who wish to undertake ACLS certification have to follow a procedure that includes training classes, practical exercises, and a final exam. Keep reading to know how to get ACLS certified:

1. Determine Eligibility: Ensure you have met all the prerequisites for ACLS certification requirements from the certifying body.

2. Select an Accepted Provider: Consider selecting an institution with excellent credentials to get certified in ACLS.

3. Enroll in a Course: Sign up with a reputed course provider that offers registration for an ACLS certification course.

4. Complete the course: Attend a class that has a mix of classroom, online, and hands-on skill teaching.

5. Pass the Written Exam: You have to pass a written test at the end of the course to be compliant with the ACLS protocols and procedures.

6. Pass the Skills Assessment: Execute hands-on skills with instructor guidance and pass a skills test. These encompass scenarios involving cardiac arrest and other emergency instances.

7. Receive Certification: After passing both the written test and the practical skills test, you will receive an ACLS card.

What’s Covered in the Course?

An ACLS course covers several topics and skills related to managing cardiac emergencies. Here are some key topics covered:

  • Basic Life Support (BLS): They involve participants conducting chest compressions, applying effective breathing techniques, and learning how to use automated external defibrillators for adult victims.
  • Cardiac Arrest Recognition: It covers steps to recognize a cardiac arrest to respond swiftly, followed by an assessment.
  • Rhythm Recognition: These include, among other heart rate variations, ventricular fibrillation, ventricular tachycardia, pulseless electrical activity, and asystole.
  • Medications: It involves educating ACLS participants on the administration of medicines that are relevant in rescue work, like epinephrine and anti-arrhythmic therapies.
  • Airway Management: This involves teaching about the different airway management methods, including bag-mask ventilation.
  • Defibrillation: In arrhythmia, participants learn about the practice of manual defibrillation and the administration of shocks to their patients.
  • Post-Cardiac Arrest Care: ACLS also involves therapeutic hypothermia and treating the cause of cardiac arrest.

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What is the ACLS Course Duration?

The traditional course conducted in a classroom takes 12 to 16 hours. The hours are usually divided into two days, with 6-8 hours each day.

When should you renew an ACLS certification?

If you are wondering, how long is ACLS certification good for, you must renew their certification after two years. If not renewed, the certification will expire, and you will need to take the course from scratch.


Thus, ACLS certification is ideal for healthcare professionals who need advanced cardiovascular life support skills to handle medical emergencies. These include nurses, doctors, paramedics, and EMTs. Now that you know what ACLS means, you know that the certification is not just a credential but a commitment to deliver high-quality care in critical situations. It helps enhance patient care and increases confidence making sure you are not a mere bystander but a responsible citizen.