Code Blue Training

What is ACLS or Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support?

Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support

Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support
Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support

Advanced cardiovascular life support (ACLS) refers to a set of clinical guidelines for the urgent and emergent treatment of life-threatening cardiovascular conditions that will cause or have caused cardiac arrest, using advanced medical procedures, medications, and techniques.

ACLS expands on Basic Life Support (BLS) by adding recommendations on additional
medication and advanced procedure use to the CPR guidelines that are fundamental and efficacious in BLS. ACLS is practiced by advanced medical providers, including physicians, nurses, and paramedics; these providers are usually required to hold certifications in ACLS care.

What is ACLS Certification & Ways to Train?

ACLS certification is geared towards healthcare professionals who either direct or participate in the management of cardiopulmonary arrest or other cardiovascular emergencies or personnel in emergency response. It offers a set of clinical algorithms to treat conditions ranging from cardiac arrest and myocardial infarctions (heart attacks) to stroke and other life-threatening emergencies.

Due to the rapidity and complexity of ACLS care, as well as the recommendation that it be performed in a standardized fashion, providers must usually hold certifications in ACLS care. Certifications may be provided by a few different, generally national, organizations, but their legitimacy is ultimately determined by hospital hiring and privileging boards; that is, ACLS certification is frequently a requirement for employment as a healthcare provider at most hospitals.

Ways to Train

In-Person Classes:

Designed for those who learn best in a traditional classroom setting, class participants attend lectures and skills sessions with other students in a designated physical location.

Blended Learning:

Blended learning courses combine online presentations of “lecture” materials with interactive scenarios that help improve clinical decision-making skills and in-person skills sessions. Coursework is self-paced, can be personalized with our adaptive learning pre-assessments, and is modular, so you can train on your schedule.

BLS proficiency is a prerequisite to ACLS training; however, the initial portions of an ACLS class may cover or review BLS. Initial training usually takes around 15 hours and includes both classroom instruction and hands-on simulation experience; passing a test with a practical component at the end of the course is usually the final requirement to receive certification.

After receiving initial certification, providers must usually recertify every two years in a class with similar content that lasts about eight hours. Holding ACLS certification is a testament to a provide’s education on ACLS guidelines. The certification does not supersede a provider’s scope of practice as determined by state law or employer protocols and does not, itself, provide any license to practice.

What’s the Importance of ACLS Certification?

When a patient suffers from a medical emergency, ACLS provides crucial tools for healthcare professionals to increase patient outcomes by keeping a patient’s neurological function intact during cardiovascular events and sustaining life. It draws on a wide range of technical skills and knowledge appropriate only to those deeply experienced in patient care. With ACLS, healthcare professionals can optimize resuscitation efforts and improve their chances of saving a patient’s life.

Who should take the ACLS course?

ACLS certification applies to qualified medical professionals because it may involve advanced procedures and skills such as intubating a patient and administering intravenous drugs. Therefore, it is recommended for healthcare professionals, including doctors, registered nurses (RNs), paramedics who may have to respond to a cardiac emergency, and anyone working in critical care units. 

Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support

What does the AHA ACLS course teach?

The ACLS course covers a wide range of different topics, including but not limited to BLS skills such as chest compressions, use of bag-mask devices, AED, and early recognition and management of respiratory arrest, cardiac arrest, and peri-arrest conditions such as symptomatic bradycardia.

Other topics covered include:
● Airway management
● Related pharmacology
● Management of acute coronary syndromes and stroke
● Resuscitation team dynamics

Course Completion Card

If training with us at Code Blue Training or another authorized AHA training location Upon
completion of all course requirements, participants receive an ACLS Provider Course
Completion Card, which is valid for two years, from the American Heart Association (AHA).
Continuing education or continuing medical education (CE/CME may be available for your

AHA Guidelines

The ACLS guidelines were first published in 1974 by the American Heart Association and were updated in 1980, 1986, 1992, 2000, 2005, 2010, and 2015. In the 2020 update, the guidelines were restructured to align with International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR) recommendations. ILCOR was established in 1992 to serve as a way for international resuscitation organizations to communicate and collaborate.

Advanced Cardiac Life Support providers must have the skills to place advanced airways and insert an IV (Intravenous) or IO (Intraosseous) line to administer fluids and medications. And they must thoroughly understand all the drugs used to treat the various heart rhythms and conditions they will encounter. Together, healthcare providers will use these ACLS skills and knowledge to provide the best possible treatment for the best possible patient outcome.

Ready to take an Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) class?

Sign up for an ACLS course and gain the skills you need to help your community and reach your career goals. From CPR administration and defibrillation usage to critical thinking and problem-solving, whether you choose an in-person-only class or prefer a blended or online approach to learning, our best-in-class instructors will help you understand how to use the latest techniques in advanced cardiac life support.