When one thinks of emergency life support training, the first thing that typically comes to mind is cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR for short.
But these days, there are several different types of life support certifications, particularly for medical professionals such as doctors, nurses, medical students, paramedics and fire fighters.
Basic Life Support (BLS) Certification
BLS training is commonly required for health care professionals or anyone whose job or volunteer work might put them in a position in which they need to perform CPR.
BLS certification is a credential that demonstrates competency in the core skills involved in providing life-saving resuscitation to a person experiencing cardiac arrest.
In reality, CPR and BLS training are virtually the same (with some minor differences), but BLS certification is typically considered the appropriate credential for medical professionals.
Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) Certification
ACLS training expands on CPR/BLS training by teaching much more in-depth coursework on what health care professionals should do in the event of an emergency.
Individuals who pursue their ACLS certification are typically medical providers, including doctors, nurses, paramedics and respiratory therapists.
Students must know how to read ECG rhythms as well as properly identify the appropriate medication and doses for the patient.
ACLS certification training teaches students the following:
• How to identify and address the signs of cardiac arrest
• How to manage the airway
• Medication terms, definitions and dosages
• How to manage stroke and acute coronary syndromes
• How to work as part of a resuscitation team
Online ACLS certification training can typically be completed same-day and upon successful course completion, students receive a certification card that is valid for two years.
Once those two years are up, recertification is required.
Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) Certification
PALS training is designed for medical professionals whose work may involve responding to pediatric emergencies.
The PALS certification course covers a variety of topics, including:
• How to systematically assess pediatric medical situations
• How to properly manage pediatric respiratory emergencies
• Airway management
• Vascular access
• Pediatric medication terms, definitions and dosages
• Evaluation of pediatric simulations and case studies
Similar to BLS and ACLS certification, online PALS training can feasibly be completed in just hours.
Likewise, completion of the course and successfully passing the associated exam results in the receipt of a certification card that remains valid for two years.
For those interested in or required to obtain one or more of the above certifications, the options for achieving your credentials are varied.
Conventionally, students had to enroll in an in-person, instructor-led class.
Thanks to advances in technology, however, more and more students are opting for online medical certification.
This enables much greater flexibility and also tends to be much more cost-effective than the in-class option.
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