Are Online ACLS Courses Legitimate?
While some employers may only be familiar with specific brands offering Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), accredited online ACLS courses are legitimate regardless of which company provides the training.
Here at United Medical Education (UME) we have been providing accredited online ACLS courses for over a decade. As the industry leader in virtual training in life saving interventions, we pride ourselves on the vast library of learning materials we have compiled over the last several years.
Misconception in Accreditation Requirements
There is a common misconception that students require certification through specific well known brands in the emergency certification industry. Managers and other hospital administrators don’t understand what is needed for an ACLS course to be legitimate. This is largely not their fault. As we’ve seen, there is generally not good information easily accessible with regards to what makes an ACLS certification acceptable.
Why Hospitals Require You to Certify
You may ask yourself why you need to certify at all on a specific schedule with regards to certain life saving interventions. Well this is a requirement that is often implemented by medical facility accreditation companies, such as the Joint Commission. If the hospital where you work wants to be an accredited facility the staff with regular patient interaction will need to be certified in Basic Life Support (BLS) and, depending on the type of medical interventions you perform, also Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) and Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS).
Benefits for Hospitals to be Accredited Facilities
Hospitals want to be accredited by the Joint Commission or other third party facility accreditation companies because it provides billing benefits. Facilities that are accredited are able to bill for medicare and medicaid reimbursement. In general it makes operating in their respective state and working with insurance companies much easier.
Who Needs to Accredit ACLS?
The Joint Commission and others have clearly stated that the ACLS courses taken by hospital staff need to be accredited, but they don’t identify by whom. Keep in mind there is no government body that accredits medical certifications. As a result companies offering ACLS gain third party accreditation from a variety of course accrediting bodies. Even one of the most well known brands the American Heart Association (AHA) obtains third party accreditation, the same as all other legitimate ACLS training companies.
Does Brand Recognition Equate to Quality with Regards to ACLS Courses?
While ACLS courses generally follow the most recent guidelines outlined by the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR) there is of course a difference in how each course company attempts to teach those protocols to their students. Some brands have long stuck to only providing instruction through live instructors. There are however issues of concern when it comes to live instruction from individuals.
Even if a company has an instructor go through training and testing it can be logistically very difficult to make sure that all the instructors are conducting the courses the same and teaching all the correct information. If asked, healthcare providers who have taken ACLS training from several different local instructors throughout their career may tell you that the quality of some learning environments was very different from one instructor to another. This is to be expected when there are thousands of instructors going through a relatively short assimilation process.
Online ACLS renewal helps eliminate diverse problems that come with having the material taught by hundreds to thousands of different individual instructors. Virtual education allows for all students to have access to the same information, and have it all presented the same way. Electronic learning provides congruency to the course structure and delivery.
While there is congruency to class structure and delivery with regards to virtual learning, this should not be confused with a student having an inability to tailor the class according to their personal needs. If the instructions are properly organized and presented in a variety of formats (ie text, video, and illustrations) then the student can choose which format will work best for them. The student can also independently decide how much time they need to learn a specific critical life saving algorithm, whereas in a live class they would be confined to the schedule of the instructor.
All this being said, some of the most recognized brands may suffer from some of the issues related to live instruction. In fact, some may have noticed a shift by their training to be more in line with that of lesser known online certificate providers. By and large there is movement to virtual education with regards to Advanced Cardiac Life Support, a method first heavily adopted by newer educational companies in the space.
How do I Choose an ACLS Provider Online?
When selecting an ACLS provider review these considerations:
- Become familiar with the different companies providing the course
- Review the class syllabus and instructional materials of each company
- Verify their third party accreditation
- Attempt to build a free account to gain access to their student portal
- Research student reviews regarding their program and customer service
Why Select United Medical Education?
We are not shy to let students know about the benefits of becoming a student here at United Medical Education. We have spent the last decade perfecting our virtual training program. While other companies have changed hands several times over the years we are still owned and operated by our original founder, Brian Clark BSN MSNA. And for students who have been taking our classes for years they can testify to not only the progress of the instructional materials but also the ease of use and certification.
Our returning students are comfortable with the fact that they know what they are getting when they come to recertify. We have also been continuously adding different learning materials offered in new and different formats over the years. No big surprises. Just more ways to learn.
You’ll also notice that we are one of only a few that offers automated teaching, testing, and certificate delivery. Competitors often won’t tell you this, but some of them rely on staff to matriculate you into their online program. Or they rely on a staff to create your electronic provider card after you’ve completed the course. We do not!
From the second you register in one of our classes you will have everything you need to learn, take the exam, and receive your provider card without ever having to wait on one of our staff to perform part of the process.
This is because we have spent the last decade creating a proprietary automated educational system. We don’t use generic Internet software like some of our competitors.
We hope this article helped answer some of your questions regarding your search for a legitimate Advanced Cardiac Life Support class. Feel free to contact one of our staff if you have further inquiries. We want you to feel confident that we are here to help.