The American Medical Association encourages civilians to learn basic life support procedures. In fact, they encourage medical professionals to update their skills by learning advanced life support skills. In the last decade, the AHA and AMA have managed to train more than 20 million Americans in basic and advanced life support but this is just 3% of the American population. In the coming decades, the associations are stepping up the drive in an effort to increase awareness and practical skills in the civilian and medical population of the US. To increase awareness about the course, we’ve created a short guide that will help you out.
The main courses offered — At present, the AHA offers three different courses for students and medical professionals. The courses are the BLS course, the ACLS course and the PALS course. These courses are designed to teach students basic and advanced medical skills. We urge you to start with the basic BLS course and then move on to the advanced ACLS and PALS courses.
Where to find courses — The AHA website has a complete list of all the medical colleges and hospitals that offer the course. All you have to do is go online and log on to the database. Use your pincode to find a course that is located close to you. The website also lists online education websites that offer the online option for medical professionals who cannot attend the course fulltime.
Course format — All three courses follow the same format. You have to register for the course at a local hospital or medical hospitals. The courses are not long but they do require three to four hours of attendance at a class. The advanced class like the ACLS course is about 15 hours long and the PALs course is about 18 hours long. These courses have to be completed at a classroom, as there is a practical and theory class. After completing the course, the student has to sit for a exam. The BLS exam is voluntary if you don’t want certification. However, if you want the BLS certification online, you have to sit for the practical skills class and then complete the exam. The ACLS certification online and the PALS certification online courses have mandatory exams that are divided into practicals and a written theory. The written theory exam is for 90 minutes and has a questionnaire of 50 multiple-choice questions. The questions are usually taken from the course materials that are provided during the course. Please note that the ACLS and the PALS course both require 84% marks for passing the exams. After completing the exams, the students are provided with a temporary certificate and the permanent certificate is mailed in about 2 weeks.
Validity of the course — The BLS, ACLS and the PALS course are only valid for two years. After the two years are over, you have to reapply for an ACLS online renewal and even a PALS online renewal. This online ACLS and PALS renewal process is quite easy. You have to go online and find a website that offers an Experienced ACLS recertification online course. Pay for the course and complete it online and the ACLS renewal process is completed quickly.
Cost of the course — The actual cost of the course may vary considerably. For example, the BLS course may cost anywhere from $95 to about $150. The recertification fee is usually lower and ranges to about $100 or more. The ACLS course is expensive as it teaches essential medical skills. It may cost up to $275 or more. The ACLS recertification online course will cost about $175 or more. The PALS certification online course will cost $275 or more and the recertification process will cost about $175 or more.
The AHA and the AMA state that 55 out of every 100,000 Americans have a heart attack every year and most of these attacks take place out of a hospital. Almost 30% of these attacks turn fatal due to insufficient medical care. In fact, the AMA states that expert CPR provided in the first 10 minutes of a heart attack can actually reduce fatalities and permanent injuries by as much as 10%. Training as many people as possible in basic and advanced life support will help everyone including doctors in case of serious accidents.