Advanced Cardiac Life Support, or ACLS, is an extensive methodology used in order to save life of someone in cardiac distress or suffering a stroke.
It is exceptionally complex, and isn’t practiced by just any ER doctor or nurse, especially where children are involved. A combination of early defibrillation, administering appropriate drugs intravenously, understanding readouts and rhythms, making judgement calls based on experience, and taking leadership in the crisis theater – all as it relates to the lives of children – is intense, and PALS testing is becoming the norm.
The extreme nature of Pediatric Advanced Life Support, or PALS, means that health care professionals must undergo rigorous training and PALS testing in order to have the skills necessary to interpret cardiac test results, know when to administer a shock to the heart, and know when or if to administer certain intravenous drugs.
Guidelines for PALS and ACLS are published by the American Heart Association and the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation. Certification is required by many hospitals in order to offer this life-saving level of treatment, so continuing medical education (CME) facilities are offering pediatric advanced life support test courses and certifications.
Used by first responders, ER staff and other medical professionals, PALS certification and recertification is offered in the methods needed to stay current and cutting edge in the treatment of pediatric cardiac arrest, stroke, and other life-threatening issues such as drug overdoses. Online courses are available for the busy professional, offering a variety of emergency scenarios as well as mock tests. Given that most medical professionals are required to do a certain amount of continuing education every year, certified course providers and testing facilities provide CME credits for the programs. Certification is good for up to two years from the date of exam passing.
Studying for and taking the PALS test will increase the value of a medical professional or first responder in theater, hence the popularity of the testing. The job market being as competitive as it is, having that extra layer of certification makes you invaluable both in your job, and to the parents of the affected children whose lives you may be saving.