The AMA and the AHA have been pushing several life support classes for students, adults and medical professionals. This might seem like overkill but they are actually quite useful. The classes are designed to teach civilians and medical personnel the latest advances in life support and these skills can become valuable during a medical emergency. You can find several such courses through the internet but we’ve listed a few simple details that should be able to help you in picking the right course.
Where to find the course — You can find the courses, you want at the AMA or the AHA website. All you have to do is put in your pincode on the website search engine and the relevant medical college, hospitals and websites offering the course are displayed. You can also find online and classroom classes by using the same search engines. If you don’t want to use the AHA website, you can easily use Google to help you find websites that offer online BLS, ACLS and PALS courses for medical professionals and for civilians. Please note that these courses should offer certificate courses particularly if you have been asked to do the course as a part of your job requirement.
How long are the courses — The actual length of the course will vary considerably. For example, the BLS course is about 4.5 hours long if you take the online course. The ACLS course is 12 hours long and the PALS course is 18 hours long. Most study centers divide the longer courses and spread them over two days. However, we do recommend that you check with the study center or the website to find out how long it will take to complete the course.
I am a medical professional. Does this course provide any continuing education credits — This will actually vary considerably. The basic life support course does have several credits assigned to it and they are towards you continuing education. For example, some websites provide 4 CEs for the BLS certification online course and 2 CEs for the BLS recertification course. The ACLS course does offer 8 CEs for the ACLS certification online course and 4 CEs for the ACLS recertification online course. The PALS course also provide continuing education credits. The PALs certification onlie course has 8 CEs and the 4 CEs when you complete the recertification online course.
How long is the certification — The exam will provide the student with an AHA card that is valid for two years. This validity period is the same for the ACLS, BLS and the PALS courses. After the two year period, the student has to apply for an ACLS online renewal, BLS or PALS certification online, PALS online renewal process. The online ACLS, PALS, BLS renewal process is easy. There are websites that offer special recertification courses that are also referred to as experienced courses. To acquire recertification, the student has to complete the course and then get his or her ACLS renewal, BLS renewal or PALS renewal card.
Cost of the course — Each course provider can charge a reasonable fee for the course. The AHA does not supervise the cost but it does provide the course materials and the format of the course. As a result, you should check with the course provider before enrolling yourself. Please note that online courses will be cheaper than school classes. The BLS course materials are provided in the course fee. However, the ACLS course and the PALS courses will require additional books and texts that you might have to purchase yourself. Please check with the course provider before going ahead.
Eligibility for the course — The BLS course accepts medical and non-medical professionals. The ACLS course accepts medical personnel and paramedical professionals only. The PALS course is chiefly recommended for medical professionals and for non-medical personnel who have to deal with infants and children all through the day.
Take the time to review all the courses that are available to you. Make sure that you complete the certification exams to get your AHA-approved cards. You will get the temporary cards right after you complete and pass your exam and you will get the permanent cards two weeks after the course.