Most web-based ACLS certification programs have some form of study guide which trainees can use to prepare for the final exam. These study guides should give a comprehensive overview of the course materials as well as the key concepts covered during training.
The ACLS Certification Institute’s study guide includes a detailed introduction, basic information and methods for BLS and ACLS, and then the ten different case studies that are discussed throughout the online training course. It’s important to find a web-based course that offers such a valuable online tool so that you won’t have to make any additional purchases, such as supplementary study manuals or textbooks,
Useful online study guides should cover the following information:
Definitions: It is important to know the correct definitions for the emergency medicine vocabulary used in ACLS training.
Basic review of basic concepts such as BLS and CPR: Both basic life support and CPR serve as a foundation on which ACLS protocols are built. Medical professionals training in ACLS must have a thorough working knowledge of both methods.
Overview of cardiovascular and pulmonary anatomy and physiology: In order to be able to initiate emergency care, the provider needs to know which part of the body is experiencing trauma so that appropriate care and treatment can be given.
ACLS Terminology: ACLS has its own vocabulary that needs to be understood and utilized in medical situations so that all team members understand their role and tasks.
Algorithms: ACLS has many algorithms that must be followed to provide efficient pre-hospital care.
Commonly used acronyms: Words like AED, CPR, VT, PEA, etc. are all commonly used by medical professionals, and need to be memorized.
All ACLS-related treatments: What makes ACLS unique from other forms of life support is its use of IVs and pharmaceuticals. Trainees must be able to identify the cause of the patient’s distress, and administer the appropriate medication as soon as possible to improve patient outcomes.
Example case scenarios: The most important component of an ACLS course is the training portion, and it’s necessary to have opportunities to test your knowledge in realistic clinical scenarios.
If an online course does not mention anything about study guides or practice exams, one should be wary about signing up for the certification program because it might not be legitimate. Study guides, practice questions, and other supplementary review material should be included within the course package price so you can adequately prepare for the final ACLS exam.