1. Try to use mnemonic devices while you study ACLS algorithms. Mnemonic devices are extremely useful for memorizing protocols, such as those used in Advanced Cardiac Life Support courses. These devices trigger memory, and enable quicker retrieval of information. Here are some examples of mnemonic devices you can use as you study:
There are also devices that are very common in ACLS coursework called the 5 T’s and 5 H’s. These stand for symptoms that should signal a medical worker to begin ACLS. The 5 H’s are: hypovolemia, hypothermia, hydrogen ion (acidosis), hypoxia, and hyper/hypokalemia. The five T’s are: Tension pneumothorax, tamponade cardiac, tablets (such as drug overdose or poisoning), thrombosis (coronary), and thrombosis (pulmonary embolism).
2. It is also important to remember the IV drugs that are administered in certain ACLS situations. The pharmaceuticals used for ACLS are:
3. Knowledge of CPR is crucial. Efficient cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is essential when performing ACLS. By remembering the ABC’s of CPR, your ability to implement ACLS will significantly increase and help you save lives.
In addition to memorizing these mnemonic devices, it is important to test your knowledge with practice questions and exercises as well. In combination, these different study methods will solidify and expand your ACLS knowledge, and give you the confidence to master the final exam.