I will be taking ACLS in three weeks. This is my first time taking it. I am reviewing the algorithm's, reviewing the pharmacology as I go. Plus I am reviewing the contents of the CD-ROM. Just having a little difficulty with Fine-Vs-Course Vfib, and Rentry-SVT, but starting to understand.
Any suggestions for studying?
Oct 22, '08
Here's a really good ACLS practice site, with a rhythm practice section, megacode scenarios, etc.
Oct 22, '08
This site was established in 1997? I think. The rhythm recognition part seems fine but the rest is not up-dated. If you have studied from your book, then I think all will go well. Not sure how it is at your institution but at mine they are there to help you learn and not to scare or fail you, unless you don't know the material. Learn the rhythms and meds, take a deep breath and you will be fine.
Oct 22, '08
The original site (randylarson.com) was established then. It is currently being reworked into the sealsambulance employee website, and isn't done yet, as far as I know. Not sure which parts aren't up-to-date at this time- haven't used the site in a couple years. Where did you notice the discrepancies?
Oct 23, '08
As far as I can tell the meds need to be up dated which then follows suit with the mega codes. It is nice to move through it and get the answers immeadiately.
Oct 24, '08
That link doesn't work.
In regards to the ACLS, i haven't even finished nursing school and i am certified. The algorithms are not difficult and you are allowed to use your algorithm sheets in your megacode. (think about it, no one is going to get mad at you for looking at that sheet during a code!) The only portion of the class that was closed book was the exit exam. If your hospital is anything like the one where i took mine (Heart Hospital of Austin), you will find that the instructors are there to guide you, it isn't the ACLS of yesteryear where you have to know all of the advanced practice portions of the algorithms as well as getting a MEGAcode at the end where you see every rhythm and must convert them before you can pass. I studied for about 2 weeks before the class (that was reading over the course manual and reading ahead in my med/surg book about arrythmias because we haven't even covered cardiac in my nursing school yet!) http://www.skillstat.com/Flash/ECG_Sim_2004.html
here you go, this is how i taught myself to recognize rhythms for the class.
Now then I felt PALS was a little more difficult, but in the end, it was the same experience I had with ACLS. Just familiarize yourself with your information, write down any questions that you might have in advance and breath! You are a few weeks away from certifying!
Oct 29, '08
[quote=8flood8;3198980]That link doesn't work.
In regards to the ACLS, i haven't even finished nursing school and i am certified. The algorithms are not difficult and you are allowed to use your algorithm sheets in your megacode. (think about it, no one is going to get mad at you for looking at that sheet during a code!) The only portion of the class that was closed book was the exit exam. If your hospital is anything like the one where i took mine (Heart Hospital of Austin), you will find that the instructors are there to guide you, it isn't the ACLS of yesteryear where you have to know all of the advanced practice portions of the algorithms as well as getting a MEGAcode at the end where you see every rhythm and must convert them before you can pass.
Yes, unfortunately. they do allow this. And now when Ior my coworkers answer codes,we work with people that can't check a pulse, that haven't put a pt on the monitor, that forget a backboard, that still can't do even basic CPR, let alone identify a rhythm and suggest a drug. Time is critical and if you need to look up an algorhythm to treat a patient, they are more likely to suffer morbities and mortalities.
Give the class the respect it is due. Learn the rhythms, learn the meds. Ask questions in class. Good for you, for asking questions here.
I don't have a web site for you. but keep studying so that one day when you do go to a code, and the "leader" is looking up what to do, you will already have that med in hand if not already given.
Oct 29, '08
sorry i didn't mean to imply that i didn't know the material.
when i took that class, i was the ONLY one who had reviewed any material. There was a doctor in that class and everyone else was an RN or an LVN.
Oct 29, '08
not you 8flood8, just in general with the "no one is left behind" policy that has changed acls as well as compenticies. Really, my last class, and several before that, i felt that no one knew the material (actually many said they did not know what to do), were coached constantly (read this as they were told the answers) and yet we all passed. I have had MDs enter a code late and order meds after the patient was successfully revived. Feel for a pulse in a radial and claim they got it..the patient was asystole. I've arrived before respiratory therapy and found no one attemping to establish an airway much less breath for a patient.
You sound as though you are a good student, and took the time to learn the algorhythms. I'm glad. Just saddened that it is not always the case anymore. ACLS used to be about training leaders who could run the codes and knew what to do. Now it seems to be more team approach, which can be good too...if everyone is not relying on others to come up with the basics.
Again, 8flood8, not really you I was aiming at..you studied. Just venting..Please accept my apologies.
Oct 30, '08
Thank you, but no apology needed. One thing they stressed very heavily was the differential dialogue between the team. They did address the fact that the class was not as "hard core" as it used to be. It was my perception that those of us who were learning this material for the first time wouldn't be leading a code, more managing a code until the code team got there. Starting cpr, calling for the crash cart, getting iv's in, bagging and getting the monitor connected, or turning the defibrillator on. I wouldn't want to try and lead a code my first time out of the box! But Now, i also wouldn't be afraid to jump in and start bagging, or compressions. One of my biggest fears in my first 2 nursing clinicals was that someone would have a heart attack on me and I wouldn't know it. I'm not afraid that will happen anymore, i'm ready and vigilant now in case it does. In th is case the OP is an experienced nurse who is actually preparing for the class. I had a great deal of anxiety the day before my class because i thought i hadn't studied enough, since i only studied for 2 weeks. I was relieved when i knew all the algorithms and had a generally easy time recognizing the arrhythmias when it came to class time. I had actually called and tried to postpone my class until the a few months later, but the instructor talked me down and told me that I would be fine. I definitely concede your point, anyone who wants to study this material should make it a goal to be an expert with it.
Nov 7, '08
Try the skillstat website, has got some good interactive tests on there with refernece to ACLS and rythm recognition as well as algorythms. Good luck
Nov 11, '08
Thanks to everyone for your words of encouragement. I take the course the next two days. Tonight, I am reviewing my algo's and drugs. I am remaining positive.
Aug 25, '10
I'm due to take the ACLS class next Monday and Tuesday. I bought the book today and feel like I'm completely out of my depth. Any advice? Should I go ahead and take it, or cancel and apply the money to a different class?
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