IS ACLS SCARY?!

  1. So I just recently passed my NCLEX last month
    got so busy with few things and got the time now to
    to enroll my self to BCLS, ACLS, PALS!

    i was so excited when I realized I only have 2 days to study ACLS. I'm so scared to fail. To think NCLEX
    was really hard. Maybe this one too

    they said to take certain courses just to add up
    to my resume since I have no experience at all!!
    do you think I'll survive hahahaha

    any tips too?
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  2. 15 Comments

  3. by   N. Maren
    Hi there! I recently took ACLS. I don't think it was scary -- the material was very familiar to the stuff we learned in our critical care class in our nursing program. The only thing that was a bit intimidating was the fact that the other people in my ACLS class were, in fact, full-fledged nurses already. Everyone was kind however. Take your time to find a good instructor at a reputable place and that will make the experience that much better!
  4. by   dreamsdocometrue15
    Quote from N. Maren
    Hi there! I recently took ACLS. I don't think it was scary -- the material was very familiar to the stuff we learned in our critical care class in our nursing program. The only thing that was a bit intimidating was the fact that the other people in my ACLS class were, in fact, full-fledged nurses already. Everyone was kind however. Take your time to find a good instructor at a reputable place and that will make the experience that much better!
    hi there! thank you so much for sharing your experience! with my lack of experience i hope i wont look like a fool with them. I only have two days to study the material they have given and im really bad with ecg stuff do you think i should move? or just go with it and trust myself. hahahah im just a bit conscious hahah hope ill do good like u did
  5. by   akulahawkRN
    The ACLS of today is a lot easier than it was 15 years (and longer) ago. They did replace the more linear algorithm with something that's perhaps a little more confusing at first but once you understand the way the system works, it's not that bad at all. The one thing about ACLS is that it's a few years behind the folks that are on the bleeding edge of resuscitation, but what they've got going works generally well for most and is relatively easy to remember and perform.

    For many "advanced life support" providers, ACLS is often basically a merit badge. It used to be regarded as something a LOT more challenging than it has become.
  6. by   dreamsdocometrue15
    Quote from akulahawkRN
    The ACLS of today is a lot easier than it was 15 years (and longer) ago. They did replace the more linear algorithm with something that's perhaps a little more confusing at first but once you understand the way the system works, it's not that bad at all. The one thing about ACLS is that it's a few years behind the folks that are on the bleeding edge of resuscitation, but what they've got going works generally well for most and is relatively easy to remember and perform.

    For many "advanced life support" providers, ACLS is often basically a merit badge. It used to be regarded as something a LOT more challenging than it has become.

    same comment, i really hope its easy. im just scared with the interaction but i must grab this oppurtunity right? thank you so much
  7. by   avotoasted
    First, congrats on passing your NCLEX!

    Second, a couple things to keep in mind:
    - be able to quickly recognize basic TYPES of rhythms (tachy, brady, VF, VT, PEA, asystole) and which ones are shockable
    - is the pt stable or unstable?
    - know your drug dosages

    As for the Megacode, how it's run will depend on your instructor. My first time taking ACLS, we had a very large group and just a few of us rotated through running a code as team leader, after which the rest of us talked through and answered questions. My second time taking it, there was only four of us, so we each took turns as team leader for practice and did well enough so there was no need to do a real "skills test" after the fact.
  8. by   Ben_Dover
    Oh Holy Dingle Berries! If you made it through Nursing School and then passing the NCLEX...ACLS/BLS/PALS should be the least of your worries!
    You got this one!
  9. by   JKL33
    Well, if you have no experience and want to make the most of your opportunity with ACLS, you could see if there is another acceptable date to take it that would give you more time to review the material. Although ACLS isn't difficult for providers who utilize its content frequently, I think it's going to be difficult for you to digest it all in 2 days. The point isn't to be able to say you did it, but to gain the knowledge and the confidence to use what you learned. The same is true for PALS.

    Personally I think it's a wasted opportunity if one tries to just "get-by".
  10. by   kp2016
    ACLS isn't hard and they will really work with you to make sure you pass. In my opinion the online program followed by the skills check is a bad idea for people who haven't the class room version at least once or twice.
  11. by   Julius Seizure
    Quote from JKL33
    Well, if you have no experience and want to make the most of your opportunity with ACLS, you could see if there is another acceptable date to take it that would give you more time to review the material. Although ACLS isn't difficult for providers who utilize its content frequently, I think it's going to be difficult for you to digest it all in 2 days. The point isn't to be able to say you did it, but to gain the knowledge and the confidence to use what you learned. The same is true for PALS.

    Personally I think it's a wasted opportunity if one tries to just "get-by".
    I agree. And if you have not yet gained any bedside experience, its going to be hard to have any context for what you learn in ACLS. Its not really going to "stick" until you see it for real a few times. I guess it might look nice on a resume, but if I were a hiring manager I wouldn't think it meant you had extra clinical skills...but maybe that you must have a good amount of initiative to already be signing up for extra classes.

    Maybe just do ACLS for now or something. If you are working in an area that requires all this stuff, your job might pay for it if you wait till you are hired.
  12. by   Lil Nel
    Please don't worry about this. You will be fine.

    I took ACLS last month at the hospital where I was recently hired to work Med-Surg. You can easily make a chart, which will direct you as to which medications to administer, etc. Memorize this chart. The rhythm strips are fairly straightforward.

    You will take part in a mock code (the memorized chart will be helpful) and practice different roles during a code.

    Personally, I would wait to take these classes until I had a job. Why pay out-of-pocket when your employer will pay for the classes. And your employer will make sure you pass!

    Good luck. But as others have stated: You've got this!
  13. by   dreamsdocometrue15
    HELLO EVERYONE IM SO OVERWHELMED WITH YOUR REPLYS. I WANT TO THANK ALL OF U
    YOUR PERSPECTIVES/POINT OF VIEWS REALLY DO MAKE SENSE.

    BTW just finished with my BLS this afternoon,and passed.

    i really will study now for 2 days for my acls and pass this.

    and yes this is just resume purposes, at least i have something to put in it.
    thank you so much guys.
  14. by   MVNurse10
    Do not feel intimidated at all- you are there to learn. In my experience the places I've gone to really teach you to pass and they allowed you to use you ACLS manual for the test. Yes there may be people there who are already working but not everyone's experiences are the same. When I took my course it was just me (RN) another RN and an MD. To put things in perspective, the MD didn't know all the answers to the test and has experienced real life codes.. You will do fine, just get it over with. Even SNFs are requiring their RNs to have ACLS so don't wait!

    Good luck you! If you want a bit of edge before you go definitely review basic EKG interpretation on youtube as it will help you tremendously.

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