Acls

  1. I know if I did a search I'd find my answers, but I'm lazy and want my own thread.

    I'm going to take ACLS in June for the first time, since they are thinking of making our unit a step-down ICU within the next year or two. Plus it's lots of CEU's.

    I've just finished an EKG course and have CPR. What, if anything, prior to then can I do to help prepare myself. What did you do.

    Thanks.
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   Gator,SN
    I just took ACLS this week for the first time. I studied the book, "2000 handbook for emergency cardiovascular care" It was about $10 brand new at my hospital bookstore. Probably can find it cheaper at amazon, etc. It is nicely separated into different categories: drugs, electrical therapy, acute coronary syndromes, stroke treatment and the all important algorithms. (also includes PALS for the future*)
    I too had a 12 lead EKG cert. class and telemetry course. Review telemetry rhythms if you have time because what you see on the monitor will decide your treatment so you'll have to be able to quickly recognize the differences.
    For the mega code, try to just recite in your mind the steps to follow for the different scenarios.
    GOOD LUCK!!!!!! and relax too because it was not as bad as I thought it would be.
    Gator
  4. by   RNPATL
    Tweety - the biggest chanllenge for most first timers with ACLS is recognizing rhythms. If you have taken the EKG course, then you probably have a decent understanding of rhythms. For me, I found it helpful to practice my ACLS skills online with some practice sites. Here is a site that might be helpful http://www.aclsonline.us/recert/pages/login.jsp I have another one, but the url escapes me right now, once I find it, I will post it.

    I just took my 4th recertification since becoming an RN and this one was the toughest. I think the standards are changing all the time and the drug regime is changing also. It is a good idea to know your drugs, their doages rates and how they impact on the heart (BP, Pulse, etc) prior to taking ACLS. Having that knowledge helps as you are learning the drug sequence for ACLS. Good Luck and I will post that other site once I find it.

    Just found it www.acls.net This site gives you an excellent practice scenario. Enjoy!
    Last edit by RNPATL on Apr 24, '04
  5. by   Katnip
    Learn those algorithms inside-out, upside-down, backwards, and forwards.

    Cardiac rythms. Study them until you see them in your sleep.
  6. by   suzanne4
    www.NYERRN.com as some nice training clips for you to use.

    I have actually taken well over 10 recerts already, since the first year it was offered. It is so much easier now than in the beginning. Over 70% of the physicians flunked it back then. You had to sit in a room with a cardiologist as he/she put strips up on a monitor, one on one with the doctor. Nurses back then were resposible for intubation and placement of central lines. We still had the old Annie's where you had to do stair-step breathing and they measured to make sure that they were perfect. They actually measured whne you were bagging and you had to deliver 800 ml with each breath.

    You will do just fine, just look over some of the strips posted on the website.
  7. by   BBFRN
    http://www.randylarson.com/acls/mega/practice.html

    Here's the best ACLS practice site on the web. It has practice code scenarios, and telemetry strip practice quizzes, ACLS drugs, etc. http://www.randylarson.com/acls/

    I love this site, and use it for ACLS renewal practice. Good luck! And have fun with it!
  8. by   BBFRN
    http://www2.mc.duke.edu/9200bmt/ACLSdrugs.htm

    OOps- forgot about this one- it's got a breakdown of the ACLS drugs, and it's very thorough.

    Regarding the first-line drug changes: It's my understanding that one of the changes that might be made is that Vasopressin could be used as a first-line drug for some forms of cardiac arrest over Epinephrine now. I'm not sure, as my ACLS isn't due for renewal for several more months. Recent studies have shown that Vasopressin given to pts with Asystole have a 29% survival rate vs 20% with Epi. Survival rates for PEA and V-Fib were the same. From what I understand, the AHA might be changing the regimen to a dose of Vasopressin first, then going to Epi next. Anybody know if this has become policy yet?
  9. by   Tweety
    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Those sites are going to be very helpful! Wish me luck.
  10. by   rollingstone
    Good luck Tweety, you'll do fine. As for me, I just took the time to read the book.
  11. by   teeituptom
    dont worry too much

    they will spoon feed it to you

    they want you to pass
  12. by   RNKPCE
    Tweety

    That is great that you are taking the ACLS class. From other posting of yours I have read over time you seem to have a good grasp of rhythms etc, I don't think you will have any problems. I am surprised that you didn't already have to be ACLS. Where I live the class has only gotten less stressful over the years. The first time I took it you went in a room alone and had to be a code leader it was very intimidating and not a good learning experience.

    About the last 4 times I have recertified the written BLS and ACLS test have been the hardest part of all of it. This was the first year I didn't freak out too much and way over prepare.

    There will be people with all sorts of expericnce taking it with you and some with no experience(the first time course). I had nurse's who worked in doctor offices taking it and pass and they didn't have the acute care clinical experience that you do. I have taken it with new grads as well who were starting employment in the ER.

    So relax you will do well.
  13. by   Gldngrl
    Quote from lgflamini
    http://www2.mc.duke.edu/9200bmt/ACLSdrugs.htm

    OOps- forgot about this one- it's got a breakdown of the ACLS drugs, and it's very thorough.

    Regarding the first-line drug changes: It's my understanding that one of the changes that might be made is that Vasopressin could be used as a first-line drug for some forms of cardiac arrest over Epinephrine now. I'm not sure, as my ACLS isn't due for renewal for several more months. Recent studies have shown that Vasopressin given to pts with Asystole have a 29% survival rate vs 20% with Epi. Survival rates for PEA and V-Fib were the same. From what I understand, the AHA might be changing the regimen to a dose of Vasopressin first, then going to Epi next. Anybody know if this has become policy yet?
    ACLS recommendations for VT/VF:
    Vasopressin 40U IV single one time dose or
    Epi 1 mg IV (repeat q 3-5 mins)

    Also of note:
    Amiodarone for cardiac arrest 300mg IV push, may repeat 150mg IVP in 3-5 mins-max cumulative dose 2.2g IV/24 hours.
  14. by   BBFRN
    Thanks, Gldngrl! I knew there had been some changes. Good luck, Tweety- it's not as scary as it might seem. They do want you to pass.

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