the international liaison committee on resuscitation
(ilcor) was formed in 1992. according to their website they were formed to "...provide a forum for liaison between principle resuscitation organizations worldwide
." the american heart association
(aha) is a member of ilcor
and represents the united states. in 2000, ilcor published the first international resuscitation guidelines. these guidelines were updated in the 2005 international consensus on cardiopulmonary resuscitation (cpr) and emergency cardiovascular care (ecc) science with treatment recommendations
and are scheduled to be updated again in 2010. the aha subsequently published the 2005 american heart association guidelines for cardiopulmonary resuscitation (cpr) and emergency cardiovascular care (ecc)
. this is probably why people tend to think that only aha programs are "real" or will be accepted.
the aha neither sanctions nor approves other organizations life support training programs. after publishing the 2005 american heart association guidelines for cardiopulmonary resuscitation (cpr) and emergency cardiovascular care (ecc)
the aha subsequently developed their own life support training programs, of which acls is one.
other agencies were then free to develop their own courses based upon these guidelines, and several have. i am aware of at least three other organizations that have developed acls training programs, the american safety and health institute (ashi)
, american medical resource institute
, and eacls
. these courses are offered in a variety of formats: traditional, blended, and online. i have no experience with any of these programs, and provide the following as information only.
[color=#333333]joint commission standard pc.02.01.11: resuscitation services are available throughout the hospital lists the following as one of the elements of performance: "an evidenced-based training program(s) is used to train staff to recognize the need for and use of resuscitation equipment and techniques." there is no official or preferred bls program to satisfy the joint commission (jc) requirement, nor does jc address format of course delivery
[color=#333333]using this standard, each facility is free to determine which program or programs that they will use to satisfy this requirement. some facilities are specific as to which program they will accept (i.e. only aha) while others will accept any program as long as it is compliant with the 2005 aha guidelines for cpr and ecc.
the aha offers acls in both the traditional and blended format. if you are interested in attending a traditional aha acls course, you can use the aha ecc course connector
to locate an upcoming course.
information on the aha blended program option is available at the following site: aha e-learning acls
. if you opt to take the blended course, the cost of the online portion is $105.00. i could not readily locate on the site, but i believe that you have 14 days to complete the entire online portion. after completion of the online portion you can locate an instructor to complete your skills evaluation using the aha ecc course connector
website. there might be an additional charge for the skills evaluation. i would also suggest contacting an instructor prior to ensure availability of a skills evaluation prior to enrolling in the course.
there are several acls preparatory books available on the market. i don't think that any of these books are necessary as all of the material necessary to pass either course is in the provider manual and will be reviewed during the course. however, i do strongly suggest that you read and study
the material prior to attending the course. if you are interested in reading more regarding the science and rationale behind what is included in the provider manual, the 2005 american heart association guidelines for cardiopulmonary resuscitation and emergency cardiovascular care
are all available online.
the american safety and health institute
offers ashi acls
. this course is currently available only in the traditional format; however their online courses
indicates that they are presently looking at developing some form of either a blended or online programs. information regarding locating an ashi testing center can be located using the ashi training center locator
is a collaboration between the american college of emergency physicians (acep) and bartlett jones publishing, and they currently offer the eacls course
. the eacls course
can be taken totally online for continuing education credits only, or in either a traditional or blended format which results in receipt of a course completion card. information regarding locating an eacls testing center can be located using the eacls education center
the american medical resource institute
offers acls in an entirely online version only.
after determining which program that you are going to take, you then need to determine the program format to take. basic life support training is currently offered in three formats: traditional, blended, and online.
using the traditional format, you go to a training center and spend four to eight hours watching videos, doing skills review and evaluation, and complete the written test. at the end of the day you receive a course completion/certification card. this is probably what most people are familiar with.
the blended format is exactly that, it is a combination of both online and classroom training. in a blended program you will complete the cognitive/didactic portion on line, as well as completed the written test on line. upon completion of the test you print out your course completion form to take to an instructor where you then complete the skills review and testing portion. upon completion of the skills review/testing you are issued your course completion/certification card. there is generally no distinction between completion of either a traditional or blended course.
online courses, as the name implies, are offered totally online. these programs consist only of the cognitive/didactic portion, without a skills review/testing. personally, i would not take an online course without skills review/testing.
i hope this information was helpful.