ACLS/PALS

  1. 0
    Hi everybody,
    I am a new RN graduate, with no experience in the medical field except my clinicals during nursing school. I am planning to take ACLS on May 24/25, and may be PALS in the future.
    Any advice of what to prepare for to be successful when taking it, is it do-able? easy or hard to handle in 2 days class with a lot of information to learn in such a short period of time.
    any books or materials that I should look at before the class?
    Thank you in advance.
    RI Nurse
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  3. 18 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    It's hard, but very do-able, since you have already graduated. You might want to review cardiac rhythms and the emergency drugs- atropine, epinephrine, etc.
  5. 1
    Before I answer this, I should probably state:
    1. This question is asked very frequently and you could search for it on here for more info.
    2. If you get a job on a unit that requires either ACLS or PALS, they will train you, and most likely make you repeat it with them if you already have it. And unless you plan to work in the ED or in pediatrics, you are kinda wasting your time with PALS.

    That being said...
    It isn't very hard, and it is doable in a 2 day class. As long as you already know EKG rhythm interpretation. If you can't easily read the EKG rhythm, then you will have a very hard time, and possibly not be able to pass. Everything else is knowing a few drug dosages, and memorizing a few algorithms. But I do know that at my hospital, having either of these do not give a new grad any hiring advantage, and you are required to repeat the class with the hospital's instructors.
    Crux1024 likes this.
  6. 2
    If you are taking these courses to make yourself more marketable, consider this: I believe people need clinical experience to truly apply what is taught in those courses. Otherwise, you are just memorizing. So I would not hire a new nurse based on that alone. You may not need both in any facility, as stated above. The classes are challenging,but most people pass on the first try. No other material is needed and would probably confuse you as you will be tested ONLY on the AHA material.
    batmik and Crux1024 like this.
  7. 0
    I have lived and worked in the midwest for 30 years. All that was ever required of me was BCLS. I have recently moved to Texas and am applying for nursing jobs but keep getting turned down because I have never had PALS. Doesn't matter what floor I am applying to, they all want me to have my PALS cert. To tell the truth, I didn't even know what this was until I moved to Texas! (And I had been in healthcare, like I said, for 30 some years!)So maybe some research is in order. Find out if it is an important thing to have in the area where you will be applying/working.
  8. 0
    I have been ACLS certified for years. It used to be a two day process and then one. In many places now it is just a review and all that is gone over is enough info to pass the test. Just ask around and you will find a way to get this done fairly quickly. PALS is generally required in small hospitals where all nurses may have to take care of kids from time to time. Some state laws such as in Louisiana require nurses taking care of peds patients to take additonal education and the PAls will cover you for a couple of years. Once again, dont panic just ask around and get certified. It is unfortunate and maybe a reflection of our society in general but the teaching of these courses and granting of certification has basicly turned into a joke.
  9. 0
    Quote from ObtundedRN
    Before I answer this, I should probably state:
    1. This question is asked very frequently and you could search for it on here for more info.
    2. If you get a job on a unit that requires either ACLS or PALS, they will train you, and most likely make you repeat it with them if you already have it. And unless you plan to work in the ED or in pediatrics, you are kinda wasting your time with PALS.
    My hospital doesn't require you to retake it if you're already certified as a new grad. And a few area employers did look favorable on having at least ACLS certification. I did get my job in an ER without it, and they will pay for me to take it, BUT it's on their schedule and I would feel a lot more comfortable in certain situations if I already had those classes under my belt.
  10. 0
    I've worked on a tele floor since graduation, about two years now. ACLS is required for our staff. I just took the two day course a couple of weeks ago. It's very challenging, but certainly doable. I loved it!

    Much luck.
  11. 0
    Both are required where I work, but only ACLS is preferred prior to being hired. I thought both classes were manageable but not easy
  12. 1
    I'll echo the above...unless you're comfortable with rhythms, it'll probably be difficult. You are required to run a "mega-code" where the pt will flip between at least three different rhythms to pass the class.

    Basically all you need to concentrate on are the algorithms...V-fib/V-tach, PEA/asystole, tachycardias (wide and narrow complex), and bradycardias. You need to know that mag is for torsades, pace your complete heart blocks ASAP, etc.

    If you go in with a good grip on your rhythms and the algorithms, it's pretty easy. If you've never done it before, definitely study before-hand.

    At my hospital only those who work tele and above in acuity are required to have ACLS.
    Bariq likes this.


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