ACLS tips

  1. i need to take ACLS next month would really appreciate some study tips. i took the first day the last time they offered the class and i was just incredibly overwhelmed and didn't go back. i hadn't studied any beforehand so i'm hoping that will help me this time.

    also, it was really emotional for me. we had just lost one of our own floor nurses - it was unexpected and he was put through a long code... so i couldn't help thinking about that.

    i know that if i can prepare myself it will lessen the stress....

    thanks for any advice/tips you can share...
  2. Visit KerenRN profile page

    About KerenRN

    Joined: Sep '05; Posts: 17; Likes: 1
    Specialty: 9 year(s) of experience in cardiology, oncology, telephone triage


  3. by   Creamsoda
    Pretty much just know your algorithms front to back. You will get lots of practise before your megacode. They will probably throw a few different rythms at you such as

    A person comes in saying they have heart palpitations and you hook em up to a cardiac monitor and it shows v-tach...and bp is stable and they are alert and talking. What do you do.

    Then they will say all of a sudden this patient becaomes unrousable, and has a bp of 60/30 but still in V-tach. What do you do.

    This patient further decompensates, has no BP and no pulse and goes into v-fib. What do you do.

    All they are looking for is what do you do according to the algorithm.

    Dont say thinks like...ill call the doctor. They are testing you as if you ARE the doctor running the code.

    Know the 5 H's and T's. They will want to know what you are thinking to figure out the causes of why this person went into this rhythm.

    Just really know the algorithms and you should be ok. What got me when I took it was when I had to do the megacode, I had alot of testing anxiety and screwed up, so I was able to do it a second time, and I did it perfectly the second time.
  4. by   loricatus
    If you try to simplify it, it will be easier on you.
    When you study, try to think: if this happens, then I do.... ABCD, then ABCD
    If you see a certain rhythm, you check responsiveness and do ??????, administer ??????? for it-its all in the algorithms. For instance: Unresponsive male, no pulse, no breathing with NSR----BLS first ABCD primary survey, ABCD secondary survey----got PEA here-----for PEA, treat cause----------assess for the possible H's & T's-----treat & when all else fails, give epi [how much? every? minutes, how fast?]. Just try to imagine a situation to match the various algorithms and it becomes a visual picture that you can remember versus memorization of words.

    Also, have fun thinking about adenosine---push hard and fast and wait for your heart to stop when you just caused the patient's heart to stop
  5. by   scattycarrot
    Try and enjoy it! I know this sounds silly but the instuctors aren't there to trip you up or fail you. They want you to suceed and if you prepare, learn your rythums, memorise the algorithms and just keep taking deep breaths you might relax enough to enjoy it! I find it to be a postive learning enviroment and I am sure you will be fine. Try not to think of your last experience as this time its totally different as you will have prepared and you will have had time to deal with that awful experience you went through. Good luck!!!!!!!!!!!
  6. by   oMerMero
    check out they have some practice questions and a simulator.
  7. by   bluetack
    Thanks everyone on my behalf as well, I am due to take ACLS for the first time in a few weeks. The workbook isn't available at my hospital yet as the guidelines for ACLS have just been revised here, so that website will be great to have a look at!