Minor freak out..upcoming ACLS class

  1. My outpatient workplace is seeking accrediation and I have to get ACLS certified this month. I've got the book and I'm signed up for a class in two weeks but I'm nervous because I haven't read rhythm strips in years.


    Is anybody else randomly ACLS certified? We really won't be using this in the workplace but it's part of the "checklist". We have an AED and drugs for contrast reactions.

    This was not a part of the requirement when I was hired because I would have began studying and preparing before now.
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    About Caffeine_IV, BSN, RN

    Joined: Dec '06; Posts: 1,221; Likes: 1,999

    13 Comments

  3. by   Been there,done that
    Deep breaths .. you've got this.

    Rhythm interpretation should come right back. We all need a refresher on those pesky blocks.

    The company giving the course WANTS you to pass. You will!

    Let us know when you pass, I can always use a reason to celebrate.
  4. by   brownbook
    I have certified way to many times to count.

    As Been There Done That said take a deep breath.

    The past 10 years ACLS has changed its focus, (at least the classes I have taken). The instructors WANT the students to pass. The emphasis is NOT on some technical...is this 3rd degree Wenkebach or a Mobitz II..I repeat that stuff is NOT emphasized any more.

    Studies have found lives are saved by responders doing good basic BLS/CPR and using the AED. Lives are lost by responders wasting time (and forgetting about basic CPR) while interperting rhythm strips.

    The basic about rhythm strips are....is it too fast or too slow....is it V-fib/tach....is there a pulse. The rest is for cardiologists to ponder over after you have saved the patient's life and they are in CCU.

    Know your BLS, be comfortable with an AED. You will pass.
  5. by   ICUNurseStat
    If you are taking the two day course take good notes of things the instructors emphasize on day one. Then go home and study. As stupid as you may feel go through your scenarios and algorithms OUT LOUD at home just as you would while being checked off. ACLS has really gotten a lot easier over the last several years because there are actually fewer drugs than ever that you will use. Practice makes perfect!
  6. by   classicdame
    You can probably get some info online from various sources, but the book is all you will be held responsible for knowing. I would print out the strips from the book and then write all over the page what you need to know -- rate, name of rhythm, what needs to be done (if anything). Then go back to the book to compare what you wrote to what is correct. The more often you write these things the more you will remember.

    You can do it!
  7. by   Caffeine_IV
    Thanks all! I've been studying and it is actually making sense and coming back to me. So, I have hope and I'm almost excited now.
  8. by   akulahawkRN
    I've also taken the course quite a few times... they've changed the algorithms quite a bit from when I first took the course. In many ways, it's a LOT easier than it used to be. Know the basic rhythms... then it's pretty much going to boil down to pulse/pulseless, VF/VT?, Fast/slow, wide/narrow. Look for STEMI. Do high-quality CPR.
  9. by   caliotter3
    The course that I took was conducted in a "student friendly" format. Everyone was encouraged to pass. The instructors were patient and gave ample opportunity for success. Rhythm strip reading was covered in the first portion of the course and there was also a separate course for those who desired the extra exposure. I would look for one of those rhythm courses to take ahead of the ACLS course itself if you are concerned.
  10. by   SierraBravo
    Don't get too wrapped up with rhythms, they will tell you which ones to focus on in the class. Like others have said, what is more important is the fundamentals such as BLS/CPR and being able to read, understand, and apply the algorithms. We were allowed to use the algorithm cards when we were tested on the megacode.
  11. by   firstinfamily
    I am also going through certification at this time. I am taking the course on-line through American Heart. I am doing it at my own pace and then when I pass their test I will take that test result to the local AHA training center and do my mega-code there. Others that I have know who have taken it recently have said it is easier now than before, and so far the materials appear that way. I always focus on the algorithms and know them by heart. It seems less complicated than before. There are EKG lessons on line if you feel you need them, but I would take the above advice and concentrate more on the algorithms and basics of CPR. Good Luck!!
  12. by   Livingdeadnurse
    My instructors were great they want you to pass and will help you in anyway they can. As for rhythms they did a quick refresher for us. We didn't need to know the blocks.
  13. by   Caffeine_IV
    I appreciate all the comments helping to alleviate some of the anxiety I had. I've been using the book and online resources for studying. I'll update when I pass the course.
  14. by   Caffeine_IV
    Update, I passed the class. It was a lot of fun.

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