Need your advice with ACLS and EKG certifying

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    i recently passed my nclex and will be applying for job soon. but first, i am planning to take acls certification class. would it be beneficial as well to take basic ekg courses/certification? i'm confuse about having to take the basic ekg classes since i thought it is already covered under acls. both acls and basic ekg classes are expensive and the last thing i need is to spend more money just to boost my resume.

    what other credential/certification i might need to take and include on my resume so i can have a better chance of hiring.

    thank you for your advice and opinions.


    gil
  2. 9 Comments so far...

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    The EKG component of ACLS is pretty rudimentary and focused on being just detailed enough to properly follow the algorithm. A decent course to learn more rhythms, appropriate interventions for patients who're NOT coding, and how to measure things like PR interval may be helpful. The hospital should teach you that once you get a job that requires that knowledge.
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    I think you should apply for a job now instead of waiting to get all these certifications. I know it makes the resume look better but who knows when the class will be and often the job will pay for these classes if they know you are intrested in taking them. But if you absolutely want to take certification courses first, I wouldn't take an EKG course. That pretty much is in ACLS, you might want to study the strips and rhythms before going to the class to make sure you know it. PALS is also another good class to take. Good Luck!
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    i agree with both of the other respondents; if you already have the acls, there isn't really much more to do in a basic ekg course. but having said that, if you haven't yet a job, i wouldn't worry too much about those courses, as employers who require such skill will send (or reimburse) you to those courses since it's a job requirement.

    and congrats on passing the nclex
  6. 0
    Given a choice of one OR the other, I'd go with ACLS first. There is some basic, rudimentary EKG stuff there, but they're right: it's for being able to follow the correct algorithm. Once you have the ACLS stuff down, then go for the Basic EKG if you're looking for a job in a unit that does EKG monitoring. You'll learn more stuff and be better able to see changes that may indicate pre-code stuff is going on. It's much easier to prevent the code than it is to work it.

    That's the sequence I'd do it in. While you could do it the other way, yes, you'd be good at recognizing the lethal arrythmias, a Basic EKG class in and of itself won't teach you how to run a code.
  7. 1
    Quote from akulahawk
    Given a choice of one OR the other, I'd go with ACLS first. There is some basic, rudimentary EKG stuff there, but they're right: it's for being able to follow the correct algorithm. Once you have the ACLS stuff down, then go for the Basic EKG if you're looking for a job in a unit that does EKG monitoring. You'll learn more stuff and be better able to see changes that may indicate pre-code stuff is going on. It's much easier to prevent the code than it is to work it.

    That's the sequence I'd do it in. While you could do it the other way, yes, you'd be good at recognizing the lethal arrythmias, a Basic EKG class in and of itself won't teach you how to run a code.
    Hmmm... No offense, but I beg to differ. I think the OP was talking basic EKG (eg what is PQRST) and not advanced (hemiblocks, ischemia, infarct, arrhythmias). IMHO, if you're able to successfully master ACLS, there frankly isn't much more that any basic EKG course could teach you. Advanced courses, such as 12 Lead EKG interpretation, goes beyond and uses the fundamentals taught in ACLS and expands on therefrom.
    Last edit by Emergency RN on Aug 15, '11
    CBsMommy likes this.
  8. 0
    Wow, this is fast responses... Thank you so much for all your advice.
  9. 0
    Hey, I would get the job first...most recruiters are not expecting new grads to EKG, ACLS, PALS etc...when you get hired they will send you to all the classes that is required for the position. Also you don't know what area you are going to be hired in yet...I focus on getting and job and everything else will work itself out...just my 2 cents
  10. 0
    I agree with the previous posters to concentrate on getting a job first. Once you have the job it will be easier to put the pieces to gether when it comes to ACLS. Focus on getting a solid background (med/surg) and then critical care. You will become VERY familiar with EKGs when you get into critical care. When I first went for my ACLS (after working critical care) I found the EKG section to be very easy, and I just had to focus on drug administration. Do yourself a favor and get the background education. You will be happy you did!
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    Many employers will make you repeat the classes with their instructors anyways, you could possibly be wasting your time and money. You'll need basic EKG prior to ACLS, ACLS doesn't teach EKG interpretation, the expect you to already know it. Not to mention, ACLS is pretty much pointless unless you're in an area that requires it like critical care, ED, or anyone else that would be a part of the code team. Floor nurses aren't normally required to have ACLS.


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