Taking ACLS on Wednesday

  1. I am taking ACLS on Wednesday and Thursday. Since this will be my first attempt, I am a little nervous as to how they are going to test this. All the registration packet said is that we "will be tested individually, and in small groups". I would ask my coworkers, but we have been so short staffed lately that we rarely have 3 minutes to actually discuss anything not directly related to our patients at that time. So, what should I expect? I have all the pathways down, and meds are no problem... what should I focus on most in these last hours to make sure I am prepared?

    Thanks for any help!
    Brandy
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  2. 19 Comments

  3. by   kaycee
    ACLS is much less stressful then it used to be. Sounds like you are prepared. Just relax and take your time. If you know the algorythms, meds, rythm strips you will do fine. They usually give you scenarios and you have to decide which pathway to follow and meds to use. Remember your ABC's. They usually go over most of what you will be tested on. There should also be stations to practice airway, intubation, defib/ext pacer, rythms, AED ect.
    There is a written test too. Is is still 2 days for fist time takers or did they make it all into one?
    Good luck and relax, it can be fun.
  4. by   BrandyBSN
    Thanks, that reminded me I should go over rhythm strips again

    Its a two day course still 8am-5pm two days.

    thanks!
    Brandy
  5. by   misti_z
    I just did ACLS about 2weeks ago. It was not as bad as I expected, at all. No strips were on our test, many questions about on pt with low BP.....read the questions carefully b/c it is quite tricky and remember to ask your self if they are symptomatic. We were able to use our algorythms cards during the written test. It was 32 questions, I believe. Remember O2 is the first med in CP pt. Cardioversion is also considered med.

    I'll post more it I remember.........I just woke up!!
  6. by   askater11
    All the deadly rhythms were on our written test. Some non-lethal...so if you have a test like ours looks at the rythm strips and how to treat them.

    We had both a written test (actually multiple choice) and a verbal check off. (an instructor had us assimilate what we'd do.

    At our facility the test is done individually, not as a group.

    Good Luck!!!!! You'll do well!!!!!!!!
  7. by   nightingale
    I KNOW you will do well, Brandy... Let us know how it went!

    B.
  8. by   kathkrn
    ACLS is so much easier than it used to be. I found the last time (about 2 months ago) to be informal and the instructors supportive and helpful. Hope it went alright.
  9. by   km rn
    Wow it sounds like ACLS has really changed - don't they do a mega code anymore? I remember going to stations - intubation station, EKG strip station, written test station and mega code station. You needed to pass each station to pass. We didn't get to use algorithym cards.
  10. by   MollyMo
    Originally posted by km rn
    Wow it sounds like ACLS has really changed - don't they do a mega code anymore? I remember going to stations - intubation station, EKG strip station, written test station and mega code station. You needed to pass each station to pass. We didn't get to use algorithym cards.

    You still do all that but it's much less formal and stressful than it used to be. Mega code is done in groups. Someone in your group can clue you if you miss a step or hesitate. It's more like an actual code now. We help each other in the real thing, why not in practice. At least that's how it was when I renewed last year.
  11. by   km rn
    It sounds like they've made some positive changes - codes are truely a team effort. I remember hating to intubate the baby and an one of our docs giving me grief about it during the intubation testing. He thought the baby was much easier to tube than the adult - but I found just the opposite to be true.

    Good luck Brandy - I bet you will do fine. One of the best things I learned was - slow down, think, and run the code calmly - settle the rest of the team down by acting cool, calm and deliberate.
  12. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Brandy do NOT stress over it. ACLS was not that hard and VERY interesting. The megacodes are done in groups and you work together to "treat" the rhythm. They have learned how to teach so we understand the PRICIPLES not just the algorhythms......cause those can change. And they have, recently, rewritten the Text...so "memorizing it" would have not been so great for me anyhow. I learned what I needed to, and have the pocket book that I glance thru just to refresh myself, if G-d forbid, I would need to use it in OB (yes we have to have ACLS cause we do our own csections and surgeries).....
  13. by   ldymedc
    Brandy,
    You will do fine, ACLS is now much more of a teaching based program than antagonistic. It used to be something everyone sweated....memorized word for word, regurgitated the information, and then got down on their knees to thank God when they passed. Now it is a course designed to diseminate information. It really is a team effort, and a lot of good material, including new research.....Good luck
  14. by   BrandyBSN
    All done, and I passed! It was a little less stressful that I had imagined, and, now I don't have anything else to take until TNCC and PALS in February!

    Thanks,
    Brandy

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