Question about ACLS and PALS

  1. Hi i was wondering when you can take the ACLS or PALS?

    I heard that you can take the cert when you are still in school

    also what requirements do you need to take the test?
    What should you know?

    What do you have to do for the certification?

    I'm not 100% sure but i think you have to take a written and a practical.

    I did check google and found a ton of sites but none of the ones i checked gave me the answers to my questions.

    Thanks,
    MJ

    ===========================================
    -= Edit =-

    Thanks all for responding,
    Could you also recommend some review books for the ACLS and PALS.

    That would be great thanks.
    I still have about a year of school left and want to take these certifications to help my chances of getting into the hospital of choice for me. It is just 2 miles from where i live and would just love to work there.

    Anyway thanks all for your help and advice.

    - MJ
    Last edit by MJ-12 on Mar 5, '04
    •  
  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   deej
    You can take them whenever you want (as long as you have a current BLS card.)

    For ACLS, you need to know EKG interpretation, and a bit of cardiac physiology. For PALS, you don't NEED to have ACLS already, but it would sure help. For both, do yourself a favor and study the drugs BEFORE you take the class.

    The requirements are basically the same as for BLS: Skills checkoff and written test (although certainly more in depth than BLS.)

    ACLS info: http://www.americanheart.org/present...tifier=3011972

    PALS info: http://www.americanheart.org/present...tifier=3012001
  4. by   traumaRUs
    Also - I think (IMHO) that as a student, you need to be studying the basics first. To run a megacode as a nursing student is going to be difficult - because of your limited experience. Unless, you are a paramedic, LPN? Good luck
  5. by   zambezi
    Quote from traumaRUs
    Also - I think (IMHO) that as a student, you need to be studying the basics first. To run a megacode as a nursing student is going to be difficult - because of your limited experience. Unless, you are a paramedic, LPN? Good luck

    I definately agree with knowing the basics first--however, I think that if you are a senior, nearing graduation, and are working or planning to work in a place where you will see codes, use emergency meds, and see cardiac rhythms frequently (er, critical care) then taking acls as a student can be beneficial. As a student, you will not be expected to run any code--mega or not. You probably won't push meds. You could do cpr, etc. I took acls about three months before I graduated and I was doing my 40 hour a week clinical in CCU. When there was a code, even though I was more of an observer/minimal helper, it was useful for me to know what was going on, knowing the steps in a code. After taking acls, it made the situation make more sense--and I knew what questions I wanted to ask my preceptor after the code. In order to prepare, I just read the book cover to cover, studyed the drugs, ekg intrepretation and alogorhythms. If you are planning to work in a place where codes are infrequent at best, then I would probably wait to take the class, only becuase if you don't practice seeing the meds, the ryhthms, etc...you forget what you learned.
  6. by   MJ-12
    Thanks all for responding,
    Could you also recommend some review books for the ACLS and PALS.

    That would be great thanks.
    I still have about a year of school left and want to take these certifications to help my chances of getting into the hospital of choice for me. It is just 2 miles from where i live and would just love to work there.

    Anyway thanks all for your help and advice.

    - MJ
  7. by   deej
    Quote from MJ-12
    Thanks all for responding,
    Could you also recommend some review books for the ACLS and PALS.

    The only books you need are the ACLS and PALS textbooks from the AHA, which are almost certainly included in the course price (ask to be sure). Mosby has an ACLS textbook, but since the questions and scenarios are taken from the AHA book, don't waste your money.

    Probably the best EKG book is Dubin's "Rapid Interpretation of EKGs". Also make sure you get the ECC Handbook from the AHA, which is a pocket-sized book with all the meds, algorithms, etc.

    DJ

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