ACLS certification as a student

  1. 0 Hi guys. Brief synopsis of where I'm at in the program: I start my final practicum in January and will be able to work as a grad nurse in April. I am writing the CRNE in June.

    I have a question about the ACLS course. There is an ACLS instructor coming to the U of C in December offering a discounted group rate to 4th yr students and new grads. The course is only $350.00 so I'd save about $125.00.

    I was wondering if it's worth it at this stage (about to start my final practicum) to take the ACLS course or would I be better off to wait until I've graduated, working on a unit for awhile and take the course later next year?

    Thanks for any insight or advice!

    cheers
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  3. Visit  petethecanuck profile page

    About petethecanuck, BSN, RN

    petethecanuck has '3' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'Cardiology'. From 'Calgary'; 44 Years Old; Joined Aug '09; Posts: 165; Likes: 130.


    12 Comments so far...

  4. Visit  Fiona59 profile page
    0
    It's not a requirement for most nurses. Why do you want it? If you are going to work in Emerg or the ICU go for it. If you are on a surgical or medical floor, in the community, or mental health, it's not needed.
  5. Visit  27400 profile page
    0
    New grad here with ACLS... it hasn't landed me a job. Take it or leave it. When I went for a job interview that didn't require ACLS, the clinical manager actually asked me why I took it; just prepare to answer that question if you're going to put it on your resume.

    I know two of my classmates landed a New Grad Guarantee Initiative (NGGI) position in the ED... one had ACLS, the other didn't have ACLS. I'm in ON; I'm not sure how they run things there in Alberta.
  6. Visit  petethecanuck profile page
    0
    Top choices for my final focus are in med/sug, medical teaching (PCU 36 at FMC) and oncology (Tom Baker). I did chose ICU and Emerge but they are way down the list.

    I'm definitely open to working in Emerge or ICU down the line, but not sure I want to right after grad. I've been comtemplating taking the ACLS course at some point but once I had a better handle on my career path.

    This discount rate is a good deal and I was told that it would look "impressive" on a resume heh.

    SAIT offers the ACLS course almost every month so it's not like I can't take the course sometime next year if needed.

    Thanks for the input guys, I appreciate it!

    cheers
  7. Visit  27400 profile page
    0
    Well you can definitely say you've "taken initiative of your learning"... does it put you above others on the resume pile? Maybe or maybe not. Anyway, good luck. Best wishes.
  8. Visit  bustin_mine profile page
    0
    I'm assuming you are doing it through Canadian Travel Nurses? I graduated in June 2011 and ******* came to my school in April. Most of the course was online and she came for the practical portion to fully certify our class. I thought it was a fabulous course and would recommend it if planning to work medicine, ER or ICU. It's nice to know what to expect in a code situation and to know what is going on.

    During my interview in February I was asked about my interest in cardiac monitoring/coronary care and I explained I was going to be taking cardiac monitoring and ACLS in April. I felt my manager was impressed my my initiative and interest in learning. I got a call the following week for the job. If you are taking ACLS through Canadian Travel Nurses you take the cardiac rhythms course first which is the most beneficial part. I had to take a cardiac monitoring course to certify myself in reading telemetry strips at work and found it pretty easy. Other new grads were a little overwhelmed.

    It's not REQUIRED for jobs but it's a great learning experience and I think it gives you a leg up against other new grads, especially when applying to ER and ICU where you will have to get it anyway. If you have the money to do it, why not? You've paid thousands for your degree, why not pay $350 and possibly secure a job. I was broke and asked my parents to pay for it as a graduation gift lol.

    I don't understand why a manager would question why someone would want to learn about lifesaving skills or continuing education? My other friends who took ACLS with me all secured jobs and are glad they took it. I would also recommend you take Coronary Care I and Coronary Care II (may be called something different out west, I'm from Ontario) often available online through college programs. They usually commence in Sept so it'll be good to keep in mind for after you graduate and wanting/working in medicine, ER, or ICU.
    Last edit by Silverdragon102 on Oct 9, '11 : Reason: name removed
  9. Visit  27400 profile page
    1
    Quote from bustin_mine
    I don't understand why a manager would question why someone would want to learn about lifesaving skills or continuing education? My other friends who took ACLS with me all secured jobs and are glad they took it. I would also recommend you take Coronary Care I and Coronary Care II (may be called something different out west, I'm from Ontario) often available online through college programs. They usually commence in Sept so it'll be good to keep in mind for after you graduate and wanting/working in medicine, ER, or ICU.
    I don't understand why they asked either, but they did ask. But I disagree about it giving you a leg up... maybe you were just good at interviewing and selling your skills to your manager? I know many people who took the ACLS and still haven't landed a job, ED or med/surg. It also depends on when you got the position because there are "hiring seasons." If you happen to miss the hiring season, then you're out of luck whether you have the ACLS or you don't have the ACLS. I've got a recruiter tell me I can't apply to their ED unless I consolidated in ED... I showed her that I have taken initiative in my learning by taking the ACLS and she still said she prefers experience over the certification. I'm not telling this individual NOT take the ACLS, I'm just making him/her aware that you're taking a chance and that it doesn't give you a leg up. By all means, if you want to take it--go ahead. Now if you did your consolidation in ED or CCU and you get the ACLS, now that's a different story. However, I will agree with you in regards to Coronary Care 1... take it if you're really interested in going to CCU, ICU or ED.
    Fiona59 likes this.
  10. Visit  Sir Flemmings profile page
    2
    I wouldn't recommend taking ACLS at this stage even if you are intending on seeking an Emerg or ICU position. Most facilities/department, if ACLS is required, would pay for your time to take the course and the course itself. It may look flashy on your resume but ACLS is one of those certification where if you are not exposed to situations where it is useful, then you will definitely lose the skills you've learned - waste of time and money.

    I would recommend taking a phlebotomy/IV insertion class, a health assessment class or CC1 if available in your area.
    MyNeologisms and ButtonNose like this.
  11. Visit  MyNeologisms profile page
    0
    Quote from Sir Flemmings
    I wouldn't recommend taking ACLS at this stage even if you are intending on seeking an Emerg or ICU position. Most facilities/department, if ACLS is required, would pay for your time to take the course and the course itself. It may look flashy on your resume but ACLS is one of those certification where if you are not exposed to situations where it is useful, then you will definitely lose the skills you've learned - waste of time and money.

    I would recommend taking a phlebotomy/IV insertion class, a health assessment class or CC1 if available in your area.
    Thanks for this post Sir Flemmings. I just passed NCLEX last week and thought of enrolling myself in ACLS class. My reason? I want to learn more and, needless to say, add something in my resume. The next (and last for this year) ACLS class near my area is in 3 weeks. After working hard for NCLEX, I feel that I need more time to prepare myself to tackle this. I might consider phlebotomy/ IV insertion class then. Any tip to pass these classes? Thanks in advance.
  12. Visit  Fiona59 profile page
    0
    Quote from MyNeologisms
    Thanks for this post Sir Flemmings. I just passed NCLEX last week and thought of enrolling myself in ACLS class. My reason? I want to learn more and, needless to say, add something in my resume. The next (and last for this year) ACLS class near my area is in 3 weeks. After working hard for NCLEX, I feel that I need more time to prepare myself to tackle this. I might consider phlebotomy/ IV insertion class then. Any tip to pass these classes? Thanks in advance.

    Well, the NCLEX isn't going to do anything to make you marketable, here in Canada.

    Why do you need an IV insertion class? It's part of the basic education
  13. Visit  Sir Flemmings profile page
    1
    Not all schools teach and allow students to practice phlebotomy or IV insertion, nor do most hospitals allow unlicensed learners (students) to practice such skills even under direct supervision from their staff. Everyone learns the theory behind such skills but rarely do students get to practice them before orientation to a place of employment. If you got to practice it as a student, you're one of the lucky few.

    Having added knowledge and skills by taking post grad certification will definitely boost your confidence and 'pad' your resume because phlebotomy and IV insertion are essential skills to most hospital care setting.
    MyNeologisms likes this.
  14. Visit  Fiona59 profile page
    0
    The IV start courses are worthless in my area. The hospital certifies you to start IVs. Every new hire gets a morning with a CNE to run through theory, get three starts and certified. Even the hires with years of experience. No hospital sign off, no iv starting.
  15. Visit  petethecanuck profile page
    1
    Thanks for the great replies, insight and discussion.

    @bustin_mine

    Yes it is through Canadian Travel Nurses and the instructor is doing a trip out to Alberta in December for testing. I was on the fence about taking this course and called the instructor to find out how the online learning and testing works etc.

    She answered all my questions and i signed up.

    I've finished the rhythm interpretation and advanced cardiac pharmacology courses and just started part 1 of the ACLS.

    Thus far, I'm really enjoying it and learning heaps!

    It could prove to be beneficial sooner rather then later as I may have a UNE job on a cardiac unit starting this Dec working casually in the winter during my final practicum.

    As for the IV certification. Not sure how it is in other programs but at the U of C we get "certified" before starting our final practicum and can start IV's under the supervision of our preceptor.

    As Fiona pointed out, still need to go through the hospital's iv certification as a new hire.

    cheers
    Fiona59 likes this.


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