NICU nurses should take PALS...IMO

  1. I recently took the PALS course to work in PICU. It had a lot more information about running codes than NRP did. For those of you who have taken both, did you find that the PALS course was helpful?
    I really think NICU nurses need to have the mock code scenarios in PALS. The NRP was also half as long as PALS. The PALS course also covers different dysrhythmias, I know most babies don't have these, but it sure was interesting knowledge to have.

    I strongly recommend this course to any critical care nurse.
    Any thoughts?
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  2. 24 Comments

  3. by   RainDreamer
    I've never taken PALS, but we did mock codes in the NRP class I took.

    Honestly I think a lot of the NRP material doesn't even relate to nursing, as it's stuff that we can't even do.
  4. by   MA Nurse
    The mock codes we did in NRP were much easier than the ones in PALS.
    I found that PALS had better information, and it was twice as long.
  5. by   RainDreamer
    I've only ever taken the NRP starter class, the 8 hour one. I know the refresher course is only like half that.

    I'll have to keep PALS in mind, thanks.
  6. by   wjf00
    Quote from Kimbalou
    I recently took the PALS course to work in PICU. It had a lot more information about running codes than NRP did. For those of you who have taken both, did you find that the PALS course was helpful?
    I really think NICU nurses need to have the mock code scenarios in PALS. The NRP was also half as long as PALS. The PALS course also covers different dysrhythmias, I know most babies don't have these, but it sure was interesting knowledge to have.

    I strongly recommend this course to any critical care nurse.
    Any thoughts?
    Bad idea to take PALS where I work. If you're 'competent' you float. I don't maintain anything that could allow management to float me. Ignorance is bliss... and no floating.
  7. by   cherokeesummer
    I've not had either, not sure if they do that in our unit, but I would assume so? Maybe once I'm off orientation one of those types of trainings is added in? I will have to ask the educator about it.
  8. by   fergus51
    I've got my pals as well and think it is completely useless for a NICU nurse (I took it because I float to PICUs). I didn't find the mock code scenarios or the ECG interpretation useful. Frankly, I don't believe you can stay competent in that sort of thing unless you actually use it and you really don't in a NICU.
  9. by   EricJRN
    I'm a NICU nurse who teaches PALS (to non-NICU personnel), but I find that the combination of NRP and STABLE is a lot more beneficial to the NICU nurse.
  10. by   MA Nurse
    Quote from fergus51
    I've got my pals as well and think it is completely useless for a NICU nurse (I took it because I float to PICUs). I didn't find the mock code scenarios or the ECG interpretation useful. Frankly, I don't believe you can stay competent in that sort of thing unless you actually use it and you really don't in a NICU.
    Don't you ever have codes in your NICU? I found the PALS code scenarios very useful. Even though we do not usually shock a baby, we do use Epinephrine, intubate, give boluses, do CPR, etc. The NRP doesn't really go into a lot of code situations and what you would do in them. PALS gets you to think quickly about what to do if your baby/kid is crashing. Maybe it was my NRP teacher, but I found PALS to be much more helpful as far as what to do in a code. Even though codes are stressful, I think nurses should feel more comfortable about what we're doing in one, and to anticipate what to do next, which is what PALS teaches.
    I know the dysrythmia scenarios aren't too useful for NICU, but we do sometimes have babies with SVT. Now if I have a baby with some kind of weird ECG, I might notice it...whereas most NICU nurses without PALS may not. (Unless you learned it in nursing school) We didn't go over ECG's much at all in school.
    I took PALS to float to the PICU, too. I think it will benefit me in the long run.
  11. by   MA Nurse
    Quote from EricEnfermero
    I'm a NICU nurse who teaches PALS (to non-NICU personnel), but I find that the combination of NRP and STABLE is a lot more beneficial to the NICU nurse.
    What is STABLE?
  12. by   MA Nurse
    Quote from cherokeesummer
    I've not had either, not sure if they do that in our unit, but I would assume so? Maybe once I'm off orientation one of those types of trainings is added in? I will have to ask the educator about it.
    NICU's usually won't offer PALS...unless you're interested in working in a PICU, then their educators might offer it. Or you can take a class on your own.
  13. by   fergus51
    Quote from Kimbalou
    Don't you ever have codes in your NICU? I found the PALS code scenarios very useful. Even though we do not usually shock a baby, we do use Epinephrine, intubate, give boluses, do CPR, etc. The NRP doesn't really go into a lot of code situations and what you would do in them. PALS gets you to think quickly about what to do if your baby/kid is crashing. Maybe it was my NRP teacher, but I found PALS to be much more helpful as far as what to do in a code. Even though codes are stressful, I think nurses should feel more comfortable about what we're doing in one, and to anticipate what to do next, which is what PALS teaches.
    I know the dysrythmia scenarios aren't too useful for NICU, but we do sometimes have babies with SVT. Now if I have a baby with some kind of weird ECG, I might notice it...whereas most NICU nurses without PALS may not. (Unless you learned it in nursing school) We didn't go over ECG's much at all in school.
    I took PALS to float to the PICU, too. I think it will benefit me in the long run.

    Of course we do codes. I work in a LARGE unit. We covered all those scenarios in NRP and that was specific to neonates as was STABLE. I suspect it was your teacher. I think SVT is pretty obvious, I recognized that in babies long before I took PALS. The rest (other than bradys, asystole, tachys or PVCs) are really hard if not impossible to diagnose off the ECG monitors most NICUs use and because NICU nurses see them so infrequently. It could also be because I worked NICU for years before taking PALS, but I just don't find it to be relevant enough to NICU. I think NRP and STABLE are way better. If your NRP didn't go into detail about epi, boluses, CPR and different code situations then you didn't get a very good course.

    You can google STABLE on the internet. It's a course specific to neonates and basically goes over everything you should be doing to initially stabilize your babies (Sugar, Temp, Airway, BP, Labwork, Emotional support). I could see how newer nurses would like pals, but if you've been in the unit for a long time I don't think it's particularly valuable. You should already know how to code a baby.
    Last edit by fergus51 on Oct 3, '07
  14. by   RainDreamer
    Quote from Kimbalou
    The NRP doesn't really go into a lot of code situations and what you would do in them. PALS gets you to think quickly about what to do if your baby/kid is crashing.
    The NRP class I took went into all of this, quite a bit actually ..... and we did mock codes.

    I agree that STABLE is a great class, very interesting.
    Last edit by RainDreamer on Oct 3, '07

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