I work in staff development in a 150 bed acute care hospital. I am thinking about using the Heartcode ACLs Anywhere Program as an alternative to the traditional instructor-led course.
Are you using the Heartcode ACLS Anywhere Program?
If so, I am curious what your thoughts are regarding the program.
What has worked well and what hasn't?
Thanks for your time!
Nov 19, '08
First, who will pay for the course? Our hospital allows employees to attend our classes free, but we do not pay them to take the online courses.
Taking the course online gets you the didactics and written test only. The student still needs check off for skills and it must be done within a specific time frame. How will you manage that? We do not have enough educators, space, equipment, & time to have competency labs only. Remember, you would need various instructors and they must all be certified.
A few of our staff have done the online courses then come to the last day of the provider course, or the afternoon of the renewal course, to do the skills. It is really hard to walk in cold turkey with no practice.
I think there is a market for this method in larger hospitals with more resources, but it does not work for us.
Nov 24, '08
Where I work the hospital would need to pay for the course. The union contract for the nurses guarantees that required courses (such as ACLS for some of the nurses) will be paid for by the hospital. This is one of the reasons the program has not yet been available to the staff.
We will be offering the BLS online course in 2009. The BLS and the ACLS Heartcode are now both available for the initial provider as well as renewal. We will not be implementing the BLS renewal due to costs, but the Initial Provider will be available. I was thinking we might be able to do this with the Heartcode as well, but I am interested in hearing how others are dealing with the expense.
For our BLS program, we plan to schedule people for their skills check prior to issuing them an access code to the online course. For both ACLS and BLS a skills check must be done within 60 days after the online didactic portion is completed. We offer BLS every month, so I am hoping we will be able to catch up with those who don't show up for the first session they are scheduled for. We will see...
We plan to conduct the skills lab sessions after the renewal courses are completed on the same day. This will help with instructor time, equipment, etc. For ACLS, I agree this would be more difficult. I am curious if anyone has tried adding an instructor to the afternoon megacode session, and checking off those who did their course online during that time.
It sounds like this is difficult for participants that you have done this with. What about physicians, or others who are fairly comfortable with their skills (like an ICU charge nurse)? In our hospital the ICU charge nurses act as team leaders. Do they have a better success rate?
Thanks for your reply! I appreciate you taking the time to give me feedback.
Dec 2, '08
Our organization is using HearCode ACLS at several facilities and we like it a lot. We are using it for both didactic and demo via manikin. Cards are issued directly from the provider, so we don't have to have our own local programs & instructors at each facility. It is entirely web-based now, so this makes the technical set up much easier. It does require some plug-ins to run, so you will have to make sure your IT folks are involved in the set up. The manikin hookups can be a little tricky, but not difficult to figure out.
We are using it for initial and re-certs. According to our nurses, it provides a superior experience, allowing them time to explore concepts and practice as much as they want... which didn't always happen in the traditional environment.
We are footing the bill for nurses that are required to have ACLS cert for their jobs. The cost is less than sending them somewhere else or having to maintain our own program.
Dec 2, '08
rbezemek: In this scenario, who is the provider responsible for the cards? Do you buy or rent the mankins? Any idea on cost? This sounds like a good alternative plan for us.
Right now we are a training center for AHA and offer the full range of courses, including the ENA courses. But that is only because we have ONE educator who is certified in EVERYTHING and is able to train-the-trainers as well. I would like to find ways to save money.
Dec 5, '08
Cards come from AHA if the full course (didactic & practicum) is completed.. or from the CTC who oversees the practicum (if only the didactic is online). If you want additional info, contact your Laerdal rep.. they are the company that handles all of the manikins and software.
When we purchased the programs, the manikins were included in the deal. We just had to supply the computers/laptops to connect them to.
I agree, its very hard to maintain an adquate faculty group - especially for multiple programs. We never have enough educators to fully staff the programs so we have to rely on 'volunteers'. Some of our facilities provide incentives to faculty - and they have the best luck. Incentives range from $ (per student or per-class pay) to 'points' for career ladder portfolios. Least successfull -- mandates from supervisors.
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