Need Ideas on teaching ACLS to nursing students

  1. I teach in an ADN program at a small private college. We have no components of ACLS built into our program. Our students have expressed concern that they do not know what to do in the event of rapidly deteriorating patient conditions which may lead to a code situation. We are trying to put together a series of learning modules which will start with our Fundamental students and advance in complexity through each term of our program. We applied for a grant to purchase equipment such as a defibrillator, IV pump, cardiac rhythm simulator, etc. but we were turned down. I am wondering if anyone out ther has found ways to integrate this information into their curriculum in an inexpensive way.
    Thank you for your suggestions
  2. Visit bert0206 profile page

    About bert0206

    Joined: Apr '06; Posts: 2; Likes: 2


  3. by   sirI
    hello, bert0206 and welcome to and the nurse educator forum

    so good to have you with us.

    we utilize acls instructors to come in and actually present a discussion on acls. afterwards, we arrange for the students to become certified in an acls program.

    as for equipment, we were fortunate - i wrote and received a grant for an aed with ecg capability and simulator - from the state.

    i suggest that each instructor become acls certified and also, suggest they become certified acls ep (experienced providers). this latter course will allow you to see how the patient should be handled prior to arrest - given certain situations. this might be something you can incorporate in your lectures - on a smaller scale.

    once again, we are very glad that you chose to join
  4. by   tntrn
    As a 30 year nurse, and having taken ACLS for the first time last fall, I would say the biggest thing is do not use acronym-speak until the students at least know what the acronyms stand for and what they are.

    I felt very intimidated and humiliated every time I (and others from my department) had to raise our hand and say, "wait a minute, what does XYZ stand for?" The instructor(s) would look at us and say, "You don't know what that is?" And we'd say, "we're from OB and NO!"

    My goal in nursing life is be retired before I would have to do ACLS again, not just because of my experience in ACLS, but in part due to that.
  5. by   akulahawkRN
    I would agree with some of the above. Brinng in an outside instructor that does ACLS instruction. For prep work, I'd say that you should teach the "code meds" when doing cardiovascular and EKG instruction so that they're all more integrated. Then all that the ACLS instructor has to do is add airway and just putting it all together so that the algorithm flows.
  6. by   LearningByMistakes
    as an acls instructor since 1987 and having been involved with providing acls classes for a few nursing programs over the years, might i suggest that having an outside group of experienced acls instructors who actually use acls (codes/ critically ill pts/ etc) daily, seems to work well.

    as to having nursing instructors become acls instructors, unless they are er/critical care nurses (and actively working er/icu/ icu), this is less then useless & will not properly prepare the students for what is expected of them.

    the classes that we have provided to nursing programs involved us also providing "prep" classes (such as reading ecg's/ airway/ pharm/ etc.) so that when we started the acls "class", the students were prepared for the core material. we've always had positive responses from the students with the course we've presented this way.

    this is what we found works for us, hope it helps. good luck!