- by Bitsy07 Jul 26, '12I have been a nurse almost 5 yrs. I was in home care for 3 yrs and just went back to the hospital in January. Oncology...I have multiple classes to take before December. ACLS being one of them. I have to take the class next week. I was briefly reading the manual and feel overwhelmed. Like it is over may head. I am concerned I will not be ready but have no choice as it is required. Any tips?
- Jul 26, '12 by mmmRNCheck if any libraries in your area have any books or videos about ACLS. The library at the community college in my area has several videos that are helpful especially if you are a visual learner. In addition, they may have books or study guides that present the information in a different or simpler manner. Good luck!
- Jul 27, '12 by Good Morning, GilI was nervous when I took the course, too, but it's really not that bad. I studied the manual, and it was fine. Everyone worries about the test, but if you passed your nursing board, you can pass the test. It's one of those things: do it once, and it won't be a big deal when you're up for your recert in 2 years. I was more nervous about the megacode than I was the test (since I'm a good test taker), and was more nervous doing something dumb, getting nervous in front of people I don't know lol. (how dumb is it that I was more nervous for a fake code? lol, I'm really calm during actual codes lol). But I ended up doing well, and it was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed the megacode.
Point being: nothing is ever as bad as we think it's going to be. And, when something is bad, it's generally not the times/things we're expecting lol.
Best of luck! It's a good thing to have. Hope you enjoy your new job!
- Jul 30, '12 by Bitsy07Thanks
- Jul 30, '12 by tokmomI sweated taking ACLS. When it came down to it, it was not that bad. The megacode wasn't bad either.
ACLS used to be horrible. All memorization and in front of MD's.
- Jul 30, '12 by classicdameYou should be able to ask questions during the first sessions. Don't be shy. Others are probably wondering the same thing. Pay attention to the checklists that are in the manual and be able to do tasks in that order. Also, pay attention to the red boxes labeled "critical concepts". Lots of questions come from there. Take the online test multiple times so you get exposed to more and more questions (some you will see again!). Talk the code out loud. In a real code that is what we do. (well, sometimes more like screaming than talking). Most people who bother to worry about the course do well. Good luck!
- Jul 30, '12 by Do-overThe megacodes were done in teams for my class, so I wasn't alone. In my class, each person on the team rotated roles - and the newbie (me) was last to run the code. In other words, I got to see 3 other experienced RNs/RTs run a megacode before I did.
I always like memory tricks (but I don't know if these are still correct with the "new"ACLS... A few I remember -- PEA = Push Epi then Atropine. Atropine = "zero point five(mg) if alive (bradycardia), otherwise give 1mg.
Hopefully, your experience will be like mine - my trainers wanted us to learn and I did.
I also took a basic ECG recognition class right before - this helped me tremendously.
This reminds me, my next one is coming up - probably should study a bit.
- Jul 30, '12 by Do-overQuote from tokmomThe first time I attempted it years ago (I was working on becoming a paramedic then) I quit after the first day. The class was full of physicians and experienced RNs and I was completely lost. I was doing it as part of my program requirements, but had only student clinical experience at that point. I was glad that I had been working on the floor for a couple of months before I took it as a nurse.ACLS used to be horrible. All memorization and in front of MD's.
- Jul 30, '12 by turnforthenurseRNQuote from Do-overThey have gone away from using Atropine during a cardiac arrest event, typically only given for bradycardia now. You will still see it given, though.I always like memory tricks (but I don't know if these are still correct with the "new"ACLS... A few I remember -- PEA = Push Epi then Atropine. Atropine = "zero point five(mg) if alive (bradycardia), otherwise give 1mg.
Be sure to know your H's & T's. Otherwise, just keep going through the algorithms. My ACLS class was in one day instead of two, and for the first part we went around in groups and discussed the bradycardia algorithm, tachycardia algorithm and cardiac arrest. During the megacode you should be in a group and each person takes turn being the code leader. I was nervous at first but looking back, it wasn't that bad. Good luck!
- Jul 31, '12 by all517I'm currently in my last semester of my BSN program, will grad in Dec. Can I obtain ACLS certs now??? Or do I need to have my official RN license first? If anyone knows... Thanks in advance!