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ACLS question

Posted
by RNMeg RNMeg Member Nurse

Specializes in NeuroICU/SICU/MICU.

I'm a BSN student going into my final year (starting this Fall). I've passed all my Med/Surg courses, pharmacology, etc. with A's (and a B in advanced med/surg).

I don't have anything school-related to do this summer, so I'm thinking about taking an ACLS course. My question is, at this point in my education, am I prepared for it? What do they teach, and what do I need in my background to pass? Should I wait until I'm a licensed nurse and have some nursing experience?

Thank you for any insight you can offer :specs::loveya:

I would wait until you are on the floor. At this point you are just going to be memorizing to pass the class where on the floor you can see and apply what you have learned from the class such as drugs, ekg strips etc. You at least have to have BLS to take the course I believe..

RNMeg

Specializes in NeuroICU/SICU/MICU.

I actually already have BLS, it's required for my program. Thanks for your response, though, that makes sense :up:

Higgs

Specializes in Med/surg. ED. Palliative. Geront. Has 20 years experience.

If you're doing well in school, then why not take a summer off and enjoy doing nothing? Once you graduate and you start all those long shifts, some sunny summer beach memories will be invaluable! :)

RNMeg

Specializes in NeuroICU/SICU/MICU.

Higgs, that's a very good point..it's so hard to turn off the school/overachiever part of me for 3 whole months! :bugeyes:

MassED, BSN, RN

Specializes in ER. Has 15 years experience.

I'm a BSN student going into my final year (starting this Fall). I've passed all my Med/Surg courses, pharmacology, etc. with A's (and a B in advanced med/surg).

I don't have anything school-related to do this summer, so I'm thinking about taking an ACLS course. My question is, at this point in my education, am I prepared for it? What do they teach, and what do I need in my background to pass? Should I wait until I'm a licensed nurse and have some nursing experience?

Thank you for any insight you can offer :specs::loveya:

I'd suggest you wait until you have experience as a nurse before you take the course. Of course, you might do great on it.

k_gabelko_FNP

Specializes in Med-surg, ICU, PACU, psych, surgery. Has 15 years experience.

Why don't you just take it easy or study a foreign language or take an exotic cooking class or learn scuba, etc etc. I took ACLS as a brand new grad and it was most unpleasant. I agree with the other nurses who said to wait til you're on a tele floor. When I went to work in tele and took the class it was so much more relevant and thus I found it easier. Now, 15 years down the road, I just renewed my ACLS for the 8th time and I actually enjoyed it. But I will never forget how nervous I was that first time, how stupid I felt... and how unnecessary it was that I do that. Your last year in nursing school is going to be quite challenging, I wouldn't stress myself anymore than I had to.

I wish you luck in your program and congratulate you on your career choice. Katrina :specs:

Aneroo, LPN

Specializes in Cath Lab, OR, CPHN/SN, ER.

I would wait.

1- You want some experience to back it up (constantly looking at strips, analyzing causes, etc).

2- Your facility will probably pay for it. :)

Why wait? ACLS is not exactly a class for the medical genius. BLS is the primary emphasis with medications significantly de-emphasized. Intubation is no more important than mask techniques or supra-glottic airways. In addition, the super hard strip analysis component of ACLS consists of very basic rhythms and being able to tell a shockable rhythm from a non-shockable rhythm. Asystole versus ventricular fibrillation anybody?

ACLS is more of a review of current AHA recommendations than a strict educational experience. In addition, nearly any level of provider can take ACLS from Basic EMT's to physicians.

ACLS is a one day basic level course. You should do fine if you choose to take ACLS.

Music in My Heart

Specializes in being a Credible Source. Has 11 years experience.

I'd say take it. As a new grad you need anything you can get in order to set yourself apart from the legion of competition. Having your ACLS shows that you're a go-getter and are doing everything you can to learn as much as you can, as fast as you can.

Of course you'd get more out of it with experience but having it might make it a bit easier to get that experience in the present (and likely continuing) job market. Now is not the time to take it easy over the summer; now is the time to bust your a** and set yourself apart from the crowd.

RNMeg

Specializes in NeuroICU/SICU/MICU.

As a new grad you need anything you can get in order to set yourself apart from the legion of competition.

See, this is what I was thinking. I'm hoping it will help me with my capstone/preceptorship placement, and also jobs after I graduate.

johnst10

Specializes in Pain mgmt, PCU. Has 25 years experience.

I would have to agree with those who say wait. Taking the course will show initiative, but it most likely will not help you as much as it will once you have started working. In fact, as a manager, I might wonder if you are just trying to KB, not really wanting to apply the knowledge by taking ACLS before you even graduate. :twocents:

Good gravy, you live is Tuscon. There must be more to do there than sit in air conditioning and study. Or were you going to read poolside? :chuckle

kwong30

Specializes in ICU. Has 2 years experience.

See, this is what I was thinking. I'm hoping it will help me with my capstone/preceptorship placement, and also jobs after I graduate.

I think you should just enjoy your summer. Take ACLS when you get hired into the unit that requires it so you get reimbursed. ACLS is not a difficult course and I think everyone passes. The other 2 new grads did not take ACLS nor was it asked during a job interview.

Great question, I just started considering looking into this as well. I just finished my first year in an ADN program, and wanted to do all I could to become more marketable. With everything people have been saying about being not being able to find a job as a RN and not having any previous medical experience, I feel that I really need to get my ACLS. I can understand where everyone else is coming from, I'd love a summer break. But I personally think we'll be kicking ourselves when we can't find a job after we graduate. If you can afford the course, then I say do it! At least you know you've done everything you can to better yourself. You still have to recertify for ACLS, so I don't know why getting it early would be negative in any way. You might not get as much out it initally as others already on the floors, but you will eventually and have that background to start with.

I took it about six months into the job, and found it invaluable. I wish I'd taken it before, but the truth is, I would have had absolute nothing to apply it to.

I was scary, though, to work on the floor without it. After having it taken it, my confidence level and ability to handle situations went up 200%. I advise it for anyone, especially on a tele floor. If they dont pay for it, pay to go through it yourself.

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