ACLS reassurance needed

  1. I am taking a two day ACLS class in the south Bay Area tomorrow. I am nervous, FEEL SOOOOO UNPREPARED, and scared of not passing. I've been reviewing the book, and re-did the pre-tests several times but, yet, I am still not comfortable with EKG interpretations, knowing the next step of the algorithms, or drugs/dosages. I am having to look up almost every answer in the book as I go through the EKG, drug and application pre-test questions. Even though I know each company runs their ACLS course differently, can someone share their experience with me? How much knowledge and skills will they expect me to have tomorrow? I am starting for feel sick to my stomach and hope I won't be so scared and not show up tomorrow. Anyone who has taken their ACLS class, PLEASE tell me what was your experience. (Note: I hope I have some nice and helpful instructors tomorrow.) Thanks.
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    About blessed_RN

    Joined: Feb '09; Posts: 37; Likes: 6

    11 Comments

  3. by   HeartsOpenWide
    I am only a student (for three more days) and I found ACLS to be fairly easy. I used my "ECG Made Incredibly Easy" to help me study for the heart rhythm strips. Did you get the hand book with the algorithms? Makes it fairly easy if you study those. Just memorize the drugs. The only pre-req is BLS with AED...can't be too hard.
  4. by   caliotter3
    If you are taking the course at Heartshare on Winchester Bl in San Jose, relax, the instructors are good and help you get through the course. Have your taken an ECG class? Be sure to learn the strips on the CD. Memorize the algorithms and practice saying the scenarios out loud. You'll do ok.
  5. by   loricatus
    ACLS is very 'user friendly' now, so please take it easy and enjoy what you will learn. You should be walked through everything first and with some instructors, you aren't even made aware that you are doing the megacode for real.

    Basically, you will need to recognize lethal rhythms versus non-lethal one.

    Lethal that get shocked are v-fib and v-tach
    No shock for asystole, just start with epi
    What's the drug for a bradycardia?
    Now, what will you use for SVT symptomatic versus the treatment (hint) for asymptomatic?

    See, just break it down into manageable pieces in your mind.

    This is a good site to test yourself:
    http://www.acls.net/

    Here are some snippets
    [YOUTUBE]d2Cz8GfNa5A[/YOUTUBE]

    [YOUTUBE]fPZbc95scms[/YOUTUBE]

    [YOUTUBE]68S0qNC9XdM[/YOUTUBE]

    And, now to lighten you up:
    [YOUTUBE]N8QkwED-zU8[/YOUTUBE]
    [YOUTUBE]1xdzS95VkWU[/YOUTUBE]

    Good luck. It can really be fun and you will leave with the tools to save a life.
  6. by   blessed_RN
    Thanks everyone for your reassuring words. Yes, I am taking the class through Heartshare and will do my best to apply ALL of the suggestions mentioned above, before I go to sleep tonight. I was not able to take the EKG class offered through Heartshare b/c of insufficient funds. I learned about EKGs in early Fall 2008, graduated Dec 2008 and am currently unemployed, so it's been awhile since I've been around this stuff. Thanks so much for your words of encouragement. "I can do it, I can do it."
  7. by   50caliber
    Quote from caliotter3
    If you are taking the course at Heartshare on Winchester Bl in San Jose, relax, the instructors are good and help you get through the course. Have your taken an ECG class? Be sure to learn the strips on the CD. Memorize the algorithms and practice saying the scenarios out loud. You'll do ok.
    I took mine there and yes they will walk you through it. Everybody that took it that day passed. Relax and have fun.
  8. by   loricatus
    Well, how did it go?
  9. by   blessed_RN
    first day was okay. i was really nervous as i was the last team leader in my practice group at the end of the day. even though i'm doing much better with the ekg strips on the cd, i'm still having some difficulties reading the ekg on the actual monitor, and hope it won't mess me up during the megacode tomorrow. does anyone have any suggestions? i'm not sure what to expect for the written portion of the test, so if anyone can give me any guidance on what to focus, i'd appreciate it too. i am a bundle of nerves and hope i will be acls certified tomorrow. i hope things will click in a little more tonight b/c even though i really want to pass, more-so, i want to prove that i am competent in my acls skills and knowledge.
  10. by   loricatus
    Update please?

    I know you made it through; but, dying to hear details.
  11. by   blessed_RN
    Quote from loricatus
    Update please?
    I know you made it through; but, dying to hear details.
    I am ACLS certified!! What an awesome feeling to know I accomplished this goal of mine. A little background, I signed up for the class three weeks ago and ordered the book the same day. Now, having gone through the class, I wish I would've given myself more time to learn/understand what was going on with the heart in all the different EKG readings PRIOR to class. There was A LOT of information given in class so I studied, studied, and studied last night. Before I put my book away, I'm going to review and make sure I have good summaries of my notes so when I re-certify in two years, prepping won't be as 'painful'. Aside from the nervousness and a bit of stress, overall, I'd have to say it was 'fun & exciting' b/c I learned soooo much.
  12. by   caliotter3
    Good for you!
  13. by   loricatus
    Quote from blessed_RN
    I am ACLS certified!! What an awesome feeling to know I accomplished this goal of mine. A little background, I signed up for the class three weeks ago and ordered the book the same day. Now, having gone through the class, I wish I would've given myself more time to learn/understand what was going on with the heart in all the different EKG readings PRIOR to class. There was A LOT of information given in class so I studied, studied, and studied last night. Before I put my book away, I'm going to review and make sure I have good summaries of my notes so when I re-certify in two years, prepping won't be as 'painful'. Aside from the nervousness and a bit of stress, overall, I'd have to say it was 'fun & exciting' b/c I learned soooo much.


    Sooooo, when are you signing up for PALS

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