Why does everyone need to be ACLS cert?

  1. There has been a push at hospitals in my area for ALL nurses to be ACLS certified. There are repercussions for those who choose not to do the training. Fewer hours, more w/e, and generally not treated as well. I can understand the PEDs floor, ICU, ER, Cath lab..... but just plain old med surg, I don't understand. There is a code team, so it's not like there aren't enough RNs to respond. Is this a trend everywhere?
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    About imintrouble

    Joined: Dec '09; Posts: 2,904; Likes: 9,251
    RN; from US
    Specialty: 16 year(s) of experience in LTC Rehab Med/Surg


  3. by   himilayaneyes
    I do believe requiring all nurses to have ACLS is a trend in hospitals now. Yes, there is a code team at your hospital. However, if the patient needs something right away before the code team gets there who's going to give the drug...you can't if ur not ACLS certified. Codes do happen on a med-surg floor, labor and delivery, and so on. And although rare we have had two codes on my floor at the same time...so if med-surg happens to call a code at that time.....who's coming (not me...plus the people not in the code are watching the other patients)...hope there are some ACLS certified nurses over there to run the code. Every health care worker needs to know what to do. This also decreases liability for the hospital. It's a good thing, it'll save more lives. Instead of pts being in unstable SVT on a med-surg floor on the other side of the hospital, but the ICU is on the other side of the hospital (a journey at my facility). Why wait for the patient to get worse when those med-surg nurses can do something about it right then and there? I'm all for it. It's all about patient safety Plus, ACLS isn't that big of a deal. I just renewed mine. Since it'll be required for your job, they should pay for the class and pay you to attend....all good things in my book.

    P.S. A lot of hospital are moving towards cardiac monitors being on every floor as well. Continuous telemetry for all patients. Any area with monitors must have ACLS certified nurses.
  4. by   canesdukegirl
    I have not seen this push in my hospital but would certainly wholeheartedly support it. I hope this trend continues.
  5. by   netglow
    I've heard this on interviews. When I ask, what type of pts do you have in your tele unit (me, hopefully they won't say a lot of ETOH!!!) the answer has been that all floors are tele.... so you will become ACLS certified with in one month of hire.
  6. by   roser13
    " but just plain old med surg, I don't understand. There is a code team, so it's not like there aren't enough RNs to respond. Is this a trend everywhere? "

    Trend or not, all RN's should be able/willing to respond to a code situation. What if the code team is delayed? Wouldn't you be more comfortable if you had ACLS/PALS certification?

    IMHO, all RN's should be capable of responding to a code of any type. Those who are reluctant should be employed in other areas.
  7. by   classicdame
    plain ole med surg is where a lot of codes begin - just knowing how to get started and what to expect can save time and add to your own confidence.
  8. by   MattiesMama
    Why are people refusing the training? Do you have to pay for it out of pocket or does the hospital provide it?
  9. by   RNDreamer
    It's not required for us, but I plan to take it anyway since it's free, and I think it will help me to feel more confident if there were a situation on my floor.
  10. by   imintrouble
    The hospital does pay for it, but I have reservations for several reasons. There is always the possibility that I would be pulled to tele, or ICU if I have ACLS behind my name. If I wanted to work in such stressful areas I would already be there. I do not handle stress well. I've been a med/surg nurse long enough that there's very little that can be thrown at me that I can't handle. It's a personal choice...ACLS..that I didn't sign up for and I mildly resent it being pushed. It angers me that the nurse I am, what I contribute, is not good enough without those 4 initials.
    Having read the above posts, I may have to stop whining and comply.
  11. by   OCNRN63
    It's really not that big a deal. You're not signing "ACLS" after your name. Getting more knowledge is never a bad thing.
  12. by   MattiesMama
    Hm...ok I admit I'm naive to hospital politics and policies but why would they pull you from med surg to work in an acute care unit? Can they really do that without your consent?

    I think you are personalizing it too much...I doubt they think you are "less of a nurse" if you don't have it. But I also think it's a valuable cert to have under your belt-you said yourself that you don't handle emergency situations well, but they can happen in any setting, and wouldn't you feel more comfortable knowing you were prepared to respond just in case?
  13. by   JBudd
    ACLS is just taking the next steps after starting CPR (BLS). It doesn't automatically qualify you for tele or especially ICU.

    It doesn't give you any more "power" or "authority" to give any drugs you can't already give as an RN, it just teaches which, what and when to use the specific cardiac emergency drugs that are currently being used.

    The course has been so simplified that it is easily doable, and learnable; much easier than the orginal Megacode-stress-you-out for 2 days that it used to be.
  14. by   Ellekat
    I would welcome everyone having ACLS; I just re-cerified and had to do it on my own time, paid for by me. They will pay for PALS, as we have pediatric on our floor, but don't consider ACLS "necessary" for med/surg. I don't pretend to be totally competent in ACLS within a few months, but feel any knowledge I obtain is helpful. It has been greatly streamlined; you might find that it's not as stressful as it would have been years ago.