Open Book Pals Testing

Posted
by DavidW DavidW (New) New Nurse

Specializes in Pediatrics. Has 26 years experience.

Do all employers offering and requiring AHA PALS testing have to offer the open book option? My employer refuses to let us use the book. The course being offered is an AHA PALS renewal course

caliotter3

38,333 Posts

Open book was not an option when I took the course many years ago. I’ll bet that is more an instructor move because they don’t want to spend a lot of time remediating students. Our instructors remediated to passing (or near passing) in a non-stressful approach. Same for ACLS and I imagine, their other courses.

Silverdragon102, BSN

Specializes in Medical and general practice now LTC. Has 34 years experience. 1 Article; 39,477 Posts

Moved to the General Nursing forum

brownbook

brownbook

Has 37 years experience. 3,413 Posts

I'm assuming you have taken PALS before and were allowed to have an open book test. Were you allowed open book for the mega code test? Or were you allowed open book for the written test? Or both?

Anyway, a hospital that offers and requires PALS can put any restrictions on the testing (as long as it follows AHA guidelines) that it wants.

You can always take PALS through an independent entity. There are several in my large urban area. You will probably have to pay for it, or maybe your employer would reimburse you?

I've taken PALS and ACLS with a very fun, funny, independent facility. Run by an extremely funny, easy going, paramedic. I love it. Once I took it through my hospital. They were very, VERY, strict. Honestly I learn, remember, pass, PALS much better with the funny humourous paramedic.

We were allowed to look at our books or notes for the MEGA code. Not for the written test.

Guest219794

Guest219794

2,453 Posts

The open book test is a joke.

They did not make it especially hard before making it open book. They just took a test that wasn't all that hard in the first place, then allowed testers to look up the answers. Literally every answer is in the book.

Being in the position of working a pediatric code is not for everybody. Passing the open book test is a pretty low bar, compared to working a pediatric code.

But- in answer to your question- it does seem odd that the hospital can essentially alter the AHA guidelines. Of course, they could always require the closed book test to allow a nurse to use the credential.

kp2016

kp2016

Has 20 years experience. 461 Posts

The Pals exam really isn’t very hard so I wouldn’t be too worried about taking it.

RyanCarolinaBoy

RyanCarolinaBoy, ADN, BSN, MSN

Specializes in ICU. Has 17 years experience. 182 Posts

Ummm...is there going to be an OPEN BOOK on the crash cart when you are the responding RN responsible to code a patient using the concepts covered on the exam?

pardon my bluntness, but if you don’t plan to know the concepts inside and out, your certification is useless.

In general AHA allows the test to be open book, but it's also discretion of the facility/instructor. Our ACLS and PALS were not open book. The pretest is very helpful and I found it extremely similar to the actual written test. The book is not very drawn out, it's pretty simple and to the point. I would go through and read the important points.

MunoRN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 10 years experience. 8,058 Posts

2 hours ago, RyanCarolinaBoy said:

Ummm...is there going to be an OPEN BOOK on the crash cart when you are the responding RN responsible to code a patient using the concepts covered on the exam?

pardon my bluntness, but if you don’t plan to know the concepts inside and out, your certification is useless.

Yes there should be algorithm cards on any crash cart and staff should be in the habit of utilizing them during a code. This is why the AHA now encourages "open book" tests, maybe more accurately referred to as "open algorithm" tests.

brownbook

brownbook

Has 37 years experience. 3,413 Posts

2 hours ago, MunoRN said:

Yes there should be algorithm cards on any crash cart and staff should be in the habit of utilizing them during a code. This is why the AHA now encourages "open book" tests, maybe more accurately referred to as "open algorithm" tests.

This times a hundred.

With ten being Super Nurse who, "knows the concept inside and out", and one being a nurse who has to have ACLS/PALS but has never seen a real code. Most nurses are somewhere in the middle.

In the stress of a code, staff need to efficiently follow the appropriate algorithm card. The more familiar they are with which algorithm to choose and how to follow it, the better the outcome.