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6 Must have Skills for Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS)

Nov 15, 2023 | Certificates

When it comes to advanced cardiac life support (ACLS), being prepared can make all the difference. Whether you’re a medical professional seeking to enhance your life-saving skills, or someone interested in understanding the complexities of ACLS, this blog will serve as your comprehensive guide to the skills and training required for this critical protocol.

We’ll explore what ACLS is, who needs it, and the necessary skills and training to become proficient. Let’s start…

Understanding Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS)

ACLS is a set of clinical interventions for the urgent treatment of cardiac arrest, stroke, and other life-threatening cardiovascular emergencies. This protocol is often employed by healthcare professionals such as doctors, nurses, paramedics, and EMTs.

Who Needs ACLS Training?

Healthcare Professionals: ACLS is a fundamental skill for healthcare providers, particularly those working in emergency rooms, critical care units, and other high-intensity medical settings. This includes doctors, nurses, and paramedics.

Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs): EMTs must be trained in ACLS to provide advanced care during pre-hospital emergencies.

Bystanders: Anyone can benefit from ACLS training because cardiac arrest can happen anywhere, at any time. In fact, trained bystanders often initiate life-saving care before medical professionals arrive.

Now that we know who needs ACLS training, let’s delve into the skills and training required to master this critical protocol.

Essential Skills for ACLS

Basic Life Support (BLS):

Certainly! Mastering Basic Life Support (BLS) is like building a strong foundation for your house – without it, everything else might crumble. BLS is all about the fundamental skills that can save a life in those crucial minutes before advanced help arrives.

Here’s what you need to know:

Chest Compressions: Think of chest compressions as the heart’s backup dancers. When the heart stops beating, you take center stage by pressing down hard and fast on the chest. This rhythmic action helps pump blood through the body, keeping the vital organs, like the brain, oxygenated. It’s physically demanding, but those compressions can make all the difference.

Rescue Breaths: Imagine you’re giving a breath of life to someone in need. Rescue breaths involve gently breathing air into a person’s lungs if they’re not breathing on their own. It’s like giving them a little oxygen boost to keep their body going until professional help arrives.

Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs): AEDs are like those smart gadgets that can shock a heart back into its regular rhythm. They’re incredibly user-friendly, often providing voice instructions to guide you through the process. Using an AED can be a game-changer for someone experiencing a sudden cardiac arrest. Now, next are…

EKG Interpretation

In ACLS, EKGs are like a medical roadmap. Providers need to be skilled at interpreting these heart rhythm graphs, much like reading a map for directions. This helps spot irregularities and guides the right treatment, ensuring that every heartbeat counts in saving a life.

Pharmacology Knowledge

In ACLS, knowing your medications is like having a well-stocked toolbox. Understanding when to use drugs like epinephrine and amiodarone, their proper doses, and potential side effects is vital. Epinephrine is often administered to boost the heart’s rhythm, while amiodarone helps stabilize irregular heartbeats. It’s akin to choosing the right tool for the job, ensuring that these medications work effectively in life-saving scenarios.

Airway Management

In ACLS, keeping the airway clear and ensuring proper oxygen supply is a cornerstone. Think of it as ensuring a clear path for air to reach the lungs. Sometimes, advanced techniques like endotracheal intubation or using supraglottic airway devices are necessary to secure the airway and maintain optimal oxygen levels. These skills are crucial for patient survival during critical moments.

Cardioversion and Defibrillation:

Being proficient in synchronized cardioversion and defibrillation is like having superhero powers. Synchronized cardioversion helps stabilize unstable heart rhythms, ensuring they beat in harmony. On the other hand, defibrillation is the electric shock that can “reboot” a chaotic heart, like jump-starting a car. These skills are life-saving tools in the ACLS toolbox, essential for treating critical cardiac conditions.

Teamwork and Communication

Teamwork is the secret ingredient for success. Picture it as a high-stakes orchestra performance, where each member plays a crucial role. Effective communication and collaboration among healthcare professionals in these intense situations are like the harmonious notes that create a life-saving symphony. It ensures that everyone works together seamlessly, maximizing the chances of a successful outcome for the patient.

Mastering ACLS Training: Your Path to Life-Saving Proficiency

Certification Courses:

We at Paramedic Academy by BizTech College offer high-level ACLS certification courses in Ontario, Canada.

Our tailored course are designed with you in mind, offering in-person segments. Our course enables you to learn at your preferred convenience, and diving into hands-on, interactive training.

Classroom Instruction:

Our in-person ACLS course is like a real-life rehearsal stage for healthcare professionals. It offers a structured setting to hone skills, run through scenarios, stay updated on the latest protocols, and most importantly, receive invaluable feedback from experienced instructors. It’s where expertise is fine-tuned for real-world emergencies.

Simulation Training:

Simulated ACLS scenarios are like lifelike dress rehearsals for real emergencies. We provide a safe space to put your knowledge and skills into action, mirroring the chaos and challenges of genuine medical crises. These simulations are a critical bridge, ensuring you’re ready for the unpredictable nature of actual emergencies.

Renewal and Continuing Education:

Our ACLS certification issued by renowned organization Heart and Stroke Foundation is usually valid for 2 years. To maintain proficiency, healthcare professionals must attend refresher courses and stay up to date with the latest guidelines.

Additional Considerations every Healthcare Professionals Must-Have

Equipment Familiarity

You must be proficient in using medical equipment like defibrillators, airway devices, and monitors. Training on these tools is typically integrated into ACLS courses.

Ethical and Legal Aspects

Healthcare experts should understand the ethical and legal considerations that come with making critical decisions during emergencies, such as do-not-resuscitate (DNR) orders.


Providing ACLS can be emotionally and physically demanding. Healthcare providers must also receive training in self-care to cope with the stress and trauma they may encounter.

Final Verdict!

Advanced Cardiac Life Support is a set of life-saving techniques and interventions that are essential for healthcare professionals and can be a valuable skill for bystanders as well. To excel in ACLS, one must master a range of skills, from basic life support to advanced pharmacology and teamwork.

The path to ACLS proficiency involves formal training and certification, which can be obtained through organizations or academies. Regular refresher courses are crucial to stay updated with the latest guidelines and maintain certification.

The skills and training required for ACLS are not just about saving lives but also about providing compassionate and competent care during critical moments. By mastering these skills and continuously improving, you can become a guardian of life, ready to act swiftly and confidently in times of crisis. Reach out to us now!

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