ACLS is an abbreviation for ‘Advanced Cardiac Life Support’ and is a reference to a set of procedures for responding to individuals who have suffered cardiac arrest, stroke, or other life-threatening medical emergencies. This may sound the similar to CPR certification, or Basic Life Support (BLS) certification, but ACLS in a much more advanced knowledge and skill-set, which even includes administering medication, and is generally reserved for Healthcare Providers.

The ACLS course includes basic life support skills, using an AED, early management of respiratory and cardiac arrest, airway management, related pharmacology. Not only are you taught these medical skills but you will also learn how to effectively manage, and even lead, a resuscitation team.

Advanced Cardiac Life Support

Everything You Need to Know About ACLS Certification

The training required to become ACLS certified is considered to be rigorous but a certified individual has a very real responsibility therefore extensive training and testing in required.

Jobs That Require ACLS Certification

Many jobs in the healthcare industry require an ACLS certification. If you have been looking for jobs, you may have also noticed that oftentimes BLS is a requirement while ACLS is ‘preferred’ meaning that being ACLS certified can certainly give you an edge for successfully landing that dream job. Always check with your employer or with the job description if you’d like to make sure you know the specific certification requirements. You can also browse websites for jobs that need ACLS certification to get an idea of what doors you would open should you invest in the certification.

These are some jobs that may require an ACLS certification:

  • Physicians
  • Pharmacists
  • Dentists
  • Nurses
  • Medical Technicians
  • Paramedics
  • First Responders
  • EMTs

How to Get ACLS Certified

The American Heart Association is the one ACLS certification that you can be sure will be accepted by your employer. Be wary any websites that promise to certify you without any in-person skills sessions. ACLS training is very advanced and you should be skeptical of any program offering ACLS purely online.

Getting your ACLS certification for the first time takes about 10-12 hours, including skills practice testing. If you are renewing your certification, it takes about half that time, approximately 5-6 hours. Once you have completed the course materials, skills training, and examinations, you will be granted an ACLS course completion card, valid for two years. Make sure to remember to renew your certification before it expires. Visit the AHA’s ACLS page to learn more or find a training center near you.

Can I get my ACLS Certification Online?

While you will still need to do a skills session and skill test in person with an AHA instructor, you can learn all of the theory for your ACLS certification online, at your own pace and from the comfort of your home. This is a popular and convenient way to get certified and is rapidly growing in popularity. The course costs $110 for the online portion plus approximately $150 for the skills testing. For more information or to start your training online, visit the AHA’s HeartCode ACLS.