About to certify or recertify for ACLS, studying properly before the test can make all the difference in the world, improving your chances of excelling on the first try.
A main component of any emergency medical treatment program is Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS). ACLS is a program that most healthcare providers are required to certify through and then recertify on regularly to ensure that they can capably handle various emergency medical situations.
While there is no need to stress over the ACLS certification or re-certification, it is still something that does require proper preparation to ensure passing with ease.
ACLS Studying Tips
Hopefully you are studying hard for your upcoming certification. Here are some tips that can help you stay focused.
Review case scenarios.
Given changes in medical technology, studying case scenarios is one of the better ways to stay up to date on what you may encounter on your ACLS exam. It’s not just about recognizing the signs and symptoms of specific cardiac situations, it’s about knowing and understanding the implementation of the correct treatment procedure as well. For this reason, the ACLS certification course covers several scenarios you are likely to deal with during your career.
Memorize the algorithms.
The ACLS exam will extensively include algorithms which are a flowchart of care procedures for a number of situations you may encounter. This is one portion of the ACLS exam prep course that it is mandatory to know. Having a full working knowledge of the algorithms can be the difference between life and death for people in cardiac distress.
Algorithms to review include Asystole, PEA, V-Fib, V-Tach, Bradycardia, and Tachycardia
Know the medications and doses.
Aside from situations and algorithms, understanding proper medications and doses is essential. Knowing the proper medications and doses that apply to any number of situations is mandatory knowledge for the ACLS as a single, even small mistake, can be fatal. Mnemonic devices often prove helpful in this area of study.
Understand basic ECGs
A patient’s heart rate and rhythm and proper reaction to and understanding of ECG’s is a key element of ACLS training. While most healthcare professionals have a strong working knowledge of ECG’s, if you do not, simulators and even YouTube videos can prove to be very helpful study aides. If your experience in ECG’s is however minimal, and ECG training course is suggested before attempting ACLS certification.
ACLS Test-Taking Strategies
Once you begin the test, follow these guidelines to make the most of your time and maximize rights answers.
Answer the easier questions first.
Don’t spend too much time focusing on questions you are struggling with. Instead, answer what you know first, then return to the questions you are unsure of but can reasonably narrow down the correct response to. Finally, address the questions you do not know the answers to.
Take your time and read questions carefully.
A hallmark of the ACLS exam is that the material you will encounter is technical in nature and dense. It pays to slow down and read carefully. A slight misinterpretation of the question can lead to a wrong answer. Slow and steady is the best pace.
One of the best pieces of advice for your ACLS test preparation is to relax. Make sure you are well rested for your exam. Don’t allow yourself to stress over it. Have faith that if you prepared for the exam dutifully, you will perform fine when the time comes.
Online ACLS Certifications and Recertifications are a widely accepted alternative to the traditional methods involving live-instruction. Visit the AHA’s website for directories and schedules of live-instruction ACLS programs that fit your schedule near you.