Before signing up for an online PALS course, it is important to know that there are variations in the courses that are offered. While all may appear to be fast and easy options, there are several questions you should get answers to prior to signing up.
It’s becoming more common for hospitals and medical institutions of all varieties to require that their employees are certified in Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) procedures. As such, there has been a significant rise in the demand for PALS certification and recertification courses. The good news is that with this increased demand, many institutions and hospitals have begun allowing their employees to pursue their studies via an online provider rather than solely through in-person classroom scenarios.
While pursuing your certification or recertification for PALS, the online route is generally an easier process than the traditional classroom option – it is more time and cost effective; however there are several questions you should be asking prior to registration.
While most of the answers you will be seeking are available online, we’ve decided to save you some time and energy by compiling the questions and answers you should need to make a well-informed decision as to which PALS certification or renewal program will best meet your needs.
Here are eleven questions that are commonly asked about online PALS certification:
Can I get an AHA Provider Card?
Is PALS recertification online aha approved? Is PALS online legit? These are common questions we receive. You will not receive a provider card from the American Heart Association for any online PALS course you take as the AHA is the only provider to issue a PALS certification card from their organization. At this time, the AHA neither accredits nor endorses any PALS programs that are conducted entirely online. Completing a skills assessment in person is an AHA requirement to obtain a provider card.
Do I have to take a skills assessment?
Skills assessments are not a part of a fully online PALS course. While many online PALS courses will provide the course material that would be covered for a skills assessment, the examination of this knowledge will be cognitive rather than hands-on.
What if my employer rejects my card?
As not all websites offer a 100% money back guarantee to protect you in the event that your employer does not accept your provider card, you should ask your employer which courses they will accept prior to registration. Whether they will accept a particular site’s PALS provider card or not, depends entirely on that individual institution.
Will my course and exam be timed?
Most online PALS training courses are not timed. For the most part, you will be afforded as much time as you need for completion so that you can work on a schedule that best suits your needs. Having this flexibility is one of the biggest benefits to performing your PALS cert or recert online.
What if I fail the course exam?
If you fail your exam, most websites will allow you to retake it – many offering unlimited attempts to pass the test. Not all websites have this policy however, and some may charge a fee for retakes or have a waiting period, so it should be one of the first things you check prior to registering.
After I pass my exam, what happens?
Upon completion of your exam, the first thing you will want to do is review your results. You will then want to begin the process of acquiring a printable provider card and obtaining any CME credits you are due, assuming the website offers them. Most nationally recognized provider programs offer continuing education credits of some sort.
How long before I get a physical Provider Card?
While there is no absolute answer for this as websites vary, most will have a provider card to you within 2-5 business from your request for it being made. Some sites will offer a digital provider card immediately upon completion that is ready to be downloaded and printed.
How long is my certification valid?
PALS cert and recert cards are valid for a period of two years after passing one’s test, regardless of where they have been obtained.
What study material is included?
Depending on your online PALS course provider, the study materials you receive will vary. For the most part, the study materials you receive will adhere to AHA guidelines and should be available as a downloadable PDF. Some providers may mail you hard copies and others may provide materials via access to a locked website. Make sure that you choose a provider who best fits your needs.
Is your organization accredited? Why not?
No PALS course that is offered wholly online is AHA accredited, but there are other institutions and agencies that may accredit your courses. You should ask your PALS provider if they have any agreements with accrediting agencies for their classes prior to registration – whether a program is legit or acceptable often depends on that question. Keep in mind that not being AHA accredited does not mean that your PALS provider cared lacks legitimacy or will not be accepted by hospitals.
Can I receive CME Credit(s) for completing my course?
Whether you can receive CME credits for passing your PALS exam is dependent on the provider you choose. Prior to registration, you will want to ensure that CME credits are available, if receiving them is important to you.