Want to get or update ACLS Certification? Many courses are now available online, making it easier to stay credentialed. But how do you know which one to choose?
Technology is changing and as it does, so does the way we use it. When it comes to the healthcare field, one such way is that now, Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) certification programs can now be taken online. In part, this is due to an upsurge in the medical community labor force and in part because online certification courses are less costly and more efficient.
The simple fact is that there are not enough in-person classes to meet the demand for all the various certification and recertification courses desired and needed by medical professionals. You can wait months for a spot to open up near you. That is where online courses save the day. The challenge is, how do you know you’re choosing legitimate ACLS provider course online?
We must be clear in stating that the AHA does not accredit any 100% online ACLS courses. If this is not acceptable for you, then online ACLS courses are likely to not be a good fit for you. The AHA requires an in-person skills test that cannot be accomplished online. If, however, your employer does not require the AHA stamp of approval, online ACLS courses may be perfect for you.
Online ACLS certification courses will offer a similar general program and conveniences, but the specifics are where you can find determining factors to see if the course is the best one for you.
Pricing, although it shouldn’t be the sole deciding factor, is always important. A certification course can range upwards of $275 while recertification courses generally top out around $175. The actual difference in what you get from courses between the lower end of the price scale to the higher end may for some be negligible. The difference may boil down to something as small as the inclusion of videos as a part of the course. All things being equal, less expensive options are usually acceptable and more than suitable for most people.
All things being equal, it is best to seek an ACLS course accepted in the US and abroad. The most important consideration, however, is that your employer accept the course.
While the AHA does not accredit any wholly online ACLS course, the course you choose should still adhere to AHA guidelines so as to be based with Joint Commission (JCAHO) standards.
Don’t overlook the importance of customer support. At the minimum, you need to choose a site that has an email address you can contact as need be. Ideally, they should have a normal business hours phone number you can use. If there is a live online chat support feature, that is a bonus as well.
Continuing Education (CE) Credit
If you can receive continuing education credit for your ACLS certification, that is more than a simple bonus. If CE credit is important to you, it is imperative that you verify the type of CE credit being offered and that it fits your plan. Online ACLS courses are typically structured as independent study or enduring materials activities that offer up to 8 hours for certification and 4 hours for recertification. Proof of accreditation should be available upon request.
Review Material Included
Not all online ACLS courses include study materials as a part of the quoted price. Make sure before you sign up if said materials are included or available as an add-on. Most will include study materials, but it is also common to find offerings for the AHA ACLS manual as an added study guide.
The likelihood is that you will not need to use a money back guarantee, but should a situation arise where the course is no longer beneficial to you, you want to know you have some option for recovery of your funds.
Restrictions on Time and Attempts
Make sure the course you choose allows you to work at your own pace with no time restraints. The appeal of an online ACLS is supposed to be flexibility, so don’t compromise on this feature. Multiple attempts to pass the course are also a plus.
While you can’t base everything on testimonials and recommendations, you should take them into consideration. If you look online, look for independent third party sites for what tend to be more honest and unbiased reviews than you will find on an ACLS course site itself.