Q: What is the AHA’s ACLS Course?
A: The AHA’s ACLS Course has been updated to reflect new science in the 2015 AHA Guidelines Update for CPR and ECC. This course builds on the foundation of lifesaving BLS skills, emphasizing the importance of continuous, high-quality CPR. This advanced course highlights the importance of high-performance team dynamics and communication, systems of care, recognition and intervention of cardiopulmonary arrest, immediate post-cardiac arrest, acute dysrhythmia, stroke, and acute coronary syndromes.
The goal of the ACLS Provider Course is to improve outcomes for adult patients of cardiac arrest and other cardiopulmonary emergencies through early recognition and interventions by high-performance teams.

Q: What specifically is taught in the new ACLS Course?
A: After successfully completing the ACLS Course, students should be able to
• Apply the BLS, Primary, and Secondary Assessments sequence for a systematic evaluation of adult patients
• Perform prompt, high-quality BLS, including prioritizing early chest compressions and integrating early automated external defibrillator (AED) use
• Recognize and perform early management of respiratory arrest
• Discuss early recognition and management of ACS and stroke, including appropriate disposition
• Recognize and perform early management of bradyarrhythmias and tachyarrhythmias that may result in cardiac arrest or complicate resuscitation outcome
• Recognize and perform early management of cardiac arrest until termination of resuscitation or transfer of care, including immediate post–cardiac arrest care
• Model effective communication as a member or leader of a high-performance team
• Evaluate resuscitative efforts during a cardiac arrest through continuous assessment of CPR quality, monitoring the patient’s physiologic response, and delivering real-time feedback to the team
• Recognize the impact of team dynamics on overall team performance
• Discuss how the use of a rapid response team or medical emergency team may improve patient outcomes
• Define systems of care

Q: What is the format for the ACLS Instructor-led Course?
A: In the ACLS Course, cognitive and psychomotor skills will be learned through small-group teaching, case scenario practice on a manikin as Team Leader and team members (i.e., hands-on learning), and use of large- or small group short video presentations with Instructor-student interaction (i.e., engage students in discussion).The course is designed to give students the opportunity to practice and demonstrate proficiency in the following skills used in resuscitation:
• Systematic approach
• High-quality BLS
• Airway management
• Rhythm recognition
• Defibrillation
• Intravenous (IV)/intraosseous (IO) access (information only)
• Use of medications
• Cardioversion
• Transcutaneous pacing
• Team dynamics
Students will practice the application of these and other skills in simulated cases and will practice both Team Leader and team member roles.

Q: Is there an ACLS Update Course?
A: Yes.

Q: Does ACLS offer continuing education (CE)?
A: Yes. The following CE is available for the ACLS Provider and the ACLS Update Courses:
ACLS Provider Course Accreditation Statement:
Continuing Education Accreditation – Emergency Medical Services
This continuing education activity is approved by the American Heart Association, an organization accredited by the Continuing Education Coordinating Board for Emergency Medical Services (CECBEMS), for 9.75 Advanced CEHs, activity number 16-AMHA-F2-0309.
ACLS Update Course Accreditation Statement:
Continuing Education Accreditation – Emergency Medical Services
This continuing education activity is approved by the American Heart Association, an organization accredited by the Continuing Education Coordinating Board for Emergency Medical Services (CECBEMS), for 4.75 Advanced CEHs, activity number 16-AMHA-F2-0310.

Q: What resources are available to help prepare students for the ACLS Course?
A: The ACLS Student Website (www.heart.org/eccstudent) contains the following self-assessment resources:
• Mandatory Precourse Self-Assessment
• ACLS Supplementary Information
• High-Quality BLS video
• Acute Coronary Syndromes video
• Stroke video
• Airway Management video

Q: What is the ACLS Precourse Self-Assessment?
A: The Precourse Self-Assessment is an online tool that evaluates a student’s knowledge in 3 sections: rhythm recognition, pharmacology, and practical application. Students complete the assessment before the course to help evaluate their proficiency and determine the need for additional review and practice before the course. All students must complete the Precourse Self-Assessment and achieve a score of at least 80% before taking the ACLS Course. Students must print their successful completion certificate and bring it with them to class.

To access the ACLS Precourse Self-Assessment go to:  www.heart.org/eccstudent   Access code:  acls15