American Heart Association ACLS Course

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About the Course

Course participants will learn:

    • Airway management
    • Basic life support skills, including effective chest compressions, use of a bag-mask device and use of an AED
    • Effective communication as a member and leader of a resuscitation team
    • Effective Resuscitation Team Dynamics
    • Key changes in advanced cardiovascular life support, reflecting the 2015 American Heart Association Guidelines for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Emergency Cardiovascular Care
    • Management of acute coronary syndromes (ACS) and stroke
    • Recognition and early management of peri-arrest conditions such as symptomatic bradycardia
    • Recognition and early management of respiratory and cardiac arrest
    • Related pharmacology

Target Audience

ACLS is designed for healthcare professionals who either direct or participate in the management of cardiopulmonary arrest or other cardiovascular emergencies. This includes personnel in emergency response, emergency medicine, intensive care and critical care units such as physicians, nurses, and paramedics, as well as others who need an ACLS course completion card for job or other requirements.

Methods of taking ACLS

ACLS can be taken either through the traditional Instructor-led course, or through e-Learning with the AHA HeartCode ACLS.

Instructor-led course
            • Full course: 10-12 hours depending on amount of break time
            • Update (renewal) course: 5-6 hours depending on amount of break time
HeartCode ACLS
            • HeartCode ACLS Part 1 is for healthcare professionals who either direct or participate in the management of cardiopulmonary arrest and other cardiovascular emergencies, specifically those seeking an alternative(nonclassroom) method for completing an initial or update ACLS Course.
            • HeartCode ACLS Part 1 requires prior knowledge that will be applied in using the ACLS treatment algorithms. Unprepared or inexperienced students may require additional time to complete HeartCode ACLS Part 1.
            • To complete the ACLS certification process, the participant will need to schedule the skills testing portion with an instructor after complete of HeartCode ACLS Part 1.
            • This course offers continuing education credits for physicians (ACCME/AMA), nurses (ANCC), pharmacists (ACPE), and EMS Practitioners (CECBEMS).


To be successful in any ACLS course, students should be able to identify ECG rhythms and should know pharmacology specific to cardiopulmonary arrest and other cardiopulmonary emergencies before beginning the course. It is strongly recommended that students review the ACLS course materials contained within the program and complete the Precourse Self-Assessment prior to attempting the patient cases.