Our AHA ACLS certification class is stimulating and hands-on. We work with a range of students and some are very familiar with ACLS and some rarely use ACLS skills. Prime tailors every class and gives students plenty of time in their ACLS classes to practice and play with EZ-IOs, intubation equipment, and other relevant tools.
Students may have dreaded ACLS classes in the past, but after you take an ACLS class at Prime Medical Training, you will have a totally new and positive perspective. Whether a student is looking to take ACLS training for the first time or renew, choosing Prime Medical Training will be the smartest decision they can make.
It’s important to know that:
- This is an American Heart Association ACLS certfiication.
- Prime’s ACLS classes are taught by emergency responders (Paramedics, Emergency nurses, Physicians).
- Finding an ACLS class is easy with all of our class options and dates.
- Prime uses learning techniques that make the class low pressure and easy to learn.
- Training is performed on the latest tools and manikins.
- Classes are offered locally in Knoxville, TN and Tri-Cities, TN
- Prime is not limited from traveling extended distances to teach classes.
This page will discuss who needs an ACLS certification, topics covered in ACLS classes and the process of getting an ACLS certificate. Furthermore, read on if you want to know what can be expected when showing up to Prime’s ACLS classes and answers to Frequently Asked Questions about ACLS.
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Choose from 1 of 4 options below to get your ACLS certification class scheduled with Prime Medical Training.
6:1 Student:Instructor Ratio
2:1 Student:Manikin Ratio
5 Hour Class
Who Needs ACLS Certification?
Prime’s ACLS classes are primarily for those who are required to be certified by their employer or organization. These requirements are driven by state licensing board regulations and detail which particular healthcare agencies or individual healthcare license holders that are required to maintain ACLS certification. This class can also be taken by medical professionals or students in a medical program who are interested in expanding their knowledge.
Examples of industries that usually require an ACLS certification are:
- Surgery Centers
- Intensive Care Units
- Dentists (performing conscious sedation)
- Emergency Departments
- Urgent Care Offices
- EMS agencies
- Fire Departments
Individuals that may need an ACLS class include:
- Travel Nurses
- Nursing Students
- Nurse Practitioners
- Physician’s Assistants
Are you ready to find ACLS classes?
What Is Taught in ACLS Classes?
ACLS classes build on the fundamentals taught in BLS classes. A common misconception is that ACLS teaches the same thing as BLS plus more. An employer will almost always require healthcare providers to have both an ACLS certification and a BLS certification.
Depending on whether the student takes an ACLS Initial class (2-days) or an ACLS renewal class (1-day), will determine what topics are covered. An ACLS Instructor is required to teach the minimum requirements for an ACLS renewal class, but has the flexibility to include additional topics from the ACLS Initial class. This causes there to be a large time range and experience depending on which class or instructor a student chooses.
Let’s take a look at the bare minimum for an ACLS Renewal class and also the full scope of an ACLS Initial class.
ACLS Renewal Agenda
- Science of Resuscitation: A high level overview of the entire class, and discussion of updated guidelines.
- Systematic Approach: A 3-step process that includes General Impression, Primary Assessment, and Secondary Assessment
- High Quality BLS (adult only)
- Airway Management: Basic and Advanced airway management skills including the use of Waveform Capnography.
- Technology Review: Learning how to use monitor functions such as: defibrillation, synchronized cardioversion, and pacing.
- Team Dynamics: Contrasting bad and good team behaviors, and discussing priorities of team members.
- Overview of ACLS algorithms
- Overview of ECG rhythms (and 12 Lead EKG placement)
- Megacode: Each student is given a scenario and required to function as a team leader
ACLS Initial Agenda
- Includes all of the above.
- Acute Coronary Syndromes
- Acute Stroke
- Learning stations (each student must perform the below scenario on their own):
- Cardiac Arrest
- Tachycardia (Stable and Unstable)
- Immediate Post-Cardiac Arrest Care
It’s important to note that regardless of whether a student is taking an ACLS Initial or ACLS Renewal class, they are tested over the same four things in each class.
- Adult BLS skills test
- Airway Management skills test
- 50-question written exam
AHA ACLS Guidelines
Every five years, new AHA ACLS guidelines are established (e.g. 2010, 2015, 2020, etc). The American Heart Association sets the guidelines and all other major agencies adopt the guidelines and update their curriculum. Depending on the results from the research, ACLS guideline changes can be more or less significant every five years. The important thing to remember is that these guidelines come from evidence-based research that has been gathered from around the world, and are proven to increase survival rates.
It’s important that students remain life-long learners. Individuals who trust in knowledge and skills from ACLS classes 15 years ago are doing the community, and potential cardiac arrest victims, a disservice. Even though individuals may have had training before, it's important to recognize there are always new things to learn- especially in ACLS!
Ready to learn something new?
How to Get an ACLS Certification?
Depending on what company a student chooses to get their ACLS certification, the process should be very easy. Below are the steps someone should follow and the bare minimum of what should be expected from a training company.
#1 Locate a Reputable AHA ACLS Training Center
Students looking for where to get ACLS certified should start by choosing a professional ACLS Training Center that is authorized by the AHA. We recommend using a company as opposed to an individual ACLS Instructor who does not have the full time resources of a company. The benefits of using a reputable company include: better quality assurance, better customer service, appropriate liability insurance, and prompt receipt of certification cards.
#2 Getting an approved ACLS Certification
Once again, it's important to find an authorized AHA Training Center that provides ACLS. Don’t fall for deceptive online ACLS certification advertisements. Many companies guarantee a free printable ACLS certificate immediately after taking an online class. These certifications are not nationally recognized, and most employers will not accept them. Even if your employer accepts them you will likely run into trouble when renewing your license or could be liable for not obtaining recognized certification in the event of lawsuit.
Find a local ACLS company that provides hands-on training. Hands on training can be done in a traditional instructor-led class or an AHA ACLS online blended learning class. Regardless of which format you choose, all ACLS training should include hands on training and testing for both BLS and ACLS skills. Check with your employer if you have any question before signing up for a class to make sure you don't waste your time and money.
#3 Sign Up for the Class
Once you find a Training Center there are a few things to look for while trying to sign up for an ACLS class. Make sure a company provides the dates for upcoming classes online, and provides an option for online registration. Typically, if there isn't a posted schedule or the option to register online, it is usually a sign of further inconveniences and/or quality issues along the way. We often have students drive from other states to attend our classes last minute after being inconvenienced by a company that cancelled class or failed to ever give them their certification.
#4 Attend the ACLS Class
This may seem obvious, but not all ACLS classes are equal. In ACLS classes, the instructor should make it easy to learn and not intimidate the students. The class should have an extensive amount of equipment as the AHA requires students to practice on everything whether they feel like or not. There should be plenty of practice sessions followed by testing scenarios. Finally, the class should be concluded with a written exam.
#5 Get Your ACLS Certification
Students will receive their AHA ACLS certification after class via email. All AHA training centers are required to use eCards starting in 2018. AHA ACLS cards are required to be sent to students within 30 days. However, Prime Medical Training sends eCards and guarantees students will receive them within 24 hours. eCards should not be confused with printed certificates from online training companies. eCards carry the AHA seal with QR codes that are able to verify the legitimacy of the certification.
Now you know!
What to Expect in ACLS Classes?
Not all ACLS classes are the same. Prime Medical Training believes the information shared here is what should be expected as the standard for a student’s experience.
#1 A Professional Atmosphere
The facility and classroom students learn ACLS should be clean and professional. This may seem obvious, but classes taught in someone’s living room are not unheard of. However, this is not an appropriate classroom setting. The instructor should be dressed professionally and conduct him or herself accordingly.
#2 Latest Tools and Equipment
Specifically, ACLS instructors are required to have and use the following during ACLS classes:
- CPR manikin with feedback device
- Bag-valve Mask
- Adult Airway Manikin
- OPA and NPA airway devices
- Advanced airway devices (e.g. ET tubes, LMAs, King Airway, etc)
- Waveform Capnography simulation
- ECG Rhythm simulator
- Primary cardiac drugs
The instructor should provide every student with a current ACLS student manual. Also, instructors are required to ensure a ratio of at least 1 CPR training manikin and AED for every 3 students. All training equipment should be clean, in good working condition, and not falling apart due to wear and tear.
Students are supposed to get ample of practice time for all the skills discussed with the tools above.
#3 Instructors with Experience and Personality
Prime believes that instructors should teach with authority. At Prime, instructors must meet three criteria.
- They have a medical background and extensive real-world experience practicing the topics that they teach.
- Instructors must conduct themselves professionally both in their appearance and character.
- Our instructors are evaluated on their personability, their ability to be dynamic while teaching, and be skilled in teaching what they know.
Every ACLS certification card carries Prime’s reputation which the instructors take seriously. Classes are taught in a way that makes it easy to learn and non-intimidating, but students will still be challenged and have to earn their certification.
#4 Top Notch Experience
ACLS classes do not have to be boring, and students agree after taking a class with Prime Medical Training. The minute a student walks through Prime’s door they experience a different vibe. From the friendliness of the staff, to the welcoming environment, to the very active and engaging ACLS class format. Prime Medical Training does it like no other! Not everyone enjoys taking ACLS classes, but the goal is to do everything to make it as painless as possible. If a student is in an ACLS class, our philosophy is to make the best of it, have a few laughs and maybe teach them something new (things are always changing).
96% of students say this is the best class they have ever taken anywhere. Listen, don't take our word for it. Check out what a few of our raving fans have to say about our ACLS classes.
"I have taken BLS and ACLS classes for the past 15 years, and this is by far the most efficient, salient class I have taken. Highly recommend." -- Jenny Smith
"You are the best ! I will choose your team again and again!" -- Tina Tiwawan
"I would suggest prime medical training to anyone who is looking for training. They are very nice and very informative!! They walk you through everything step by step until you are comfortable that you understand." -- Terri Anderson Williams
"Great staff. Knowledgeable and able to explain concepts clearly and succinctly. The practice scenarios were well organized and executed. I am very glad I went here for ACLS re-certification!" -- Preston Buchanan
"Excellent course! It was hands-on and discussion oriented. Currently working in the paramedic field, the instructor was exceptionally knowledgeable and gave "real-life" scenarios to reinforce the material. I would definitely recommend Prime Medical!" -- Victoria Newton
Experience it for yourself!
Frequently Asked Questions About ACLS Classes
What is ACLS?
ACLS stands for Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support. It builds on the fundamentals of high quality BLS and introduces advanced airway management, ECG rhythm interpretation, and the use of cardiac drugs.
Do you offer an ACLS class online?
Yes. Our AHA ACLS online blended learning class is nationally recognized and widely accepted. In addition to the ACLS class online, students need to complete a hands-on skills session. After completing the ACLS training online and the skills session, students will receive an ACLS certification.
How long does the ACLS renewal take?
Depending on who you take it from, it should take about 5-8 hours.
How long does the ACLS certification last?
The ACLS certification is good for 2 years.
Where do I find the ACLS pretest?
The ACLS pretest is online. You can find a link with passcode in your ACLS student manual, or your instructor will provide you this information before coming to class. The ACLS pretest is required by the AHA before a student can take the ACLS class.
Is there an ACLS practice test?
Students can find third-party ACLS practice tests online. However, the official ACLS pretest serves as a great practice tool, and students can retake it as many times as they want.
Does ACLS replace BLS?
No. ACLS does not cover all the topics of BLS. ACLS only focuses on adult cardiac life support. BLS teaches Child/Infant CPR, choking, and naloxone administration which are not covered in ACLS.
Does ACLS include BLS?
ACLS only provides a brief review of Adult BLS only. It does not go in depth with Adult BLS and it does not cover at all the topics of Child and Infant CPR, choking, or naloxone administration.
How do I get an ACLS certification card?
After successfully completing an ACLS class, a student should be issued their certification card immediately after the class but no more than 20 days after the class. Students will receive an eCard sent via email.
How can I get an ACLS card replacement?
You can read our articled on getting a replacement card. Essentially, those who initially received an eCard via email can login to the AHA and retrieve it. If you initially received a traditional paper card, you will either need to contact the instructor who taught your class or the training center the instructor was aligned with at the time they taught your class. You may be charged a fee for replacement paper cards.
Where can I find ACLS classes near me?
Prime Medical Training offers local ACLS classes at their offices and they travel to student’s locations. Search Prime’s class registration page to find upcoming classes in your location.