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PALS Certification Classes

The Pediatric Advanced Life Support is designed to be interactive, very hands on, and thorough. In class, students get to use equipment such as the EZ-IO, the time-saving Broselow Tape, and other practical tools. AHA PALS certification classes used to carry a bad rap, but classes at Prime with Prime instructors make all the difference.

Many students are nervous before a PALS class, but luckily, our dynamic instructors have  'cracked the code' and students are blown away by our instructors as they impart the secrets of simplifying confusing algorithms. We meet students at their knowledge level and moving at their pace. Prime leaves no healthcare provider behind and takes the fear and complexity completely out of Pediatric Advanced Life Support. Students will walk away with their PALS certification and feel extremely confident in their skills and knowledge.

Furthermore, students that may have dreaded PALS classes in the past will walk away feeling refreshed and encouraged in their new skills. Taking Pediatric Advanced Life Support at Prime Medical Training gives a totally new and positive perspective. Healthcare Providers that have held PALS certification for 20 years routinely comment after taking our class it is the first time they were ever confident in their skills.

Whether a student is looking to get a PALS certification for the first time or renew, choosing Prime Medical Training will be the smartest decision they can make.

It’s important to know that:

  • We teach PALS certification through the American Heart Association.
  • Prime’s PALS certification classes are taught by emergency responders (Paramedics, ER Nurses, Physicians).
  • Finding PALS classes is easy with all of our class options and dates.
  • The learning techniques Prime uses, make it low pressure and easy to learn.
  • Training is performed on the latest tools and manikins.
  • Classes are offered locally in the Knoxville, TN and Tri-Cities, TN
  • Prime is happy to travel, even to extended distances to teach classes.

This page will discuss who needs a PALS certification and what topics are covered in an AHA PALS class. Additionally, we will break down the process of getting a PALS certificate, what can be expected when showing up to Prime’s PALS classes, and Frequently Asked Questions about Pediatric Advanced Life Support. 

Don’t need to know all that?

Choose from 1 of 4 options below to get your PALS certification from Prime Medical Training.

6:1 Student:Instructor Ratio

2yr Certification

2:1 Student:Manikin Ratio

6 Hour Class

Who Needs PALS Certification?

AHA PALS classes are primarily for those who need a PALS certification for their job. This requirement is driven by state licensing regulations. These regulations may apply to an entire healthcare organization or to individual healthcare professionals. This class can also be taken by medical professionals or students in a medical program who don't have requirements, but are interested in expanding their knowledge.

The following are examples of industries that usually require a PALS certification.

  • Surgery Center
  • Intensive Care Unit
  • Pediatric Dentists (performing conscious sedation)
  • Children's Emergency Department
  • Urgent Care
  • Pediatric Clinics
  • EMS agencies
  • Fire Department

The below are individuals that qualify and may need a PALS class.

  • Physicians
  • RNs
  • Travel Nurses
  • Nursing Students
  • Paramedics
  • Firefighters
  • Nurse Practitioner
  • Physician’s Assistant

Are you ready to get your PALS certification?

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What Is Taught in an AHA PALS Class?

PALS classes build on the fundamentals taught in BLS classes. A common misconception is that PALS teaches the same thing as BLS plus more. If an employer requires a PALS certification, they will almost always require healthcare providers to have a BLS certification also.

Depending on whether the student takes a PALS Initial class (2-days) or a PALS recertification class (1-day), different topics are covered. A PALS Instructor is required to teach the minimum requirements for a PALS recertification class, but has the flexibility to include additional topics from the PALS Initial class. Therefore, there can be a large variance in time and experience depending on which class/instructor a student chooses.

Let’s take a look at the bare minimum for a PALS Recertification class as well as the full scope of a PALS Initial class.

PALS Recertification Agenda

  • Science of Pediatric Resuscitation: an overview of the entire PALS class and discussion of updated guidelines
  • Child High-Quality BLS
  • Infant High-Quality BLS
  • Child/Infant Chocking (optional)
  • Overview of Systematic Approach Model: discussion of the Pediatric Assessment Triangle (PAT) and Primary Assessment
  • Team Dynamics: learning about bad and good team behaviors, and the elements of good team dynamics.
  • Management of Post-Cardiac Arrest Care
  • Coping with Death (optional)
  • Case Scenario Practice with Simulations: includes overview of PALS algorithms and ECG rhythms

PALS Initial Agenda

Includes all of the above and:

  • Secondary Assessment
  • Management of Respiratory Emergencies: includes video case discussions
  • Airway Management
  • Management of Shock Emergencies: includes video case discussions
  • Vascular Access: learn and practice the use of an EZ-IO
  • Management of Arrhythmia Emergencies: includes video case discussions
  • Rhythm Disturbances and Electrical Therapy (including 12-Lead ECG Placement)
  • Case Scenario Practice:
    • Hypovolemic Shock
    • Upper Airway Obstruction
    • Lower Airway Obstruction
    • Asystole/PEA
    • Parenchymal Lung Disease
    • Septic/Distributive Shock
    • SVT
    • V-Fib and Pulseless V-Tach
    • Obstructive Shock
    • Cardiogenic Shock
    • Disordered Control of Breathing
    • Bradycardia

PALS Tests

Regardless of whether a student is taking the full AHA PALS Initial or PALS Recertification class, they are tested over the following five things:

  • Child BLS skills test
  • Infant BLS skills test
  • Airway Management skills test
  • Megacode
  • 50-question written exam.

AHA PALS Guidelines

Every five years, new AHA PALS 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, PALS 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. While it may be frustrating that practices are always changing, it is exciting that survival outcomes are improving. Individuals who trust in knowledge and skills from a Pediatric Advanced Life Support class 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 PALS!

Ready to learn something new?

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How to Get a PALS Certification?

Depending on what company a student chooses to get their PALS 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 PALS Training Center

Students looking for where to get PALS certified should start by choosing a professional PALS Training Center that is authorized by the AHA. We recommend using a company as opposed to an individual PALS 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, guaranteed classes, appropriate liability insurance, and prompt receipt of certification cards.

#2 Get the Right PALS Certification

Once again, it's important to find an authorized AHA Training Center that provides PALS. Don’t fall for deceptive online PALS certification advertisements. Many companies guarantee a free printable PALS 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 PALS training center providing hands-on training. Hands on training can be done in a traditional instructor-led class or an AHA PALS online blended learning class. Regardless of which format you choose, all PALS training should include hands on training and testing for both BLS and PALS 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 PALS 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 Take the Pediatric Advanced Life Support Class

This may seem obvious, but not all PALS classes are equal. In PALS 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 PALS Certification

Students will receive their AHA PALS certification after class via email. All AHA training centers are required to use eCards starting in 2018. AHA PALS 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!

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What to Expect in PALS Classes?

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

Believe it or not, we hear all the time of classes taught in inappropriate settings, such as the instructors basement. This can be uncomfortable and unsafe for many reasons. PALS classes are to be taught in a clean and professional setting. The instructor should also be dressed professionally and conduct him or herself accordingly.

#2 Latest Tools and Equipment

PALS instructors are required by the AHA to have and use the following for PALS certification:

  • Child and Infant CPR manikins with feedback device
  • Bag-valve Mask
  • Non-rebreather mask
  • Airway Manikin
  • OPA and NPA airway devices
  • Advanced airway devices (e.g. ET tubes, LMAs, King Airway, etc)
  • Waveform Capnography simulation
  • EZ-IO simulator
  • Broselow Tape
  • ECG Rhythm simulator
  • Primary cardiac and respiratory drugs

Every PALS student should be provided with their own copy of a PALS manual. Also, a ratio of 1 CPR training manikin and AED for every 3 students is required. All training equipment should be clean, in good working condition. It's important to be able to practice on current equipment that is functioning properly.

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.

  1. They have a medical background and extensive real-world experience practicing the topics that they teach.
  2. Instructors must conduct themselves professionally both in their appearance and character.
  3. Our instructors are evaluated on their personability, their ability to be dynamic while teaching, and be skilled in teaching what they know.

Every PALS certification card carries Prime’s reputation and our instructors take that seriously. Classes are taught in a way that makes it easy to learn and non-intimidating. However, students will still be challenged and have to earn their certification.

#4 Top Notch Experience

PALS 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. The staff is friendly, the environment is welcoming, and our classes are active and engaging. Prime Medical Training does it like no other! Not everyone gets excited about taking a PALS class, but our goal is to do everything to make it as painless as possible. If a student is in a PALS 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 AHA PALS classes.

Testimonials

"Will use Prime Medical Training in the future... Instructor was very knowledgeable in the material and made the environment comfortable to ask questions and learn..." -- Rhonda Denison

"The instructor was an actual paramedic and had done CPR hundreds of time. Every other class I've taken was taught by someone who had maybe done cpr one time. Hands down this class was better than all of the rest I've taken in my 30+ year career. It was easy to sign up and get a class the week I needed it as well. I LOVED my experience. I'll be back again when I expire- and I'm not dreading the class like I used to!" -- Suzanne Cloninger

"Fantastic resource! I got in a bind with BLS, PALS, and ACLS late last year and needed certification in a hurry. Andrew was knowledgeable, professional, and a pleasure to work with. I have moved from the area, and could in fact get this training for free at my new job, but I will return to Knoxville when recertification is due because of the great experience." -- Kevin Holbrook, MD

"Convenient class times. Very efficient and thorough training with good equipment and friendly atmosphere. Would highly recommend." -- Brad Bauer

"I would suggest prime medical training to anyone. They are very nice and very informative!! They walk you through everything step by step until you are comfortable that you understand." -- Terri Williams

Frequently Asked Questions About Pediatric Advanced Life Support

What is PALS?

PALS stands for Pediatric Advanced Life Support. It builds on the fundamentals of high quality BLS and introduces advanced airway management, ECG rhythm interpretation, Pediatric Assessment Model, and the use of cardiac and respiratory drugs.

Do you offer a PALS class online?

Yes. The AHA PALS online blended learning class is nationally recognized and widely accepted. In addition to the AHA PALS class online, students need to complete a hands-on skills session. After completing the PALS training online and the skills session, students will receive an AHA PALS certification.

How long does the PALS renewal take?

Depending on who you take it from, it should take about 5-8 hours.

How long does the PALS certification last?

The PALS certification is good for 2 years.

Where do I find the PALS pretest?

The PALS pretest is online. You can find a link with the passcode in your PALS student manual, or your instructor will provide you this information before coming to class. The PALS pretest is required by the AHA before a student can take a PALS class.

Is there a PALS practice test?

Students can find third-party PALS practice tests online. However, the official PALS pretest serves as a great practice tool, and students can retake it as many times as they want.

Does PALS replace BLS?

No. PALS does not cover all the topics of BLS. PALS only focuses on pediatric life support for cardiac, respiratory and shock emergencies. BLS teaches Adult CPR, choking, and naloxone administration which are not covered in PALS.

Does PALS include BLS?

PALS only provides a brief review of Child/Infant BLS. It does not go in depth with Child/Infant BLS and it does not cover at all the topics of Adult CPR, choking, or naloxone administration.

How do I get a PALS certification card?

After successfully completing a PALS 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 a PALS card replacement?

You can read more here about getting a replacement card. 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 PALS classes near me?

Prime Medical Training offers local PALS classes at their offices and they travel to student’s locations. Search Prime’s class registration page to find upcoming classes in your location.

4 Ways to Sign Up for a PALS Course