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ACLS certification: what is it and why you need it


This guide outlines what ACLS certification is, and why you need to ensure yours is valid if you work in the medicine and healthcare industry.

When you work in the world of healthcare, things are constantly evolving; you’re always learning from your patients and experiences and continually responding to new technological and scientific developments. You’re gaining certifications to work with these new developments and renewing older certifications when they expire, and new information becomes available. A career in medicine and healthcare is a commitment to lifelong learning, and sometimes it can get a little overwhelming. There are many things you need to stay on top of if you want to ensure that you’re meeting all the legal requirements you have to handle situations that arise at work and to ensure that you’re offering the best possible care you can to your patients. The following aims to help ease the process in one regard: your ACLS certification.

What is ACLS certification?

Continuing to improve knowledge is a fundamental attitude in any profession, especially in the health area. However, this is even more indispensable when it comes to medicine itself, and it is precisely because of this that you cannot fail to know the importance of the ACLS course for doctors working in emergency rooms.

ACLS means advanced cardiovascular life support. It is a course and certification whose main purpose is training for medical emergencies, especially cardiovascular ones, and was developed by the AHA, which is the American Heart Association.

The proposed materials aim to organize emergency medical care, in particular cardiorespiratory arrest, with protocols defined and updated every five years, following clinical experience in global parameters and using algorithms for the care of several high-severity situations. Lessons cover airway management and pharmacology, where skills are taught in large group sessions and learning stations, as well as scenario-based practical tests. Students are also required to demonstrate proficiency and must pass a written exam, with a minimum score required.

The ACLS course also covers situations such as infarction and other pre-cardiac arrest and post-cardiac arrest circumstances. ACLS is aimed exclusively at physicians and nurses and is not aimed at other healthcare professionals. Among the topics taught, it is worth highlighting arrhythmias, defibrillation and cardiac pacemaker, cardiovascular pharmacology, coronary syndromes, cerebrovascular accidents (CVAs), ethical aspects of resuscitation, ventilation techniques with and without equipment, airway clearance and the use of defibrillators. The course explores several topics that are valuable for healthcare workers, including:

  • Acute stroke
  • Hemodynamics for adults
  • Pulseless electrical activity (PEA)
  • CPR for adults
  • Asystole
  • Choking interventions for adults
  • Bradycardias
  • Secondary ABCD for adults
  • Tachycardias
  • Advances airways
  • Acute myocardial infarction
  • Cardiac or electrical therapy

Typically, coursework, whether online or in-person, will also contain case scenarios and practice exams. This will help you get in the practice of applying what you’re learning to real-world situations and also let you know how you’re likely to fare on exams.

Why is ACLS certification important?

Given the state of world health at the moment, there is a myriad of reasons you might want to keep your ACLS certification up to date. The world’s healthcare systems are being swamped by a virus that impacts the vascular system, plus rates of myocarditis are increasing. Given the prevalence of these problems and how rapidly information surrounding COVID and other cardiac issues are developing, it’s crucial to keep your knowledge up to date.

Renewing Online

Thankfully, the world of renewing certification is finally going digital. You can take the necessary coursework to remain ACLS certified entirely online. Fully accredited courses can be taken on your own schedule, in the comfort of your own home. Because healthcare workers often have demanding hours and their work is so important, it can be hard to justify taking time off for in-person classes. Online renewal courses eliminate that struggle entirely.

Set Up Your Workspace

Most people find the move to digital schooling pretty smooth; the work is more flexible and more comfortable. This being said, you might need to devote a space to your coursework if you find yourself easily distracted at home. Turn your phone off, clear off your desk or workspace apart from the things you’ll need to study with, and make sure your charger, pens, highlighters, paper, and all your other supplies are near, so you don’t need to get up in the middle of your study session. Most of the material will be a review for you since you already have the certification, but some material will be new. 

Examinations Online

In addition to the coursework required to renew being available online, the exams themselves are also available in a digital format. It’s a good idea to schedule the time as if you were writing an exam out of the house, however, as you don’t want distractions or other obligations arising while taking the test. This means you should have a quiet, clean space with reliable internet and have informed people in your household to leave you alone until you tell them the exam is done. 

Keep An Eye On Your Mental Health

Many fields are challenging; nothing but healthcare is challenging in the way that your job is. It is critical that you devote awareness to the state of your mental health and that you give yourself the time you need for proper rest and recovery. Not only will this help you with your coursework, but it will also help keep you healthier and reduce the risk of you burning out. If you notice signs or symptoms of something being wrong, you need to pause what you’re doing and address it. Just like putting on your own oxygen mask on an airplane before helping someone else with theirs, you’re not going to be able to concentrate and memorize coursework, maintain a solid work performance or handle the obligations you have at home without taking adequate time for yourself. Sleep, hydration, healthy food, and open communication are key.


The above tips and steps should have made it clear that setting up your coursework and examination for renewing your ACLS certification has never been easier. With digital options, you don’t need to travel or book time off to get everything organized. Simply sign up with an accredited provider online and then put in the time to learn the material.

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