There are many medical certificates that may be suitable only for professionals, like the medical ones, firefighters, personal trainers. There are also medical certificates that anyone can acquire, like a certificate for CPR- Cardiopulmonary resuscitation. The latter could be something everyone should have, because it might help save many lives. On the other hand, an ACLS certificate is something only professional lifesavers might need.
What is ACLS
ACLS stands for Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support. Techniques and procedures of Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support might be necessary for situations that are highly threatening for a patient’s life: acute coronary problems, drug overdose, cardiac arrest, to name a few. So, it makes sense that an ACLS certificate can only be acquired by advanced medical personnel.
What is the difference between BLS and ACLS?
Many people fail to see the difference between BLS, which is also an abbreviation, and it stands for Basic Life support, and the ACLS. Basic life support training is something all medical staff must endure, it does not matter if they are paramedics, nurses, physicians or some other medical practitioners. It means that they will know how to save a life in a medical emergency and they will not need any additional equipment for it.
The Advanced Life Support is BLS and so much more: professionals who are familiar with it will be able to use different kinds of medical equipment that will enable them to help a person in a life-threatening situation. Some of the possible supplies and equipment are: intubation, IV insertion, cardiac monitoring, electrocardiogram interpretation, and the use of a defibrillator.
Does a medical professional need an ACLS training and certificate?
The ACLS certificate is not required for all medical professionals. It will be necessary just to work on certain positions. So if you are studying to become a health worker, you might want to check if some of your future dream jobs will require ACLS training and a certificate. Such positions are nurses, physicians and paramedics who work in intensive care and other units where they will handle critical life-threatening situations. Keep in mind, though, that you never know what the future holds, and this certificate brings useful knowledge and makes you more eligible for a job post than others who do not have it, so even if you are not sure you will need it one day, it is not a bad idea to get it. Chances are, while you are still a student, you will have more time to deal with it. Even if you are already a professional, you might want to broaden your options and take this course. There is an option to do it online, which can save much of your time.
Who else could benefit from having the ACLS training?
There are professions that would highly benefit from an ACLS certificate, even if it is not on the list of requirements of the employer. Here are a few examples:
- School nurse: the majority of school staff have to know CPR and first-aid, but the school nurse should be there in case of a more serious life-threatening situation. That is why a school nurse should be ACLS trained. The same goes for athletic coaches; they can quite often be in situations that are life-threatening and where applying CPR or using AED will not suffice. Those who work in gyms and sporting arenas are no different. Team physicians as well.
- Theaters, cinemas, wedding venues: it can be highly beneficial for at least one staff member of this type of recreational venue to have ACLS next to the standard BLS training. It can mean the difference between life and death to a visitor or performer.
- Theme parks and summer camps: in these venues the risk of drowning, motion sickness or simply many different types of personal injury can easily happen, and having ACLS trained staff can help a lot in these situations.
If you are a medical professional who does not work in a hospital and nowhere near an intensive care unit, it might be highly beneficial for you to know ACLS. As we already mentioned before, it might help your resume stand out and that way help you get a job that officially does not require this training. But more importantly, there is always a chance you will need this training to save someone’s life, CPR and BLS knowledge will just not be enough.