The Difference Between CPR and ACLS

If you are interested in getting certified for first aid, then there are a number of courses that you can take. Some of them will specialise in a certain life saving technique, such as CPR. We all know CPR as the routine which is performed when you must help someone who is not breathing. But what about ACLS? This stands for Advance Cardiovascular Life Support. We will explain here how it is different to CPR, and who might benefit from taking a course in it. You will first want to know that it is all to do with cardiac arrests, rather than the absence of breathing.

ACLS is something that should be taught to those who are involved in healthcare, as it is likely to be a large part of their job. This means anyone who has a medical role, such as nurses, doctors, and related staff. It also means anyone who works in a place where medical care may be required regularly, such as a care facility. ACLS is a little more advanced than CPR, which is why it is not included in general first aid courses. However, you may already know some of the techniques which it includes, such as those which relate to spotting potential heart attacks before they begin.

The important thing to realise with techniques such as ACLS and CPR is that they can occasionally see big changes. This is because guidelines, and what we understand about the human body, can be altered. As we learn more, so we can better adapt our training to help save lives. If you have done a course in ACLS before, you should consider topping up your knowledge on a regular basis. This will help you to stay au fait with current procedures.

The topics covered in an ACLS course should include first of all looking at any key changes that have been made to guidelines recently. Instructors will then go on to demonstrate and explain some of the basic skills for life support, such as chest compressions. Bag mask devices and AEDs will also be covered. You can look at the early signs of respiratory arrest, cardiac arrest, and symptoms such as bradycardia, as well as how to spot them when fully developed. Airway management will be looked at, as well as any pharmacology which is related to the subject. Next you will also explore how to manage strokes and acute coronary syndromes, known commonly as ACS. You will also learn about how a resuscitation team can work together. If you are a team leader, you can learn about how to effectively lead a team and ensure that all bases are covered.

This will allow you to get a great grounding in the most important principles of ACLS. You may only need to spend two days of classroom hours in order to learn everything that you need to know.

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The author has experience in teaching CPR/ACLS training as part of an instructor led classroom course.

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