ACLS stands for advanced cardiovascular life support and is an instructional course available to health care professionals who are involved with the management of cardiovascular emergencies, according to the American Heart Association. The course also covers airway management and related pharmacology.
Some of the people encouraged to take this course include individuals who work in critical care units, emergency rooms and intensive care units, explains the American Heart Association. The course focuses on learning basic life support skills and recognizing early symptoms of respiratory and cardiac arrest. It features learning stations where a person can practice skills under simulated clinical scenarios and revolves around a hands-on format that encourages active participation.