Some topics for questions on an advanced cardiovascular life support test include how to respond to a patient who is not breathing, when and how to use an automated external defibrillator, and what drugs to give a patient in a state of cardiac arrest. Questions may require the test-taker to give a diagnosis for a set of specified symptoms, explain when and how to use cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and identify various heart conditions.
Students and health care providers preparing for an advanced cardiovascular life support test can visit the American Heart Association’s website to search for local classes, online courses and other educational resources. Site visitors can use interactive cases to practice diagnosing illnesses and determining treatments, access activities to learn how to recognize normal heart rhythms and distinguish them from irregular heartbeats, and print out supplementary handbooks and manuals. Independent websites, such as ACLS.net and ACLSCertification.com, provide study guides, sample tests and certifications.
Advanced cardiovascular life support certification exams test an individual's ability to diagnose and treat patients who require urgent care due to symptoms of cardiac arrest and other life-threatening conditions. Most hospitals and health care providers require staff to renew their certifications every two years. The American Heart Association issues guidelines for providers and certifiers every five years in conjunction with the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation.