The Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support exam has questions that cover information concerning guidelines for cardiopulmonary resuscitation and emergency cardiovascular care, as well as recognition and early management of respiratory and cardiac arrest. It also covers related pharmacology and understanding symptoms from cardiac rhythm to stroke indicators.
ACLS is both a course and an exam administered to health care providers and emergency responders that provides them with a two-year certification. Outside of treating cardiac events, the course and exam covers medical team communication in emergency situations. The exam questions center around case studies, algorithms and any changes or advancements made in the American Heart Association guidelines for cardiopulmonary resuscitation and emergency cardiovascular care. A large part of the exam focuses on basic life support skills including chest compressions, use of bag-mask devices, airway management, and early management of respiratory arrest, cardiac arrest and peri-arrest conditions.
ACLS courses are available to those who wish to be certified; each course ends with testing that determines which students are eligible to take the certification exam. Many courses utilize learning stations and presentations of case-based scenarios. The purpose of the courses is to help students become familiar with and master techniques to help handle cardiac and pulmonary events. There are also courses for medical professionals who require credits for continuing education.