Becoming ACLS certified involves taking a Web-based or classroom instructional program, a skills practice session, a written exam and a skills exam, explains the American Heart Association. Individuals can find local ACLS courses on the American Heart Association's website.
ACLS, or Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support, is a program designed for healthcare providers who frequently care for patients experiencing cardiac arrest or other cardiovascular emergencies, according to the American Heart Association. The program teaches basic life support skills, airway management and early recognition and treatment of respiratory and cardiac arrest. It also outlines medication management during emergency situations. Effective communication and working together as a team are also emphasized during ACLS instruction. The initial classroom course generally takes about 10 to 12 hours to complete.
As of 2015, HeartCode ACLS Part 1 is available for healthcare providers seeking a self-guided approach to learning ACLS, explains the American Heart Association. Using the Web-based instructional system, students assess and treat virtual patients using eSimulation technology, which promotes decision-making and ACLS skills development. After completing the program, including a multiple choice exam, students receive a certification of completion. Students perform the skills practice and skills test portions of the HeartCode ACLS program with either a voice-assisted manikin or an ACLS instructor.