Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS)

The AHA’s ACLS course builds on the foundation of lifesaving BLS skills, emphasizing the importance of preventing cardiac arrest, early and continuous high-quality CPR, and high-performing teams. The course reflects science and education from the 2020 American Heart Association Guidelines for CPR and Emergency Cardiovascular Care (ECC).

Which course is right for me?

ACLS or ACLS for Experienced Providers


ACLS:

  • For healthcare professionals who either direct or participate in the management of cardiopulmonary arrest or other cardiovascular emergencies and for personnel in emergency response

What does this course teach?

After successfully completing this course, students should be able to

  • Define systems of care
  • Apply the BLS, Primary, and Secondary Assessments sequence for a systematic evaluation of adult patients
  • Discuss how the use of a rapid response team (RRT) or medical emergency team (MET) may improve patient outcomes
  • Discuss early recognition and management of Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS), including appropriate disposition
  • Discuss early recognition and management of stroke, including appropriate disposition
  • Recognize bradycardias and tachycardias that may result in cardiac arrest or complicate resuscitation outcome
  • Perform early management of bradycardias and tachycardias that may result in cardiac arrest or complicate resuscitation outcome
  • Model effective communication as a member or leader of a high-performance team
  • Recognize the impact of team dynamics on overall team performance
  • Recognize respiratory arrest
  • Perform early management of respiratory arrest
  • Recognize cardiac arrest
  • Perform prompt, high-quality BLS including prioritizing early chest compressions and integrating early automated external defibrillator (AED) use
  • Perform early management of cardiac arrest until termination of resuscitation or transfer of care, including immediate post–cardiac arrest care
  • Evaluate resuscitative efforts during a cardiac arrest through continuous assessment of CPR quality, monitoring the patient’s physiologic response, and delivering real-time feedback to the team


ACLS for Experienced Providers:

  • For those who are proficient in performing BLS and ACLS skills, reading and interpreting ECGs, understanding ACLS pharmacology; and who regularly lead or participate in emergency assessment and treatment of prearrest, arrest, or postarrest patients

What does this course teach?

  • Demonstrate proficiency in providing BLS care, including prioritizing chest compressions and integrating use of an AED
  • Recognize and manage respiratory arrest
  • Recognize and manage cardiac arrest until termination of resuscitation or transfer of care, including post–cardiac arrest care


Ready to take an Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) or ACLS EP class?

The AHA offers options for how you can purchase ACLS. You can take a full classroom course, take a blended learning course (HeartCode ACLS + a hands-on skills session training), or purchase additional course materials. Choose from the options below.

Course Completion Card

Upon completion of all course requirements, participants receive a Provider Course Completion Card which is valid for two years.

Continuing Education Credits

Depending on which ACLS course option you choose, CE/CME may be available for your profession.