AHA Pediatric Training for Healthcare Providers

The AHA offers two separate courses for healthcare providers who require training in pediatric care. Both courses reflect science and education from the American Heart Association Guidelines Update for CPR and Emergency Cardiovascular Care (ECC).

Which course is right for me?

Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS):

  • For healthcare providers who respond to emergencies in infants and children and for personnel in emergency response, emergency medicine, intensive care and critical care units

What does this course teach?

The goal of the PALS Course is to improve the quality of care provided to seriously ill or injured children, resulting in improved outcomes. To enter the course, students must complete the PALS Precourse Self-Assessment. Throughout the course, students are presented with 12 In-hospital pediatric patient cases and a team dynamics lesson. Upon successful completion of all the patient cases, students must pass the multiple-choice exam with a minimum score of 84%. Topics include:

  • High-quality Child CPR AED and Infant CPR
  • Recognition of patients who do and do not require immediate intervention
  • Recognition of cardiopulmonary arrest early and application of CPR within 10 seconds
  • Apply team dynamics
  • Differentiation between respiratory distress and failure
  • Early interventions for respiratory distress and failure
  • Differentiation between compensated and decompensated (hypotensive) shock
  • Early interventions for the treatment of shock
  • Differentiation between unstable and stable patients with arrhythmias
  • Clinical characteristics of instability in patients with arrhythmias
  • Post–cardiac arrest management

PEARS® (Pediatric Emergency Assessment, Recognition and Stabilization):

  • For healthcare providers and others who might encounter pediatric emergency situations during their work, including: Nurse practitioners, Physician assistants, Emergency medical technicians, Respiratory therapists, etc.

What does this course teach?

Improve outcomes for pediatric patients by preparing healthcare providers in assessment, early recognition, prompt communication, and initial intervention in patients with respiratory emergencies, shock, and cardiopulmonary arrest. Topics include:

  • Performing BLS consistent with the 2015 AHA Guidelines Update for CPR and Emergency Cardiovascular Care (ECC)
  • Evaluating a seriously ill or injured child by using the pediatric systematic approach
  • Applying effective team dynamics
  • Demonstrating initial stabilization of a seriously ill or injured child, including a child with cardiac arrest, respiratory distress, or shock


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 pediatric course option you choose, CE/CME may be available for your profession.

Find a Training Center near you

AHA Training Centers

Contact an AHA Training Center to sign up for a classroom course.

Purchase Pediatric Course Materials

Go to ShopCPR.Heart.org to purchase course materials.