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?

PALS or PEARS?


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 PALS Provider Course aims to improve outcomes for pediatric patients by preparing healthcare providers to effectively recognize and intervene in patients with respiratory emergencies, shock, and cardiopulmonary arrest by using high‐performance team dynamics and high‐quality individual skills. The course includes a series of case scenario practices with simulations that reinforce important concepts. Upon successful completion of all the patient cases, students must pass the multiple-choice exam with a minimum score of 84%. Topics include:

After successfully completing this course, students will be able to

  • Perform high‐quality cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) per American Heart Association (AHA) basic life support (BLS) recommendations
  • Differentiate between patients who do and do not require immediate intervention
  • Recognize cardiopulmonary arrest early and begin CPR within 10 seconds
  • Apply team dynamics
  • Differentiate between respiratory distress and failure
  • Perform early interventions for respiratory distress and failure
  • Differentiate between compensated and decompensated (hypotensive) shock
  • Perform early interventions for the treatment of shock
  • Differentiate between unstable and stable patients with arrhythmias
  • Describe clinical characteristics of instability in patients with arrhythmias
  • Implement 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?

The PEARS Provider Course teaches how to use a systematic approach to quickly assess, recognize the cause, and stabilize pediatric patients in emergency situations. Students interact with real patient cases to assess and stabilize pediatric patients experiencing respiratory emergencies, shock emergencies and cardiopulmonary arrest. This includes applying basic life support, following the pediatric systematic approach, and applying high-performance team dynamics. The PEARS course prepares students to provide appropriate lifesaving interventions within the initial minutes of response until a child can be transferred to an advanced life support provider.


Ready to take a PALS or PEARS class?

The AHA offers options for how you can purchase PALS or PEARS. You can take a full classroom course, take a blended learning PALS course (includes HeartCode PALS + 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 pediatric course option you choose, CE/CME may be available for your profession.