Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS)

Course Overview
Target Audience
Course Objectives

The ACLS course provides algorithms and a framework for dealing with cardiovascular emergencies, emphasising the importance of high quality BLS and high-performance teams.

Faculty: Emergency Medicine
Course Name: Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support
Course Code:  ACLS
16 Hours
Mode: Face-to-face
Level: ALS

Prerequisites: Current certification in BLS from a recognized provider.

Packaging: This course is delivered over two (2) days.

Instructional Strategies:
This course combines lecture-based instruction with practical application. Instructional strategies include pre-reading, lectures, discussions, demonstrations, practical application, simulation, and presentations.

Effort Breakdown: 4 lecture hours, 10 practical hours, 2 assessment hours

Certification: Upon successful completion of the course, participants receive an internationally recognised certification from Austere & Emergency Medicine International in Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS), valid for two years. Re-certification can be achieved by attending a refresher course.


  1. Introduction to ACLS
  2. Patient Assessment in ACLS
  3. Advanced Airway Management
  4. Recognition and Management of Cardiac Arrhythmias
  5. ACLS Pharmacology
  6. Acute Coronary Syndromes (ACS)
  7. Acute Ischemic Stroke
  8. Post-Cardiac Arrest Care
  9. Special Resuscitation Situations
  10. Team Dynamics in ACLS
  11. Simulation and Practical Scenarios

The ACLS course is designed for healthcare professionals seeking to enhance their skills in managing complex cardiovascular emergencies. The target audience includes:

  1. Emergency Medical Personnel: Paramedics, emergency medical technicians (EMTs), and other pre-hospital care providers who play a critical role in delivering advanced cardiovascular life support in the field.
  2. Critical Care Nurses: Nurses working in critical care units, including intensive care units (ICUs), cardiac care units (CCUs), and emergency departments, aiming to strengthen their ability to respond to cardiac emergencies.
  3. Physicians: Medical doctors across various specialties, including emergency medicine, internal medicine, anesthesiology, and critical care, seeking advanced training in cardiovascular resuscitation.
  4. Respiratory Therapists: Respiratory care practitioners involved in managing airway and respiratory interventions during cardiac emergencies, enhancing their skills in advanced life support.
  5. Registered Nurses (RNs): Registered nurses working in diverse healthcare settings, particularly those involved in direct patient care, who wish to expand their expertise in responding to complex cardiovascular events.
  6. Cardiologists: Cardiologists and cardiology fellows seeking a current and comprehensive understanding of advanced cardiovascular life support principles to further their expertise in managing cardiac emergencies.

  7. Anesthetists and Anesthesiologists: Anesthesia professionals aiming to strengthen their resuscitation skills, especially in scenarios involving perioperative cardiac events and critical care settings.
  8. Advanced Practice Providers: Nurse practitioners and physician assistants engaged in providing advanced clinical care, enhancing their ability to lead and participate in resuscitation efforts.
  9. Critical Care and Emergency Medicine Fellows: Fellows specializing in critical care or emergency medicine, seeking additional training to excel in managing complex cardiovascular emergencies.
  10. Other Healthcare Providers Involved in Critical Care: Pharmacists, radiologists, and other healthcare professionals involved in critical care settings, desiring comprehensive training to contribute effectively during cardiovascular emergencies.

The ACLS course is structured to accommodate a diverse range of healthcare professionals, ensuring they are equipped with the advanced knowledge and skills needed to deliver prompt and effective cardiovascular life support in high-stakes situations. It is essential for individuals who play a direct or supporting role in managing cardiac emergencies and seek to enhance their ability to contribute to improved patient outcomes.

Upon successful completion of the ACLS course, participants will demonstrate proficiency in advanced cardiovascular life support principles and interventions. The course outcomes encompass the following:

  1. Comprehensive Patient Assessment: Participants will conduct systematic and advanced patient assessments, including the prompt recognition of cardiac rhythms and identification of life-threatening conditions.
  2. Effective Airway Management: Participants will demonstrate advanced skills in airway management, including endotracheal intubation, supraglottic airway device placement, and ventilation strategies.
  3. Recognition and Management of Cardiac Arrhythmias: Participants will showcase a deep understanding of various cardiac arrhythmias, accurately interpreting ECGs and implementing advanced interventions for rhythm management.
  4. Proficient ACLS Pharmacology: Participants will exhibit knowledge and competency in the administration of ACLS medications, including indications, dosages, and considerations for potential side effects.
  5. Management of Acute Coronary Syndromes (ACS): Participants will effectively recognize and manage acute coronary syndromes, applying appropriate interventions to optimize patient outcomes.
  6. Acute Ischemic Stroke Management: Participants will demonstrate proficiency in identifying and managing acute ischemic stroke, incorporating evidence-based strategies to improve patient care.
  7. Post-Cardiac Arrest Care: Participants will master post-cardiac arrest care principles, including therapeutic hypothermia, optimization of ventilation and oxygenation, and addressing potential complications.
  8. Special Resuscitation Situations: Participants will exhibit advanced skills in resuscitating special patient populations, adapting interventions for pediatric, pregnant, geriatric patients, and handling unique resuscitation scenarios.
  9. Effective Team Dynamics: Participants will understand and apply principles of effective communication, leadership, and teamwork during ACLS scenarios, fostering a collaborative approach to patient care.
  10. Simulation and Practical Application: Participants will apply theoretical knowledge in simulated ACLS scenarios, demonstrating sound decision-making, effective interventions, and coordination within a team-based setting.
  11. Critical Thinking and Decision-Making: Participants will develop critical thinking skills and decision-making abilities, prioritizing interventions based on patient conditions and optimizing outcomes in dynamic emergency situations.
  12. Confidence in Advanced Resuscitation: Participants will gain confidence in their ability to lead and participate in advanced cardiovascular life support interventions, contributing to improved patient survival and recovery rates.

These course outcomes collectively aim to equip participants with the knowledge, skills, and confidence needed to respond effectively to complex cardiovascular emergencies. The focus is on promoting patient safety, optimizing outcomes, and fostering a collaborative and skilled approach to advanced life support within a healthcare team.


  1. Attendance Requirement: 100% attendance is mandatory to pass the course. Reasonable adjustments will be made where practicable.
  2. Physical Fitness Requirement: A certain level of fitness and strength is necessary to fulfill the duties of a first responder in emergency situations. Failure based on physical criteria is not discriminatory but practical for the role's demands.
  3. Written Exam: The written exam consists of 50 multiple-choice questions. A pass mark of 80% is required to successfully complete the written component.
  4. Practical Assessments: Formative and summative practical assessments are conducted throughout the course. Summative assessments include simulations and mini-codes. Competent performance of all skills is essential to pass.
  5. Exam and Class Outcome: It is possible to pass the written exam and fail the class if practical competency is not achieved. Conversely, it is possible to fail the written exam and pass the class if exceptional practical performance is demonstrated, and adequate knowledge of the curriculum can be demonstrated through other assessment activities.
  6. Re-exam Opportunity: If a participant fails the written exam, a verbal re-exam will be provided to offer an opportunity to showcase their knowledge.
  7. Special Accommodations: Participants with language difficulties or divergent learning needs can request a verbal or alternative style of exam. Reasonable accommodations will be made to facilitate a fair assessment process.

Note: The assessment criteria aim to ensure a comprehensive evaluation of both theoretical and practical competencies, promoting a well-rounded and capable ACLS Provider.

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