The PALS certification was developed as a joint effort of the American Heart Association, or AHA, and the American Academy of pediatrics, or AAP. These organizations jointly oversee the certification and physicians approved by these organizations write the PALS exam questions.
What Skills and Concepts are Included in PALS Certification
Now that you know what is PALS certification, you may wonder what skills and concepts are included on the PALS certification exam. The PALS certification exam is similar to the Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support, or ACLS exam, except that it covers children and infants instead of adults. However, PALS certification differs from ACLS in that it has a greater focus on the prevention of shock and respiratory failure. As a result, the skills learned for the two certifications are not necessarily interchangeable.
Some of the skills that the PALS exam covers included the proper use of a defibrillator, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, proper procedures for managing respiratory emergencies, bag-valve-mask ventilation, administering and using airway equipment, peripheral and intraosseous cannulation, treating life-threatening heart rhythm problems, and many other related skills. In addition to testing for skills, the PALS certification examination may include reading EKG readouts and other diagnostics.
How to obtain PALS Certification
The traditional route for obtaining PALS certification is to take a written PALS test through a local hospital, university, or training center. However, you can also obtain PALS certification online through an AHA-approved testing center – https://www.nhcps.com/pals-certification-recertification.
Before they take the PALS certification exam, most professionals attend a PALS study course. In the past, most healthcare professionals took a face-to-face PALS course for their first certification or as a refresher course for recertification. These courses are often offered as two day courses at local universities or hospitals, or they can be offered as semester-long courses at universities or training centers. However, many busy health professionals lack the time to attend these courses or they find it difficult to fit into their schedule, especially if they are often on call. As a result, more and more healthcare professionals are turning to online PALS courses.
Online PALS courses have the advantage of being self-paced, meaning that professionals can study on their own time. Reputable online PALS certification courses offer course materials that were designed to mirror the content of the PALS exam. In addition, many online courses offer pretests that simulate the content and format of the PALS exam. These pretests give the student the opportunity to become familiar with the exam format and content before they take the certification test. This can be a significant advantage, especially for those seeking their first PALS certification.
After the student is satisfied that they have become sufficiently familiar with the PALS materials, they can opt to take the PALS exam online. The PALS certification online tests often have the advantage of providing instant results and even instant, printable proof to show an employer that they have earned their certification or recertification.
How Often Recertification is Needed
PALS, like ACLS certification, must be renewed every two years. This is to ensure that the healthcare professional remembers the key skills and concepts needed to deal with pediatric emergencies, including the less frequently encountered skills or problems. Many online courses offer PALS refresher courses that focus more on the less frequently encountered concepts rather than frequently encountered skills such as administering airway devices that most healthcare professionals are more likely to remember.