According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are over 761,000 doctors working in the US. And whether you are a current doctor or medical student, you have to undergo ACLS training.
ACLS stands for Advanced Cardiac Life Support. This certificate shows that you are trained to treat emergency stroke and cardiac arrest victims. ACLS training also prepares you for myocardial infarction and other cardiovascular emergencies.
To get your ACLS certificate, you must take the ACLS exam. This exam covers a lot of material, and it can be difficult to know the best study methods to help you pass. That is why we are bringing you this guide.
Want to know the best strategies to help you ace your ACLS exam? Then check out our top tips below because this one is for you!
Sign Up for an ACLS Training Course
An ACLS training course can help you prepare for the ACLS exam. You can also use ACLS books to self-study for the exam. But the training course will help you get hands-on experience with the topics you learn for the exam.
However, make sure you actually need ACLS certification before you sign up. In addition to practicing and aspiring doctors, nurses, firefighters, paramedics, and EMTs need an ACLS certificate to practice.
Not sure if you need ACLS certification in your healthcare field? Talk to your supervisor to learn more.
The Best ACLS Books to Help You Study
Are you planning to self-study for the ACLS exam? If so, we recommend checking out our best-selling ACLS book on Amazon that covers all the latest guidelines from the American Heart Association (AHA). We also have a questions-only ACLS workbook that comes in handy when you want to test your knowledge to see if you remember everything. Most students that buy these two books end up passing the exam.
Study ACLS Algorithms
Algorithms are at the heart of the ACLS exam. But what are they? ACLS algorithms are flow charts that show the appropriate response for specific emergency situations.
The following algorithms feature heavily on the exam:
- Acute Coronary Syndrome
- Basic Life Support
- Cardiac Arrest
- Suspected Stroke
- Post-Cardiac Arrest Care
- Opioid-Associated Life-Threatening Emergencies
- Unstable Tachycardia
It is important to start studying these algorithms early. They will come in handy not only on test day but also for real-life emergency situations in the field.
H's and T's
H's and T's refer to the different causes of potential emergency conditions. The ACLS exam will test you on these facts.
H's include hypothermia, hydrogen ion acidosis, hypoxia, hypovolemia, and hyper- or hypokalemia. T's include pericardial tamponade, toxins, thromboses (acute coronary and pulmonary embolus), and tension pneumothorax.
Additionally, make sure you understand electrocardiography (EKG) basics for diagnosis. EKG tests are commonly used to diagnose the main conditions we listed earlier. If you need an EKG book, you can check out ours here.
Medications and Dosages
Finally, make sure you study the medications and medication dosages to use in specific emergency situations. You will have to identify these facts on the ACLS exam.
Take Practice Exams
ACLS practice exams are arguably the best way to study for your certification. These exams can help you pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses. That way, you will know what to study for the actual exam.
Plus, taking practice exams can help you get comfortable with the test's format. An exam's structure is often one of the largest barriers to first-time test takers.
You can take the exam again if you do not pass it the first time. But studying practice tests can help you ace your test on the first try, saving you money and time.
Where to Access ACLS Practice Exams
If you sign up for an ACLS course, you will have online access to these practice exams. Some ACLS books (like ours) also contain written practice exams to help you study. If you are interested in ordering our ACLS workbook, you can so by clicking here.
A third option is to look for practice exams online. Run a simple Google search to find the right practice materials for your needs.
Tips for Acing the ACLS Training Exam
The ACLS exam is a multiple-choice test with 50 total questions. The good news? The ACLS is not a timed exam. You only need an 80% or higher to pass and get your certification.
Below, we are talking about our top two tips for acing your ACLS exam the first time around.
Answer Easy Questions First
You have probably heard this test-taking tip before. But the ACLS exam is no exception. Make sure you answer all the easy questions on the test first before coming back to more challenging ones.
Even though the test is not timed, struggling with difficult questions at the beginning of your exam can wear you out. Saving them for the end prevents you from getting frustrated and making silly mistakes on easy questions.
Take All the Time You're Given
While the test itself does not have a time limit, the facility where you take the exam may present a specific window in which you must complete the ACLS exam. It is important to take all the time you get for the test.
The ACLS exam is a complicated test with highly technical information on it. The questions are often designed to trick you. Taking your time can ensure you read questions right the first time, increasing the chance of getting them right.
Looking for ACLS Prep Books?
ACLS training helps you prepare for emergency situations at your job. To get your certification, you must first pass the ACLS exam. We hope this guide helps you do just that!
Are you searching for medical textbooks to help you study for the ACLS certification exam? We offer the industry's leading medical textbooks. Browse our selection today to find the ACLS prep book you've been searching for!