A nurse never knows when she may need to use basic CPR in
school, but is the ACLS certification also necessary? ACLS stands for Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support. It is additional training healthcare professionals can choose to take and get certified in. While you may not need to use more than basic CPR in school, the ACLS certification can enhance a nurse’s effectiveness in an emergency situation.
ACLS certification is important for a school nurse to have
because they are often the only trained medical professional capable of
delivering CPR in school. The difference between basic CPR and ACLS is
extensive. The ACLS certification will ensure that the nurse is as well
prepared as possible for any given emergency situation they may encounter.
Everyone knows what basic CPR is, but what makes ACLS better?
ACLS or Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support is used on
patients that are unconscious and who do not have a pulse. It is a five step
procedure designed to give the patient the best possible outcome. The first two steps are the same as the basic CPR steps. ACLS teaches the nurse when to administer Epinephrine and explains when and how to use a defibrillator.
Most Nurses are not going to have the resources available to
do more than simple CPR in school. The ACLS certification is still important
because it can allow the nurse to be more confident in an emergency situation.
When the nurse is calm, the patient will have the best possible outcome. A
school nurse without the additional training may panic if they encounter a
student without a pulse. ACLS certified nurses will be able to handle a hectic
scene without losing focus on the big picture of what is happening with the
Some schools are now purchasing defibrillators of their own. If
the school owns a defibrillator, then the ACLS training will give the nurse the
knowledge they need to use it effectively. Defibrillators can be dangerous if
they are not used properly. A defibrillator should only be used when a patient
has a very erratic heartbeat, not when there is no pulse. It is important for a
nurse to understand when and how to use a defibrillator if the school has one
and it is necessary to use it.
A nurse with an ACLS certification is more qualified to
handle emergencies. This can give an advantage over the competition if applying for a highly desirable a position in a certain school and the competition is tough. It can increase confidence to help the nurse feel more confident in her abilities. It will give parents more faith that their child will receive better medical care while they are in school.
ACLS certification is important for all medical
professionals, but especially school nurses. They may be the only medical
professional available to deal with a school emergency. It is recommended that all school nurses get their ACLS certification because you never know when you may need to use CPR in school. If the school purchases a defibrillator and the school nurse does not know how to use it, then the ACLS class is even more important to take. The better prepared they are, the better off the nurse is, the school is and the patient is.