Getting a medical certification is a worthy endeavor, especially in these unstable times, when it’s important to stay informed and have skills that can help people on a wider scale. There are many certifications on the market, and it’s up to an individual to decide which ones to pursue. Being medically certified can actually save someone’s life, especially in the case of choking or an injury. There are many courses available, and they’re not all the same. Many are already familiar with the BLS (basic life support) course, but for those who are more ambitious, there are two others: PALS and ACLS. In this text, we’ll explain the similarities and dissimilarities between the two.
ACLS or Advanced Cardiac Life Support is a certificate aimed at adults. This course offers to teach more refined skills such as interpreting EKG, reading intravenous lines, and differentiating between various drugs that are given to a patient in critical situations. Also, this certification is aimed at everyone who wants to take their medical skills to a whole new level, which is why it’s more in-depth and thorough. Obtaining the ACLS certification is also a sure-way path towards managing patients in life-threatening situations and conditions, which is why it should be considered only if a person wants to work with people who are seriously in danger.
Now that we’ve established that the ACLS certificate is only for those who wish to work with adults, let’s move to PALS certification? PALS certification, also known as Pediatric Advanced Life Support is aimed at children. Since children are more fragile than adults, every medical worker should be equipped with proper skills that can help sick kids and infants. Therefore, all medical professionals who are employed at ICU and ER wards should be required to obtain the PALS certification. This course will also provide the individual with skills needed for specialized pediatric assessments that can save a life in critical conditions.
The similarities between these two lie in the fact that both of these can be obtained only if a person already has a BLS certificate. BLS certificate is the first step toward learning how to save a life, while ACLS and PALS are more advanced and require prior medical knowledge. Also, both of these certificates are valid for two years, meaning that it’s required to renew the certification after that period.
The biggest difference is that ACLS is for sick adults, while the PALS medical certificate is aimed at infants and children. Babies and kids are weaker than adults, which is crucial in life-threatening conditions when CPR is required. Since CPR is performed at earlier stages of cardiac arrest, it’s important to be gentle when using two fingers on a baby or a very small child. Being too eager with finger and hand movements can lead to bone-cracking and fracture, especially if the infant or a child is already weak and fragile due to the existing illness. Hence, if a person wants to work with children who are seriously ill or injured, obtaining an appropriate certification is important as it can truly save a life.
Both of these certifications are equally good and useful, however, if a person lacks the patience and emotional strength to work with sick infants and children, it’s better to go with the ACLS certificate. However, learning how to perform life-saving procedures such as CPR on children can be of huge help in moments such as accidental choking at the restaurant or during family meals. Therefore, every medical professional should consider one of them, or even better, both, if they want to be sure that they have all the skills needed to help those in danger.
It’s not easy to learn while working full-time, especially if a person is a first responder or works in a medical ward that is challenging and demanding, such as ICU or ER. Luckily, many online certificates also offer learning tools that can be accessed through a desktop computer, a smartphone, or a tablet. All of this means it’s possible to study during work breaks or while traveling from and to work. However, it’s essential to be well-prepared and informed before taking an exam, especially if there’s a certain deadline for receiving the certificate.
Completing a BLS (Basic Life Support) course, and receiving a certificate is the first step toward receiving medical knowledge of this type. Only after getting a BLS certificate, it’s possible to proceed with more advanced courses. PALS and ACLS certificates are both useful in their own ways, and their biggest advantages are that they’re short and very suitable for all medical professionals who want to expand their knowledge further.