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Do the New Life Support Guidelines Mean I Have to Retake My ACLS Test? Questions and Answers



In 2010, the American Heart Association released new guidelines for first aid and life support courses. With a new set of ACLS modules and ACLS test questions, 2011 certification courses will have some distinct differences from those based on the 2005 guidelines. Does this mean that individuals certified under the 2005 guidelines need to recertify right now?

Michael Huckabee, PhD, PA-C, director of the Union College Physician Assistant program and curriculum developer for Health Education Solutions, explains it here:

Do I have to complete the ACLS test questions again?

Individuals with certification under the 2005 guidelines won’t be required to recertify until their two-year ACLS certification expires. Course completion cards continue to be recognized as valid for two years, regardless of science changes. If you were certified under the 2005 guidelines, you should continue to perform ACLS tactics according to the 2005 standards until you’re trained under the new 2010 guidelines.

Are my ACLS test questions and answers no longer accurate?

The new recommendations don’t suggest that earlier guidelines and ACLS test questions were unsafe or ineffective; they’re simply more up-to-date. As Huckabee explained, these new guidelines represent the state-of-the-art of resuscitation science today. The routine protocols of ACLS have undergone the greatest scrutiny in the review process, and the evidence-based approach to the new guidelines is refreshing and relevant. While the previous standards remain acceptable, it’s reasonable to conclude that the new guidelines stress a more informed quality of care in typically life-threatening situations. The sooner healthcare professionals have all been trained in these standards, the more likely the medical team can efficiently respond to emergencies with effective treatment.

When will instructors begin to teach the new guidelines?

Health Education Solutions’ ACLS online training will reflect the new guidelines in the first quarter of 2011. Instructors will teach 2005 guidelines until they have received training on the 2010 guidelines.

Health Education Solutions offers online certification and PALS and ACLS recertification, as well as a variety of other life support and first aid certifications, which can be valuable tools for healthcare professionals and other individuals looking to be prepared in an emergency situation. ACLS and PALS courses were developed in partnership with Union College. Courses, which can serve as both a PALS or ACLS study guide online, will reflect the new science guidelines in the first quarter of 2011.


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