Course Description

Healthcare providers will enhance their skills in the treatment of the adult victim of a cardiac arrest or other cardiopulmonary emergencies.

The American Heart Association's Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (AHA ACLS) course is totally redesigned for healthcare providers who either direct or participate in the resuscitation of a patient, whether in or out of hospital. Through the ACLS course, providers will enhance their skills in the treatment of the adult victim of a cardiac arrest or other cardiopulmonary emergencies. ACLS emphasizes the importance of basic life support to patient survival; the integration of effective basic life support with advanced cardiovascular life support interventions; and the importance of effective team interaction and communication during resuscitation.

The ACLS courses are based on simulated clinical scenarios that encourage active, hands-on participation through learning stations where students will practice essential skills individually, as part of a team and as team leader. Realistic simulations reinforce the following key concepts: proficiency in basic life support care; recognizing and initiating early management of peri-arrest conditions; managing cardiac arrest; identifying and treating ischemic chest pain and acute coronary syndromes; recognizing other life-threatening clinical situations (such as stroke) and providing initial care; ACLS algorithms; and effective resuscitation team dynamics.

To successfully complete this course, the student must be able to demonstrate proficiency in certain skills as well as pass a written exam. Therefore, it is essential that you familiarize yourself with the information in the textbook before class. It is expected that the participant will be proficient in BLS before participating in the ACLS course. Your BLS skills will be evaluated during the ACLS skill stations, but this does not constitute a BLS renewal. You will need to register for a separate BLS course to renew BLS certification. AHA will no longer allow challenges for renewal of BLS skills without attending a full class. If excessive remediation is required, or basic skills and EKG recognition is not proficient, you may be required to repeat the course.

Courses Offered

Initial ACLS Provider Course - 2 days
This course is for providers that have never been through an ACLS course, or if your ACLS has been expired more than 30 days.

Renewal ACLS Provider Course - 1 day
This course is for providers that have previously completed an ACLS course and have a current ACLS card. You will be allowed to take this course if your ACLS has been expired less than 30 days.

Registration & Payment

Please click here to go to the calendar and register for your class.

ACLS courses are free to all UTMB employees, staff and students. The cost if you are not a UTMB employee, staff or student is $50 for the ACLS renewal course and $100 for the ACLS initial course. All course fees must be paid within five days of registration or you will forfeit your spot and will need to reschedule your class. For fee payment, contact the Cashier's Office at (409) 772-2503.

For Physicians

The UTMB-Galveston campus is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to sponsor CME credits for physicians. The two day ACLS course has been accredited for 14 hours of Category I credit toward the AMA Physicians' Recognition Award. The one day ACLS renewal course has been accredited for six hours of Category I credit toward the AMA Physicians' Recognition Award. There is a $35 fee charged to process the necessary paperwork for these credits. Call the Cashier's Office at (409) 772-2503 for payment. Please click here for CME forms.

For Licensed Nurses

University of Texas Medical Branch Continuing Nursing Education is an approved provider of continuing nursing education by the Texas Nurses Association, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. Continuing Nursing Education contact hours are granted for the initial ACLS course only. You will need to complete a post test, pass 84% or higher and complete the course evaluation after the class is over to receive CNE credit.

What to Bring to Class

  1. UTMB ID badge
  2. Current BLS Card or eCard printed out
  3. Current ACLS textbook, "AHA Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support Manual, 2016 Edition" and the algorithm cards included with your textbook
  4. Signed "Precourse Preparation Checklist" (found in your ACLS textbooks)
  5. Pre-course assessment test with a minimum score of 70% (found in your ACLS textbook)

We do not recommend waiting to take the pretest on the morning of the class as no one will be admitted after the class has begun.

Participants Expectations

  1. Be prompt for class start times. No one will be allowed into class once the first video portion of the class has begun.
  2. Read the ACLS Provider manual, "AHA Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support Manual, 2016 Edition" and review the algorithm cards before attendingthe course. Be sure to bring a copy of the current ACLS textbook and algorithm cards to class.
  3. Complete the pre-test included in the ACLS manual before the start of the course and pass with a minimum score of 70%.
  4. Demonstrate mastery of BLS skills during the course.
  5. Demonstrate mastery of ACLS skills during the Megacode testing.

To successfully complete this course, the student must be able to demonstrate proficiency in certain skills as well as pass a written exam. Therefore, it is essential that you familiarize yourself with the information in the textbook before class.

We want to stress again that it is expected that the participant will be proficient in BLS before participating in the ACLS course. Your BLS skills will be evaluated during the ACLS skill stations, but this is NOT considered a BLS renewal course. You will need to register for a BLS course separately to maintain a current BLS status. AHA will no longer allow challenges for renewal of BLS skills without attending a full class.

If excessive remediation is required or basic skills and EKG recognition is not proficient, you may be required to repeat the course. To maximize your chances for success, the LSED offers an ACLS prep course monthly to assist you in rhythm recognition, drug protocols and communication skills. To register for the next ACLS prep class, go to the LSED calendar and look for “ACLS Prep Class” in the calendar.

If you have any questions, call the Education Lab at (409) 772-2823 or email cpredlab@utmb.edu.       

American Heart Association

The American Heart Association strongly promotes knowledge and proficiency in BLS, ACLS, and PALS and has developed instructional materials for this purpose. Use of these materials in an educational course does not represent course sponsorship by the American Heart Association. Successful participation in one of these classes alone does not imply certification to perform the skills learned in the class.

If you have any questions, email cpredlab@utmb.edu or call the Education Lab at 409-772-2823.