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How to Prepare for PALS Class | Nashville PALS Classes

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Hi! And congratulations on deciding to take a Pediatric Advance Life Support class. A PALS class is very challenging and very rewarding. Here we provide some information you’ll find very helpful before taking your PALS certification course.

Before studying the PALS manual it is necessary for students to have a solid understanding of ECG rhythms and pharmacology. If students do not understand the electrical activity of the heart and are not able to identify normal and life threatening cardiac rhythms, some of the course content will be difficult to understand. If more education is required in this area, CPR Nashville suggests taking the online American Heart Association Learn Rhythm Adult course.

This course can be taken at any time the student chooses and teaches students exactly what they need to know about ECG rhythms to be successful in becoming a PALS Provider. The Pharmacology manual that is mailed to first time students does a great job of explaining medications used in medical emergencies. The AHA also offers an online pharmacology course for those interested.

Once students feel comfortable with reading cardiac rhythms and pharmacology for cardiac emergencies, they should spend an adequate amount of time reviewing the course material in the PALS manual. Recognition and management of respiratory emergencies, shock, and cardiovascular emergencies are presented during simulations in class. Understanding what each mean in the pediatric patient prior to the day of class will help the student have a foundation to build from. Pay close attention also to the section of the PALS manual that focuses on “the PALS Systematic approach“. This section teaches the evaluate-identify-intervene sequence. Become familiar with this before class.

Finally, once the student has spent ample time reviewing all of the above mentioned material, they need to take the PALS Precourse Self-Assessment. The course has 3 sections. The sections assess the student’s knowledge of ECG rhythm identification, pharmacology, and practical application. The student and instructor will be able to focus on the specific areas that the student did not score high in. This is helpful to make sure the student has success in the PALS class.

The precourse self assessment can be taken by visiting http://heart.org/eccstudent. Enter the PALS access code: palsprovider. There is not a minimum required score needed before taking the class, however, the printed results must be brought with the student and turned into the instructor at the beginning of class.

Prior to the day of class, CPR Nashville will mail first time PALS students the American Heart Association (AHA) PALS provider manual and the AHA ECG/Pharmacology manual. If the student is taking the CPR Nashville PALS renewal class, the book is sold separately. However, if the PALS renewal student purchases the book, CPR Nashville will ship it in advance.

CPR Nashville instructors want students to be successful in the PALS course completion. Students are encouraged to call and email questions. Good luck and we hope to see you in class!


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