Pediatric Advanced Life Support

Why do I need PALS training?

PALS training is not a common requirement for healthcare professionals unless they work in pediatric areas like the pediatric ward or intensive care. However, other hospitals will require employees to have certification in both ALS programs – ACLS and PALS. The different between the two is that the first specializes in CPR for adults while the second is for pediatric patients. PALS goes beyond the basic CPR techniques, skills, and knowledge given in the ACLS program; the program curriculum teaches students how to tailor techniques and medications used given to adults for children.

Who are considered pediatric patients?

Pediatric patients are people younger than 18 years old. However, as a person gets older, the differences in giving CPR or first aid becomes fewer and fewer. There are differences when giving CPR to an infant, toddler, school age children, and especially to an adult. Infants are children 1 month to 12 months old. Toddlers are 1 to 3 years old. Children 3 years old to 12 years old are pre/school age children.

First Aid Training in Kelowna
Placing a patient in the recovery position once he is stable.

How different is PALS from ACLS?

PALS is short for pediatric advanced life support while ACLS is short of advanced cardiac life support. Both these programs fall under the ALS or advanced life support concept. ALS was created after Basic Life Support guidelines in order to give healthcare providers a standardized guideline to follow when giving CPR as well. The programs have the same basics: chest compressions, inserting an endotracheal tube, using bag valve masks, and giving medication during a code. While ACLS focuses on using these basics on adults, PALS uses them on pediatric patients. The use of proper equipment and medication differenciates ALS from BLS training.

What ACLS programs can I sign up for?

There is a regular PALS program and a re-certification class available to trainees. It runs for two days with 14 hours total class hours. The requirements for this program are: an existing, valid BLS for HCP credential and a passing grade on the pre-tests. BLS for HCP is one of the three programs under the BLS concept. It teaches basic one-person and two-person rescue to HCPs and runs for 4.5 hours. It also has a re-certification class that is shorter at 4 hours.

After all lessons are completed, students are given a practical test and a written exam that they need to pass to receive the training credential. These tests are mandatory to all trainees under the program.

How long do credentials last?

All credentials awarded by our providers have a validity of 24 months. Before the certificate expires students are required to sign up early for re-certification classes to renew the certification for another 24 months. In the case of expiration, our providers will not honor the certificate and request the rescuer to retake the entire PALS program. Re-certification for PALS is 6 to 8 hours.

Enrolment can be completed on our provider homepages or through e-mail or telephone call. Enrolment in person is highly recommended by the staff, in order to settle all fees and paperwork.

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