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students participating in Advanced Cardiac Life Support training

Stayin’ Alive with Advanced Cardiac Life Support

When third-year Northeast Ohio Medical University College of Medicine students walk into Advanced Cardiac Life Support training, Cook Alumni Hall is transformed into an imaginary emergency department lined with tables of patients awaiting treatment.

In order to gain American Heart Association certification in Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support and Basic Life Support, students must pass a real-life scenario, along with a written test, before moving on to clerkships in clinical settings with real patients.

During the hands-on testing, each student is assigned a “patient” with specific conditions, from heart rate to blood pressure, which can be controlled by the touch of each instructor’s iPad. The students take turns leading their own medical team and patient care for 10 minute increments.

While caring for their patient, students put their skills to the test by performing chest compressions, inserting a laryngeal tube into the patient’s mouth and down the throat, administering medications and more.

ACLS is a part of NEOMED’s two-week long Boot Camp that teaches medicine students practical, hands-on skills such as using a mechanical chest compression device and sewing sutures. The sessions also provide students with tips on topics such as prescription writing, pain management and cultural awareness in the clinical setting.