What is Pediatric Advanced Life Support? (PALS)

Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) prepares healthcare specialists to provide emergency medical care to infants, newborn babies, and children until puberty.

However, the training program concentrates on teaching vital skills for helping children up till the age of puberty.

PALS’ primary goal is to provide critically ill newborns with emergency life support.

As a result, it increases their survivability rate and brings them into a stable and healthy physiological state.

What Does PALS Training Teach?

The PALS program is a two or three-day course which focuses on training medical professionals (especially those who work in the pediatric care field).

It includes proper assessment and intervention training, infant resuscitation, and respiratory diagnosis and treatment.

Healthcare specialists also learn CPR and AED use,  pulmonary and cardiac arrest assessment and management, shock management, airway management, pediatric team dynamics, and other medical-related procedures.

PALS Course Curriculum:

  • Assessment and intervention training
  • Infant rescusistation
  • Respiratory diagnosis and treatment
  • CPR and AED use
  • Pulmonary/cardiac arrest assessment and management
  • Shock management
  • Airway management
  • Pediatric team dynamics
  • Other related medical procedures

This training aims to enable medical professionals to detect and treat infant illnesses, injuries, and complications.

PALS training provides students with classroom, textbook, and video-related materials.

In addition, there’s a series of simulated pediatric emergencies to provide students with a deep understanding and comprehension of the importance of PALS training.

These stimulated emergencies reinforce the educational lessons on the proper assessment and treatment of infant and child illnesses.

As a result, specialists are more prepared and able to provide emergency care in the field.

Who Requires PALS Training?

Healthcare providers like registered nurses in NICU units primarily learn PALS due to their direct infant care setting.

It teaches these healthcare specialists to respond quickly to emergencies related to infants and children until puberty.

Most adults who are not healthcare providers or don’t respond to infant-related emergencies do not learn PALS.

The most common specialists who receive PALS certification include RNs, physicians, first responders, and paramedics.

Not all physicians, first responders, or paramedics receive PALS certification, especially if they primarily treat adults.

PALS training is relevant in healthcare settings that provide primary care to infants and children until puberty.

Nonetheless, other healthcare occupations that provide life-saving care to infants may also receive PALS certification. 

Pediatric Advanced Life Support Certification

Numerous online and in-person resources offer PALS certification for qualified healthcare professionals.

Those interested in obtaining Pediatric Advanced Life Support certification should check out The American Heart Association website.

This website offers excellent information on receiving Pediatric Advanced Life Support certification.

It also provides plenty of data and resources to answer questions about the PALS exam.

You can also find additional resources on PALS at your local hospital, library, or community healthcare center.

These locations offer PALS certification or provide resources to learn about the program and where to receive training.

The Pediatric Advanced Life Support certification is a relatively short training program.

Most individuals complete the course within 2 – 3 days.

It prepares healthcare professionals who treat infants and young children to provide life-saving advanced pediatric life support.

Prerequisites for PALS Enrollment

According to the American Red Cross, proficiency in pediatric basic life support or BLS is the only prerequisite needed to enroll in PALS.

Basic life support or BLS certification teaches individuals and healthcare specialists essential life-saving emergency interventions.

It’s one of the most fundamental programs available to extend a person’s life until they receive additional care at a hospital or an emergency care center.

As a result, BLS is the building block of numerous other certification programs related to emergency care and intervention.

Other certifications include First Aid, CPR, BLS, AED ALS, ACLS, and PALS.

Common Healthcare Certifications:

  • First Aid training
  • CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation)
  • AED (Automated External Defibrillator)
  • BLS (Basic Life Support)
  • ALS (Adult Life Support)
  • ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support)
  • PALS (Pediatric Advanced Life Support)

Each certificate provides unique life-saving training to individuals with various medical needs.

Sometimes, an individual requires a prior certification (.i.e., BLS) before taking advanced courses like PALS.

The following sections explore some of the most frequently asked questions about Pediatric Advanced Life Support.

What does PALS Stand For?

PALS stands for Pediatric Advanced Life Support.

The purpose of PALS is to provide healthcare professionals with life-saving emergency procedures to extend an infant/child’s life.

As a result, healthcare specialists who work primarily with infants, babies, and small children often receive PALS training.

PALS is designed to concentrate on infants and children until puberty.

How Lengthy Are PALS Courses?

It takes approximately 8 – 12.5 hours to complete PALS (Pediatric Advanced Life Support) training.

Pediatric Advanced Life Support recertification requires around four hours to complete.

However, the length of PALS certification depends on the training program, instructor, and whether students take a break.

Pediatric Advanced Life Support trainees must confirm they receive certification from an accredited institution.

Obtaining credentials through an accredited program ensures the PALS certification is nationally recognized.

Can I Take PALS Online?

The American Heart Association offers a blended learning PALS program.

It enables students to obtain their PALS certification partly online.

After that, students must complete a hands-on skills session with an AHA instructor or HeartCode compatible manikin.

The hands-on portion of the PALS certification lasts approximately 5 hours.

Further accredited institutions like ACLS.com also offer online PALS certification and recertification classes.

How Long is PALS Certification Good For?

The PALS certification is good for approximately two years or 24 months from the date of the certificate.

Nevertheless, PALS graduates must consult training institutions to determine the length of their certifications validation.

Healthcare specialists must renew their certificates through a recertification class before their certification expiration date.

What About PALS Recertification?

Every 24 months healthcare specialists who’ve received PALS certification must take a recertification class.

The Pediatric Advanced Life Support recertification takes about 4 hours to complete.

It ensures medical professionals remain updated on the latest PALS procedures and technologies.

It also confirms they still understand how to properly perform Pediatric Advanced Life Support.

Those who do not complete the recertification on time will need to retake the entire 8 – 12.5 hour PALS training course. 

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