Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) is a video-based, Instructor-led, advanced course, that focuses on a systematic approach to pediatric assessment, basic life support, PALS treatment algorithms, effective resuscitation and team dynamics to improve the quality of care provided to seriously ill or injured children, resulting in improved outcomes.
The Heart and Stroke Foundation's PALS Course offers:
- The latest resuscitation science for improved patient outcomes
- Enriched course content, including simulations, state-of-the-art 3-D animations, video scenarios and thought-provoking examples of real pediatric emergency cases, engaging students in robust dialogue and confirming their understanding of the educational material they have received.
- Enhanced features that provide course flexibility, by allowing instructors to incorporate local protocols into their training, while still ensuring that all learning objectives are met.
The Heart and Stroke Foundations Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) Provider Course is designed for healthcare providers who either direct or participate in the management of respiratory and/or cardiovascular emergencies and cardiopulmonary arrest in pediatric patients, as well as others who need a PALS course completion card for job or other requirements.
It is highly recommended that only those who will use the skills of PALS within their scope of practice take the PALS Course. All students who meet the prerequisites and successfully pass the PALS course will receive a course completion card. Receipt of a course completion card does not grant permission to practice the skills learned.
Course Overview and Design:
Scientific evidence has pointed the way toward better content, while educational research has led to improved design of the Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) Provider Course. Both the design and the content of the Heart and Stroke Foundation PALS Provider Course are evidence based.
The PALS Provider Course emphasizes 5 major concepts:
- Identification and treatment of problems that place the child at risk for cardiac arrest
- Application of a systematic approach to pediatric assessment
- Use of the evaluate-identify-intervene sequence
- Use of PALS algorithms and flowcharts
- Demonstration of effective resuscitation team dynamics
The course is designed to give students the opportunity to acquire, practice, and demonstrate proficiency in the assessment and management of critically ill pediatric patients. The primary educational methodology used in the course is that of simulation, whether for skill acquisition, complex medical decision making, or teamwork. Other modalities used are video demonstration and group discussion.
Students will have the opportunity to learn, practice and demonstrate proficiency in the following skills:
- Perform high-quality cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) per Heart and Stroke
- Foundation basic life support (BLS) recommendations
- Differentiate between patients who do and do not require immediate intervention
- Recognize cardiopulmonary arrest early and begin CPR within 10 seconds of recognition
- Apply team dynamics
- Differentiate between respiratory distress and failure
- Perform early interventions for respiratory distress and failure
- Differentiate between compensated and decompensated (hypotensive) shock
- Perform early interventions for the treatment of shock
- Differentiate between unstable and stable patients with arrhythmias
- Describe clinical characteristics of instability in patients with arrhythmias
- Implement post–cardiac arrest management
Students will practice the application of these and other skills in simulated cases and will practice both Team Leader and team member roles.
PALS Course Duration: Course durations provided are based upon a student-instructor ratio for learning stations of 6:1, and does not include additional times needed for breaks or transitions, or additional students.
Course completion card expiration date:
All Heart and Stroke Foundation PALS course completions cards have an expiration date of two (2) years from the date of completion
PALS Provider Course Prerequisites:
Students who take the full PALS Course, must have a current Heart and Stroke Foundation BLS course completion card, complete the mandatory Precourse Self-Assessment and be proficient in the following:
- Performing high-quality BLS skills through the use of the 2015 Guidelines Update for CPR and ECC
Identify—on a monitor and/or paper tracing—the following rhythms and rhythm disturbances:
- Normal sinus rhythm
- Sinus bradycardia
- Sinus tachycardia
- Supraventricular tachycardia
- Ventricular tachycardia
- Ventricular fibrillation.
Demonstrate a basic understanding of the essential drugs used in the management of:
- Cardiac arrest
- Be able to combine ECG rhythm recognition and pharmacology
Students are given direction on how to access the Student website in their PALS Provider Manual. The student website provides important supplementary information and videos, as well as a link to the Precourse Self- Assessment. The mandatory Precourse Self-Assessment requires a passing score of 70% or higher to print the certificate. Students can take the Precourse Self-Assessment as many times as needed to achieve a passing score.