Advanced Life Support (ALS) tips and help!

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Anonymous #1
#1
Report Thread starter 5 years ago
#1
I have my ALS tomorrow. I am very nervous about it. I am rubbish at recognising tricky arrhythmias under pressure, and always forget some important things. I know we have a cardiac arrest simulation and a written MCQ but the simulation assessment is what I am most stressed about. The booklet for ALS is also quite big and there so much in it.

Any tips on what to focus on, I've done all the online stuff and the pre-course MCQ. Now I'm fretting about the face to face part.

Do they get you fairy ready throughout the day for the simulation?
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Becca-Sarah
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#2
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#2
(Original post by Anonymous)
I have my ALS tomorrow. I am very nervous about it. I am rubbish at recognising tricky arrhythmias under pressure, and always forget some important things. I know we have a cardiac arrest simulation and a written MCQ but the simulation assessment is what I am most stressed about. The booklet for ALS is also quite big and there so much in it.

Any tips on what to focus on, I've done all the online stuff and the pre-course MCQ. Now I'm fretting about the face to face part.

Do they get you fairy ready throughout the day for the simulation?
I failed to differentiate between VF and asystole in one of my simulations and still passed, IIRC. So long as you can get shockable vs non-shockable you'll be on the right track. Remember that it's about leading the team as well as recognising the clinical stuff - generally the rest of the team are skilled but have zero initiative, so get in early with delegating stuff to them and start reeling off your 4H's/4T's once you have adequate CPR ongoing.*
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nexttime
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#3
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#3
Are you a med student or doctor? If so... ALS is done by nursing staff so for someone who went through med school the ECG stuff should be very basic. As above - basically shockable vs non-shockable, which hopefully you have some familiarity with.
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Helenia
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#4
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You have to try really quite hard to fail ALS, imo.
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InArduisFouette
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#5
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in ALS they aren;t looking for naming tricky arrythmias , you can always fallback to describing it in terms of organisation, width , rate , blocks etc ...
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InArduisFouette
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#6
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(Original post by Helenia)
You have to try really quite hard to fail ALS, imo.
you have to dig yourself into a big hole to fail the practicals

A to E ( and continue CPR for a minute or two if pulseless) and if necessary resorting to describing the ecg by it;s qualities is always a safe bet ...
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seaholme
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#7
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Hopefully you enjoyed it! I'm very cynical about practical days but actually kind of liked ALS, I found it very satisfying to actually feel competent (algorithmically and for that brief period of time xD) in that situation.

I don't know if you are doing the 1 or 2 day course but if it's the 2 day course then for the written exam at the end I think reading that textbook they sent you is a really good idea. It's also quite interesting.

I don't know anybody who failed the practicals but some of the critical care nurses on my course failed the written exam. I think probably due to not being confident with the ruthlessness of multiple choice. I found the exam had quite a lot of ambiguous questions if I'm honest, and I think if you're not a seasoned MCQ-er you can end up in a crisis of confidence. 60% of ALS is just about confidence and soft skills IMO. The other 40% is knowing the algorithms.
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Anonymous #1
#8
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#8
Thanks so much everyone. I passed!
Was stressful but realised all it is:

deteriorating patient - DRS ABCDE
They go into cardiac arrest and we are tested on both shockable and non shockable rhythms, and have to go through 4Hs and 4Ts and say what we do post-resus and that's it.

Day was long but fun, had a good group, good instructors, and feels awesome to be certified as competent and have an ALS certificate as a new F1
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seaholme
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#9
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Thanks so much everyone. I passed!
Was stressful but realised all it is:

deteriorating patient - DRS ABCDE
They go into cardiac arrest and we are tested on both shockable and non shockable rhythms, and have to go through 4Hs and 4Ts and say what we do post-resus and that's it.

Day was long but fun, had a good group, good instructors, and feels awesome to be certified as competent and have an ALS certificate as a new F1
It's a great time to do it. I didn't do it until the end of F1 and of course you've been in the situation it's training you for (but without that level of training) many times by then. Congrats on passing!
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Tilly2017
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#10
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#10
(Original post by Anonymous)
I have my ALS tomorrow. I am very nervous about it. I am rubbish at recognising tricky arrhythmias under pressure, and always forget some important things. I know we have a cardiac arrest simulation and a written MCQ but the simulation assessment is what I am most stressed about. The booklet for ALS is also quite big and there so much in it.

Any tips on what to focus on, I've done all the online stuff and the pre-course MCQ. Now I'm fretting about the face to face part.

Do they get you fairy ready throughout the day for the simulation?
Does anyone have any als past papers please ?
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Tilly2017
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#11
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#11
Does anyone have any help/ advise for passing the mcq ?

Any past papers ? Or revision notes would be great !
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seaholme
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#12
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#12
(Original post by Tilly2017)
Does anyone have any help/ advise for passing the mcq ?

Any past papers ? Or revision notes would be great !
Just read that textbook they send out and you'll pass.
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nexttime
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#13
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#13
(Original post by Tilly2017)
Does anyone have any als past papers please ?
You are overthinking this. Its really not hard.
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Florance3
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#14
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The ALS is not “run by nurses” the faculty is mixed, Doctors and nurses, some of which are consultants!
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nexttime
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#15
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#15
(Original post by Florance3)
The ALS is not “run by nurses” the faculty is mixed, Doctors and nurses, some of which are consultants!
You just created an account in order to 'correct' a quote that a) was made up by you - the closest is my post where I say nurses "do" i.e. take the course, but no one ever said they "run" it, and b) was from 2016.
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