Are Online PALS Certifications AHA Approved?

Whether you work as a paramedic, a nurse, or a physician, you’re no stranger to certifications. With the ever-changing landscape of medicine, you have to stay up to date on everything. For that reason, many medical professionals require recertifications from time to time. This often requires a recertification course or a test of some kind.

Now, you may be thinking, “I’m busy, and I don’t have the time to sit in a classroom for hours to re-learn something I do on the job already.” Well, you’re in luck. As healthcare expands into the 21st century, certification courses do as well. Many now have course material available entirely online. So, could online certification be right for you?


Life Support Certifications

Some of these programs include Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), as well as Basic Life Support (BLS) and Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS). All of these are necessary certifications for anyone who practices emergency medicine. The PALS certification specifically relates to work with infants and children. While it won’t be used in intensive NICU care, nurses will learn about CPR, resuscitation, and AED usage specific to children.

Be aware that PALS, BLS, AND ACLS certifications do expire, so your renewal of each will be important. Many recertifications can be done through an online course. Your PALS recert online can be done quickly and easily through Pursuing an online option may be beneficial due to the flexibility and affordability of online courses.

American Heart Association

As with any certification, there is a ruling body that determines what essential information healthcare providers need to be certified in. For life support and cardiovascular issues, the ruling body is the American Heart Association (AHA). Overall, the AHA helps with heart disease and stroke studies, but they aid hospitals with CPR training and establish the criteria for PALS, BLS, AND ACLS certifications. Through constant research, the AHA updates its requirements every few years, which is why recertification is important for practicing medical professionals.

Can I get fully certified online?

Now, the question you’ve all been waiting for: can I get fully certified online? Unfortunately, the answer isn’t a simple yes or no. You can complete your PALS certification course online, but to get your AHA-approved card, you will need to perform an in-person skills demonstration. Because CPR is a hands-on technique, you will require training in person as well as demonstrate your technique during your assessment.

This is simply the case for hospitals and employers that require you to be an AHA PALS cardholder. If you are not required to have the official card, an online PALS course may be perfect for you, especially for workers who need a refresher rather than learning the technique from scratch. The series of videos and virtual healthcare settings may be enough for you to grasp the concepts. Overall, touch base with your place of work to see what they require of their medical professionals.

Who needs PALS certification?

The truth is, not everyone needs a PALS certification. Only those working with youth and infants require specific pediatric knowledge. However, anyone who works in an emergency setting will need to prepare for a plethora of situations. While physicians and nurses would seem like obvious candidates, emergency responders and paramedics also should be PALS certified.

Continuing Medical Education

While an online certification may not completely cover your AHA needs, remember that it still counts as a part of your Continuing Medical Education (CME). Many states require CME credits for practicing healthcare professionals. These credits are exactly what they sound like: opportunities for physicians to continue their learning and be the best doctor they can be. The landscape of medicine is constantly changing, so staying on top of your craft and being knowledgable about new advancements is imperative when it comes to saving lives.

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