Source: Advance Dentistry
In the field of medicine, prevention is always better than cure. Patients trust their health and well being to the doctor. Hence, the right qualifications and training that guide them to perform safe treatments are important. One can never be too careful, and that is why, as doctors acquiring training in performing emergency procedures is essential. This includes acquiring ACLS training too. The situation is applicable even for a dentist as there are a variety of improved treatment options available today in the dental segment too. With areas such as sedation dentistry available today, it is important that dentists go through training and certification for emergencies such as CPR, ACLS, BLS.
What is ACLS Certification?
ACLS or Advanced Cardiac Life Support certification aims at educating medical practitioners about the importance of communication and dynamics to follow immediately during a cardiac arrest. The system and procedure for post-cardiac arrest care for patients is the focus of the certification. It also includes some topics about related pharmacology and airway management, which are essential steps to follow with patients. There are various forms of courses available such as group sessions, online courses, testing stations.
In raw form, both ACLS as well as BLS(Basic Life Support) courses have the same objectives. It is to train the physician with proper techniques that will aid them in saving the life of a patient going through a cardiac arrest. But these courses teach different levels of methods to use in order to reach this objective. ACLS is, in fact, an advanced course that builds upon the basic training offered during BLS certifications. A study shows that the chances of survival of patients after ACLS training increase by almost 3 times from 28 % before training to 69% after the training.
What does it teach?
ACLS emphasizes on a larger segment of the problem compared to basic life support CPR training for patient survival. It covers stabilizing the patient before, after, and during the crisis. The ACLS technique is easy to understand in its structure, which gives the procedures to carry out during these emergencies using flow charts. It trains the personnel to perform dynamic tests at faster speeds on the patient during the situation and helps them cover the different steps in the flow chart with ease. It gives them the capability to respond quickly to the crisis and helps them stabilize the patient.
Unlike in BLS, where the machine determines the frequency of electric shock given to the patient, physicians receive training during ACLS to acquire skill sets to analyze ECG or electrocardiogram to identify the right time to give an electric shock to the patients. Following this, the course teaches airway devices placement such as endotracheal tubes and administering IV lines. Analyzing the exact cause of cardiac arrest and moving to a more focussed plan of treatment is the next step. Physicians receive training to understand the possibility of reversible reasons for cardiac arrest. If so, the required steps need to be taken from there to control the problem. For example, if the cardiac arrest was due to an overdose or unexpected chemical interaction, then antidotes are immediately assisted. Doctors across the world share their experience of receiving the training and how it has influenced their practice for better.
Why is ACLS certification important for a dentist?
Like the various sectors of the economy, healthcare is also witnessing rapid changes and evolution. Technology has affected and developed the sector to offer much better and safer treatment options for various ailments. Dental medicine has also witnessed this technological evolution where new procedures, treatments, and techniques are available for the patients. This means that unlike a common assumption that dentists do not need life-saving credentials, certain emergency training can actually be an advantage.
A study conducted aimed to train nurses with CPR knowledge to acquire ACLS skills. The conclusion of the study indicates that the survival rate of post-ACLS training is much higher compared to nurses with just CPR training. Cardiac arrest or other such emergencies can happen during dental procedures. The chances of this are slim, yet existing even during simple procedures. Understanding the policies and procedures to tackle the situation can help dentists revise an appropriate crisis response plan and save the patients life.
Importance of ACLS certification
1. It can enhance reputation in the field of work: Improving your skills in the field of practice will help enhance your reputation. ACLS certification shows that the physician has received the training and is capable of handling emergency situations during any dental procedure. It shows dedication towards mastering such essential skills as well as educates about the way to tackle the crisis with a proper response plan.
2. It improves patient trust: Changing methods and treatment options offer a wider choice for patients. But it also leaves them baffled with choices and skeptical about the safety and expertise of the physician in the given area. But ACLS certification gives the assurance that the physician can handle any emergency situation if arises in a skillful manner. This can be particularly helpful while practicing sedation dentistry, where the patient is not completely aware. It builds trust between the dentist and the patient, even while not being completely conscious.
3. It improves overall confidence: As a dentist, confidence while performing various procedures is important to attain the best results. Getting hold of new technology and equipment for treatments can be overwhelming and cause doubt. But having the skills to avert or handle emergencies during the procedure improves confidence. The skills will help diagnose and avert cardiac arrest and save the patient`s life.
4. You become competent in the field: Being a part of the ever-evolving medical field means you need to stay updated and on top to get access to better opportunities. ACLS training improves competence among dentists. Employers and organizations can thus identify and recognize such physicians faster.
ACLS certification requires the person to pass various tests including MegaCode Task, Bag-mask ventilation skills test, CPR and AED skills tests. Going through these levels of tests ensures that the physician is ready and prepared to handle cardiac arrests and other such emergencies. This training helps adapt improving technologies to offer safer and efficient healthcare to patients with more confidence.