2015 Guidelines PALS Instructor-Led Training FAQ Frequently Asked Questions
As of October 6, 2016
Q: What is the AHAs PALS ILT Course?
A: The PALS Course, updated to reflect the 2015 AHA Guidelines Update for CPR and ECC, is the AHAs
advanced pediatric life support course. The goal of the PALS Course is to improve the quality of care
provided to seriously ill or injured children, resulting in improved outcomes.
This classroom, Instructor-led course teaches the important concepts of a systematic approach to
pediatric assessment, basic life support, PALS treatment algorithms, effective resuscitation, and team
Q: What is the format of the PALS ILT Course?
A: The PALS Course is conducted by an AHA PALS Instructor in a classroom setting, supported by video.
The course uses a series of simulated pediatric emergencies to reinforce the important concepts of a
systematic approach to pediatric assessment, basic life support, PALS treatment algorithms, effective
resuscitation and team dynamics. The course offers life-like skills animations, team dynamics role play,
and scenarios appropriate to different types of providers (prehospital and in hospital).
During the course, skills are taught in a combination of large-group sessions with videos and Instructor
direction, and in small-group learning and testing stations using case-based scenarios with a manikin
and Instructor feedback. During skills practice and testing, students are required to function as both a
team leader and a team member to learn team dynamics. The course is designed to include both the
cognitive portion of training and the psychomotor component of thorough skills practice and testing.
Q: Specifically, what content is taught in the PALS Classroom Course?
A: The new PALS Course contains key changes reflecting science from the 2015 AHA Guidelines Update
for CPR and ECC. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
Perform high-quality Child CPR AED and Infant CPR per AHA BLS recommendations
Differentiate between patients who do and do not require immediate intervention
Recognize cardiopulmonary arrest early and begin CPR within 10 seconds
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 postcardiac arrest management
Q: What is different about the 2015 PALS Course versus the 2010 PALS Course?
A: The 2015 PALS Course is updated to reflect the 2015 AHA Guidelines Update for CPR and ECC.
Other key changes include:
New Educational Design
o Learning Objectives
o Instructor Tips
o Instructor Actions: Icons
o Instructor Notes
o Optional Lessons
o Instructor-Led Practice
o Instructor-Led Discussions
Mandatory Precourse Self-Assessment with minimum passing score of 70%
New Case Discussion Videos
New Case Scenarios (Megacode)
New Lesson Plans
o Tailored to support instruction of the PALS Course, the PALS Update Course, and the HeartCodeฎ PALS blended learning course
o Learning objectives specific to the objectives that students need to learn in each lesson
o An Instructor Tips section has been added, which includes helpful tips for each lesson
o Lesson Plans now organized by video segment
o Icons are used throughout the Lesson Plans to help direct the Instructor throughout the lesson
Updated Instructor and Provider Manuals
o Open Resource
o 50-question exam
Q: Who is the target audience for the PALS Course?
A: The AHAs PALS Course is for healthcare providers who either direct or participate in the management of respiratory and/or cardiovascular emergencies and cardiopulmonary arrest in pediatric patients. This includes personnel in emergency response, emergency medicine, intensive care, and critical care units such as physicians, nurses, paramedics, and others who need a PALS course completion card for job or other requirements.
PALS Course Completion Requirements
Q: What are the course completion requirements for the PALS Course?
A: The minimum course completion requirements include:
Participation in the classroom course, including completion of all learning stations
Completion of the open-resource written exam with a minimum score of 84%
Passing the 1- and 2-Rescuer Child BLS With AED and 1- and 2-Rescuer Infant BLS Skills Tests
Passing 2 PALS core case scenarios (1 cardiac and 1 respiratory or shock) as a team leader, providing appropriate medical treatment and demonstrating effective team dynamics
The 12 required case scenarios are:
Upper Airway Obstruction
Lower Airway Obstruction
Lung Tissue Disease
Disordered Control of Breathing
Required skills stations include:
Child CPR and AED
Management of Respiratory Emergencies
Rhythm Disturbances/Electrical Therapy
Q: Are students required to act as a team leader in the two core case scenarios in order to pass the PALS Course?
Q: Does successful completion of the PALS Course result in an AHA course completion card?
A: Yes. Students who successfully complete the requirements of the PALS Course will receive an AHA
PALS Provider course completion card (available in print or eCard), valid for two years.
Preparing to Take the PALS Course
Q: Are there prerequisites for taking the PALS Course?
A: Before taking PALS, students should have a mastery of infant and child BLS skills. Students should also
Be able to recognize a variety of heart rhythms
Be familiar with different types of airway management tools and how they are used
Have knowledge of the drugs commonly used in the PALS algorithms and flowcharts
Understand the Systematic Approach Algorithm and the evaluate-identify-intervene sequence
Q: What resources are available to help prepare students for the PALS Course?
A: The AHA has created the PALS Student Website at www.heart.org/eccstudent. The site allows students
and Instructors access to the online, mandatory PALS Precourse Self-Assessment along with additional
resources and videos listed above. To access the AHA Student Website, students and Instructors will
need an access code, which is provided on page ii of the PALS Provider Manual and PALS Instructor
The PALS Student Website contains the following resources:
Mandatory Precourse Self-Assessment
Precourse Preparation Checklist
Systematic Approach video
Management of Respiratory Distress and Failure video
Management of Arrhythmias video
Management of Shock video
Q: What materials must a student have to take the PALS Course?
A: To take the PALS Course, each student must have access to his/her own PALS Provider Manual (print
or eBook formats available) before, during, and after the class.
PALS Precourse Self-Assessment
Q: What is the PALS Precourse Self-Assessment?
A: The Precourse Self-Assessment is an online tool that evaluates a students knowledge in 3 sections:
rhythm identification, pharmacology, and practical application. Students complete the assessment
before the course to help evaluate their proficiency and determine the need for additional review and
practice before the course.
All students must complete the Precourse Self-Assessment and achieve a
score of at least 70% before taking the PALS Course.
Students may attempt the Precourse SelfAssessment
as many times as they need to in order to achieve a minimum score of 70%. Upon successful completion of the Precourse Self-Assessment, students must print their completion certificate and bring it with them to class.
Q: Approximately how long does the PALS Course take to complete?
A: Approximate course completion times are listed below. Times are based on a recommended ratio of 6
students to 1 Instructor to 1 manikin or station (NOTE: the CPR and AED and Management of Respiratory Emergencies stations require 1 Instructor and 2 manikins for 6 students per station).
Using different ratios will result in increased course completion times.
Full course: 13 hours 40 minutes, plus additional time for breaks and lunch
Update with all optional stations: 8 hours 20 minutes, plus additional time for breaks and lunch
Update without optional stations: 6 hours 20 minutes, plus additional time for breaks and lunch
Q: Are continuing education (CE/CME/CEH) credits offered for the PALS ILT Course?
A: The AHA has applied for continuing education for the PALS Course. Specific language will be added as
soon as it is available.
Q: What new materials are available for the PALS Course?
A: Materials for the classroom course, updated to reflect the 2015 AHA Guidelines Update for CPR and ECC, include:
15-1058 PALS Provider Manual, includes PALS Pocket Reference Card (15-1046)
15-3120 PALS Provider Manual eBook, includes PALS Digital Reference Card (15-3121)
15-1046 PALS Pocket Reference Card
15-3121 PALS Digital Reference Card
15-1051 PALS DVD Set (2 discs)
15-1047 PALS Instructor Manual (includes Lesson Plans, Instructor CD, divider page tabs, testing case scenarios, ECG rhythm cards)
15-3122 PALS Instructor Manual eBook
15-1048 PALS Instructor Package, includes:
o PALS Provider Manual (15-1058)
o PALS Instructor Manual (15-1047)
o 2 PALS DVD Sets (15-1051)
o PALS Posters (15-1049)
o PALS Emergency Crash Cart Cards (15-1050)
15-1049 PALS Posters (set of 10)
15-1046 PALS Pocket Reference Card
15-3121 PALS Digital Reference Card
15-1050 PALS Emergency Crash Cart Cards
15-1807 PALS Provider Course Completion Card (3-card sheet)
15-3006 PALS Provider eCard
15-1806 PALS Instructor Card (3-card sheet)
Q: Why are there 2 DVD Sets included in the PALS Instructor Package?
A: The Instructor package includes 2 DVD Sets to provide more flexibility for Instructors in the way the
course is run. Each set includes the PALS Course DVD and the PALS Update Course and HeartCode
Q: What is included on the Instructor CD that comes with the PALS Instructor Manual?
A: The CD includes the following resources:
Precourse materials (equipment list, sample agendas, sample precourse letters)
Practice case scenarios
Testing case scenarios
Lesson Plans for full and update courses, as well as for HeartCode PALS
Skills testing checklists
Course progress checklists
Algorithms and flowcharts
Team dynamics debriefing tool
Team role labels, and more
Q: Are the contents of the Instructor CD also be posted to the AHA Instructor Network?
A: Forms, checklists and some other tools found on the Instructor CD are posted to the AHA Instructor
Network under Courses > PALS > Course Resources. Lesson Plans, algorithms, and flowcharts are not
posted to the AHA Instructor Network.
Teaching the PALS Course
Q: Who can teach the PALS Course?
A: AHA PALS Instructors may teach this course.
Q: What materials are necessary to teach PALS?
A: To teach the PALS Course, PALS Instructors, at a minimum, must have their own PALS Instructor
Manual and PALS Course DVD Set. However, for added convenience and cost savings, it is
recommended that Instructors have the full PALS Instructor Package.
Q: What resources are available to help Instructors understand the new PALS Course and materials?
A: The AHA developed the PALS Product & Course Orientation (P&CO) to help PALS Instructors
understand the new, 2015 Guidelines PALS Course design and teaching strategies, and to quickly get
up to speed on the latest updates to the course materials. The orientation is available free of charge to
Instructors through the AHA Instructor Network.
The P&CO provides PALS Instructors
Information about new course materials, course curriculum updates, and how the changes
impact the way you will teach the PALS Course
Details, clarification, and direction on various course formats
Specifics about new PALS course materials
Steps to incorporate new updates into various course settings
While all PALS Instructors are strongly encouraged to complete the P&CO before teaching the new course, it is not required. Viewing the P&CO is most helpful if Instructors have new course materials in hand
Q: From a logistical perspective, how should rooms be set up for training and testing, and what should be the ratio of students to instructors to manikins?
A: The PALS Course can be taught to a large group in one large room with smaller breakout rooms for practicing and testing. The large room should comfortably hold at least 20 people. The smaller rooms must hold up to 8 people (7 students and 1 instructor) along with the required manikins and equipment.
The PALS Course ratio should be 6 students to 1 instructor to 1 manikin.
Note: the CPR and AED and
Management of Respiratory Emergencies stations require 6 students to 1 instructor to 2 manikins.
Q: What is the difference between the structured debriefing portion of the PALS Course and the
Structured and Supported Debriefing Online Course?
A: The structured debriefing portion of the PALS Course does not teach the Instructor how to debrief; it is
simply a tool that can be used during a debriefing.
Purchasing Materials/Finding Classes
Q: Where can I purchase new PALS Course materials?
A: AHA training materials can be purchased from any of AHAs three Distributors. eBooks and digital
materials can also be purchased at http://eBooks.heart.org.
Q: How do I find a PALS Course in my area?
A: To find a class near you, please use the Find a Course tool at www.heart.org/findacourse.
Q: Whom should I contact if I have problems with PALS materials?
A: For problems with PALS Course materials, customers should contact the AHA Distributor from whom
they purchased the materials.
Q: Will PALS be translated? When will translated editions be available?
A: For information on translations of PALS Course materials, please visit http://international.heart.org