New 2020 PALS Course FAQ

The AHA’s PALS Course has been updated to reflect new science in the 2020 AHA Guidelines for CPR and ECC. The goal of the PALS Provider Course is to improve outcomes for pediatric patients by preparing healthcare providers to effectively recognize and intervene in patients with respiratory emergencies, shock, and cardiopulmonary arrest by using high-performance team dynamics and high-quality individual skills. This course uses pre-course preparation, didactic instruction, and active participation in learning stations and simulated cases.

In the 2020 PALS Provider Course, students will learn and practice
• Skills:
o Performing child and infant CPR
o Using oxygen delivery and airway management equipment
o Establishing intraosseous (IO) access and a method for giving rapid fluid boluses
o Using electrocardiogram (ECG) monitoring
o Providing defibrillation/cardioversion
• Pediatric assessment: A systematic approach
• Medical management:
o 4 types of acute respiratory problems
o 4 types of acute circulatory problems
o 4 types of acute cardiac problems, including cardiac arrest
• Leadership: Communication and other important elements of team dynamics as they relate to resuscitation.

The new PALS Course includes the following changes:
Learning and testing Stations
The key change in the PALS Provider Course is achieving a minimal Chest Compression Fraction (CCF) of 81% for more objective practice and testing. This allows everyone to move from a perception of how they did to actual measures of how they performed (perception to reality). This requires scenarios to be run in real time so that CCF can be measured coupled with a required feedback device for increased CPR quality. Teams will need to work together to figure out how to increase their CCF (i.e., choreography, logistics, etc.) for arrest related cases. The desire is to transfer this newly acquired knowledge into real world emergencies. This is the core of increasing survival rates.
Perform—–Measure—–Evaluate/Debrief——Implement changes—–Perform better—–Measure⇒Continuous improvement cycle
Online exams
The AHA now offers online exams for Instructor-led Training (ILT) courses. Online exams improve exam security and are just one way the AHA ensures that cardholders around the world have met the same course completion requirements for PALS classroom training.
Course Videos
• Course videos are available in digital format online.
• New videos have been added to the PALS Course, including CPR Coach
Precourse Work
Instructor-led courses now include pre-course work (recommended). If an Instructor chooses this option, students review course content through online interactive videos before they enter the classroom. Video lessons cover multiple medical subjects to prepare students for the course. Each lesson includes questions to engage students. This format allows more classroom time for hands-on skills training and leads to students being better prepared to participate as soon as they enter the classroom.
In the 2020 PALS Provider Course, Instructors conduct a pre-briefing with students immediately before the start of each simulation. The goals of pre-briefing are to establish a positive learning environment and to provide information about the session to students. In addition, teams will set goals for the case and discuss the goals they set in the pre-briefing during the debriefing. This will prepare students for success in the course.
CPR Coach
The CPR Coach is a new role within the resuscitation team. The CPR Coach role is designed to promote the delivery of high-quality CPR and allow the Team Leader to focus on other elements of cardiac arrest care, coordinate the various team members’ assigned tasks, and ensure that clinical care is delivered according to AHA guidelines. 2020 PALS Provider Course (Instructor-Led Training)
Infant CPR and Child CPR and AED Skills Testing
• Includes enhanced pre-briefing and debriefing
• Assesses students as a group
• Includes new CPR Coach role
Provider Manual Updates
The manual Includes new information on the use of a CPR Coach and high-performance teams.

In the new PALS Provider ILT Course, pre-course work is completed before the course so that students are prepared for the course at a Training Center. Precourse work includes the mandatory Precourse Self-Assessment, followed by video lessons. The course is structured as follows:
• Core concepts are presented online through interactive video lessons. Video lessons are completed before coming to class. Then Instructors lead discussions and case-based scenarios around a manikin during class.
• The Instructor coaches students by using a feedback device as they practice CPR and ventilation skills.
• The Instructor monitors as each student/team demonstrates skills proficiency as outlined in the skills testing checklist.
• Students take the PALS Provider Course Exam exam to confirm their understanding of core concepts.
The students will complete online video lessons (pre-course work) before coming to class.

The course is designed to give students the opportunity to practice and demonstrate proficiency in the following skills used in resuscitation:
• Identifying and treating problems that place the child at risk for cardiac arrest
• Applying a systematic approach to pediatric assessment
• Using the evaluate‐identify‐intervene sequence
• Using the PALS algorithms and flowcharts
• Demonstrating effective resuscitation team dynamics

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%
2020 PALS Provider Course (Instructor-Led Training)
• Passing the 1- and 2-Rescuer Child BLS With AED and 1- and 2-Rescuer Infant BLS Skills
• Passing 2 PALS core case scenarios (1 cardiac and 1 respiratory or shock), providing appropriate medical treatment and demonstrating effective team dynamics
• Required skills stations include:
o Child CPR and AED
o Infant CPR
o Airway Management
o Rhythm Disturbances/Electrical Therapy
o Vascular Access

The AHA’s 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.

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

The following PALS resources are available to students at
• Mandatory Precourse Self-Assessment
• Precourse Preparation Checklist
• Video Lessons (Precourse Work)

  • PALS Supplementary Information

The Precourse Self-Assessment is an online tool that evaluates a student’s knowledge in 3 sections: rhythm recognition, 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 must print their successful scoring report and bring it with them to class.

Students need to make sure they are prepared for the PALS Provider Course to minimize the risk of failing the course. Market research indicates a significantly favorable response from Instructors on making the Precourse Self-Assessment mandatory. The need for the mandatory Precourse Self-Assessment has increased due to more non-traditional students taking PALS.

The online Precourse Self-Assessment cannot be duplicated in a printed format since it measures knowledge gaps based on how students answer questions as they move through the assessment. A written version would not be able to adequately assess knowledge.

Student/Provider Materials
PALS Provider Manual, includes PALS Reference Card
PALS Provider Manual eBook, includes PALS Digital Reference Card
PALS Reference Card
PALS Digital Reference Card

Yes. The AHA allows Instructors to add BLS skills testing and an exam to provide both a BLS Provider eCard and a PALS Provider eCard upon successful completion of the PALS course.

The AHA has adopted an open-resource policy for exams. Open resource means that students may use resources as a reference while completing the exam. Resources could include the provider manual, either in printed form or as an eBook on personal devices, any notes the student took during the provider course, the 2020 Handbook of ECC for Healthcare Providers, the AHA Guidelines for CPR and
ECC, etc.

Yes. The following CE is available for the PALS Provider and the PALS Update Courses:

PALS ILT Full Classroom Course
Continuing Education Accreditation – Emergency Medical Services
This continuing education activity is approved by the American Heart Association, an organization accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Pre-Hospital Continuing Education (CAPCE), for 9.75 Educator CEHs, activity number 20-AMHA-F2-0089.

PALS ILT Update Course
Continuing Education Accreditation – Emergency Medical Services
This continuing education activity is approved by the American Heart Association, an organization accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Pre-Hospital Continuing Education (CAPCE), for 6.50 Educator CEHs, activity number 20-AMHA-F2-0090.

PALS ILT Traditional Full Course
Continuing Education Accreditation – Emergency Medical Services
This continuing education activity is approved by the American Heart Association, an organization accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Pre-Hospital Continuing Education (CAPCE), for 13.75 Educator CEHs, activity number 20-AMHA-F2-0100.

PALS ILT Full and Update Precourse Work
Continuing Education Accreditation – Emergency Medical Services
This continuing education activity is approved by the American Heart Association, an organization accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Pre-Hospital Continuing Education (CAPCE), for 2.75 Advanced CEHs, activity number 20-AMHA-F3-0091.

AMA Credit Designation Statement – Physicians
The American Heart Association designates this live activity for a maximum of 2.50 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

AAPA Credit Acceptance Statement – Physician Assistants
AAPA accepts certificates of participation for educational activities certified for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ from organizations accredited by ACCME or a recognized state medical society. Physician assistants may receive a maximum of 2.50 hours of Category I credit for completing this program.

AANP Credit Acceptance Statement – Nurse Practitioners
American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) accepts AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM from organizations accredited by the ACCME.

ANCC Credit Designation Statement – Nurses
The maximum number of hours awarded for this CE activity is 2.50 contact hours.

ACPE Credit Designation Statement – Pharmacists
ACPE Credit: 2.50 Contact Hours. Universal Program Number: JA0000134-0000-20-043-H04-P