ACLS vs. BLS Certification: Know the differences

Do you want to take a life support course to increase your employability? Does the amount of scattered information and jargon confuse you? Do you wish someone could simplify all the short forms to simplify your life? If any of the above questions ring a bell, this piece of work is for you. With medical science advancing rapidly, there are different ways to assist a patient in need. First aid can save a person’s life till the Emergency response team arrives. Some courses teach basic life support skills, while others touch on more advanced techniques. But if you are already in the medical field and wish to improve, you can apply for the ACLS course online. Read below for the differences between a basic course and an advanced version.

ACLS certification


Advanced Cardiac Life Support encompasses skills to help people recover from life-threatening conditions. As the name suggests, this treatment works when the basic methods fail. Most patients requiring ACLS are either in a hospital or an ambulance. Hence, only nurses and certified medical professionals can undertake this training. Below mentioned are a few scenarios where ACLS knowledge could help.

  1. Drug toxicity: Patients found with drug overdose and poisoning need immediate treatment. Their systems shut down rapidly, giving a tiny window to on-site help.
  2. Heart issues: Something as minor as a missed heartbeat could throw your body off guard. Many people suffer from loss of balance and even nausea. Even congenital disabilities of the heart need ACLS for survival.
  3. Electrolyte imbalance: Your body works on a mix of calcium, potassium, and magnesium. If the ratio of these compounds changes, a person could experience blackouts. System failure could also occur within minutes.
  4. Medical side effects: Many patients react to antibiotics. Their bodies could go into shock and distress. It leads to trauma of the organs, which would perish.
  5. Spinal injuries and trauma: Injury to the spine could kill a person or leave them paralyzed. Deep cuts and wounds need specialized help, as a simple bandage is not good enough for them.

Now that you know where this course can help you. Below mentioned are some of the teaching covered under an ACLS course online.

  1. IV Medication: One of the most important things taught in this course is using an IV line. It helps administer patient immediate relief drugs and electrolytes.
  2. Needs Decompressions: This procedure helps a collapsed lung to inflate. It helps when you need to remove fluid or water from the lungs.
  3. Pacing: When your heartbeats get irregular, you need to install a pacemaker. As an ACLS-certified professional, you must know how to correct a patient’s pacemaker.
  4. Heart-related machines: ACLS teaches you to use a defibrillator in case of emergencies.
  5. Intubation: Many patients require a ventilator in an emergency. Once you complete this course, you can place a ventilator pipe in the windpipe of any patient with ease.

BLS certification


Basic Life Support certification prepares you to deal with medical emergencies. These include minor day-to-day accidents and serious issues as well. The eligibility criteria of this course are more relaxed than ACLS. However, it would help if you want to save lives. Skills taught in this course are as follows:

  1. CPR: You learn about the difference in the body structure of infants, adults, and children. The course also teaches you how to perform CPR on each of them.
  2. Clearing Airway: Choking poses a cause of death in many people. Children are more prone to it. A BLS certification teaches the Heimlich maneuver, which can save a child or adult’s life.
  3. Chain of survival: The American Heart Association has put forward procedures that can save a life when done right. Together they form the chain of survival. A BLS course talks in detail about this and teaches all its steps.
  4. Use of AED: The AED machine comes in handy when you need to rescue a patient from cardiac arrest. Knowledge of it could even save lives in the workspace.

With the above details in place, look at some fundamental differences that set these apart.

Difference between ACLS and BLS certification


Both ACLS and BLS fall under the category of life-saving skills. You can only administer them with proper certifications. Another similarity between these two is the presence of the mind. But they have some differences, as mentioned below.

  1. Qualifications: Any adult can apply for a BLS certification. It will help them assist people in need during an emergency. But, if you use techniques taught in ACLS courses online, you must know human biology. Hence only people working in the medical fraternity can take an ACLS certification.
  2. Equipment needed: When you take a BLS course, the only machine you will use is an AED machine. You do not get to use injections or IVs. But, an ACLS course teaches you about IVs and injectables.
  3. Use of Medicine: ACLS courses teach you how to give the correct medicine for an emergency. They talk about the impact of the drug and its advantages. BLS courses do not use specialized medication. You can only give over-the-counter drugs after checking the patient.
  4. Audience: One of the main differences between both courses is the patient. BLS is usually given to a patient experiencing an emergency out of the hospital, like a sudden heart attack. ACLS is for patients already under medical supervision at a facility.
  5. Time Duration: The ACLS course covers more topics than BLS. Hence the amount of time taken to complete it is more.


Take up a BLS or first aid course to boost your resume. It also helps you save someone in need and not become a helpless bystander. If you are a medical professional, take the ACLS course online. You never know when a stable patient may need help due to an electrolyte imbalance. The American healthcare Academy brings you some of the most recognized certifications. It will help you learn about real-life problems. You get detailed study material to put you above the rest. Register on our website right away for further details.

Radulovic Jovica
Radulovic Jovica

I started my career at following the completion of my studies in Agricultural Economics at the University of Belgrade. My fascination with this field arose from recognizing the pivotal role marketing plays in companies' business strategies.