Louisiana state university health science center new orleans emergency medicine residency program policies to supplement lsuhsc house officer manual


Advanced Life Support Programs Policy



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Advanced Life Support Programs Policy

Revised May, 2004

All Emergency Medicine and Emergency Medicine/Internal Medicine combined program Residents must maintain certification at the provider level for Basic Life Support Healthcare Provider (BLS-HP), Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), Pediatric Advanced life Support (PALS), and Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS). BLS, ACLS, and PALS courses are provided through the LSU Emergency Medicine / American Heart Association Community Training Center. ATLS courses are provided through Tulane University Hospital Life Support Office. Certification in each of these courses must be completed before December 31 of the intern year, and maintained throughout residency. The costs of initial provider courses are covered by the residency program. ATLS re-certification course costs are the responsibility of the resident. Failure to attend a scheduled provider course without the prior approval of the Residency Director will result in rescheduling of the course at the resident’s expense.
All residents are required to become certified as ACLS and PALS instructors. Normally, Emergency Medicine house officers (PGY-I) receive ACLS and PALS instructor courses during intern orientation. Transferees or those who have an excused absence from these courses must complete a course before December 31 of the intern year. Instructor status is maintained throughout residency by participation in a minimum of 2 ACLS courses each year. At each course, the resident must provide 1 lecture and teach the corresponding small group session. Instructor and provider status are kept current by meeting the teaching requirement and successfully completing the ACLS provider test every 2 years, before expiration of the current instructor card. (It is the responsibility of each resident to complete re-certification before expiration of his/her current instructor card. The AHA does not allow a grace period under any circumstances. Failure to re-certify will require that the resident take a full provider and instructor course again.)

Additionally, all residents are encouraged to certify as an instructor in 1 of the 2 other disciplines (ATLS, BLS).


ATLS Instructor programs are offered through Tulane University Hospital Department of Community Education. Participation in the instructor program is by invitation of the Residency Program Director. Instructors may sign a contract with Tulane agreeing to provide service as an instructor in lieu of paying course tuition. The cost of the course is usually paid after teaching at 4-5 courses. Instructors must teach a lecture and corresponding small group session at least once per year. At the end of each 4 year cycle, an instructor in good standing may take the ATLS provider test to renew provider and instructor status. Schedules for ATLS courses are available through Tulane at 588-2212.
Scheduling of instructors for ACLS, PALS, and BLS courses is the responsibility of the Chief Residents and the Training Center Coordinator. Failure to teach at an assigned course without prior notice will result in disciplinary action. (In the event that a resident encounters an unforeseen emergency that interferes with a scheduled course, he must notify the responsible Chief Resident 72 hours in advance of the course. Excuses less than 72 hours in advance require the approval of the Director of the CTC, or the Residency Director.
Confirmation of compliance with this policy is required at each faculty advisor interval evaluation. Failure to satisfy the policy requirements will result in disciplinary action, at the discretion of the residency director. Disciplinary action may include suspension of moonlighting privileges and additional life support teaching responsibilities.

Revision 05/08/04 RS
Addendum – ACLS/PALS Course Directors (effective July 2004)

ACLS/PALS teaching and scheduling are an important part of resident education, community outreach, and chief responsibility. Previously, however, non-chief residents with a real interest in ACLS/PALS had little opportunity for initiative or responsibility. The following change seeks to improve resident investment in the ACLS/PALS courses without compromising the courses’ quality.


Chief Residents will continue to make the overall master schedule for the year of who teaches what when. Every month, the 4th (and possibly 3rd) year resident on elective will be that month’s ACLS/PALS director. This resident is responsible for reminding residents scheduled to teach and assigning a lecture/small group slot to each; touching base with Nona and Kathleen in the immediate pre-course period to confirm room locations etc.; supervising resident lectures; and filling in when there is a gap in one of the lectures or stations. Directors will each receive a handout with information and a timeline that would have to be completed and turned in to the Chief Residents at the completion of the course for documentation and quality assurance purposes. Being the director would count as one’s ACLS/PALS requirement for the year – chiefs would oversee the activities of the director and remain “on-call” as double back-up for lectures, etc.
Chiefs, in coordination with the monthly ACLS/PALS director, would handle any disciplinary issues related to residents not showing up to teach, not doing a good job, etc. Any failure to teach when assigned and properly notified ahead of time would result in an extra ED shift (as noted above).
Commencing January 2001, interval faculty advisor/resident evaluations will include confirmation that the resident has:


  • successfully completed provider courses in ACLS, PALS, and ATLS.

  • achieved instructor status in ACLS.

  • achieved instructor status in BLS, PALS, or ATLS.

  • met all teaching requirements as specified by the AHA or ACS for maintenance of instructor status.

Commencing January 2001, the penalty for noncompliance with the stated policy may include actions outlined above, including suspension of moonlighting privileges.


Questions or comments regarding this policy should be directed to a Chief Resident, or to the Program Director.

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