Tips On How To Memorize ACLS Algorithms

Tips On How To Memorize ACLS Algorithms

Mackenzie Thompson

by Mackenzie Thompson

Life Saver, NHCPS

posted on May 5, 2014, at 5:46 pm

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nursing students studyingUNDERSTANDING THE VARIOUS ACLS ALGORITHMS IS OFTEN A HUGE CHALLENGE for many healthcare professionals and that is why committing the algorithms to memory is highly recommended.

This blog post will highlight some tips on how to memorize ACLS algorithms:

1. The Use of Mnemonics

ACLS guidelines and algorithms are very difficult to remember but the use of mnemonics is a proven and effective method in aiding the memorization of important algorithms and guidelines. Some of the most common mnemonics that are normally used by ACLS certification candidates include note organization mnemonics, expressions, models, words, music, names, images, rhymes, connection and spelling mnemonics and flashcards. Here is an example of a Mnemonic that is used for ACLS.

Vfib/Vtach drugs:

Every Little Boy Must Pray

Epinephrine/Lidocaine/Bretylium/Magsulfate/Procainamide

Epinephrine

Lidocaine

Bretylium

Magsulfate

Procainamide

2. Practical Handling of Scenarios

The best way to remember ACLS algorithms is by using the material you have studied in class to handle practical ACLS scenarios. It is advisable to use half of your study time to physically play out scenarios and go through the motions. Your friends and family members can help you do your ACLS practice by pretending to be victims of cardiac arrest problems as you attend to them.

Play the role of a healthcare provider and respond to scenarios by recalling ACLS algorithms. It is possible to memorize all ACLS algorithms and guidelines within a very short period of time by using this approach. Practice makes perfect!

3. The Link System

This strategy involves the use of sight, imagination symbolism, and touch to memorize ACLS algorithms. ACLS candidates can remember ACLS algorithms easily by linking an intense conception to ACLS algorithms. The link system is successful when the algorithms are turned into a list, then turned into visual images, which code information together. Here is an example of how the link system can help you memorize ACLS algorithms. 

Vfib/Vtach drugs:

Epinephrine/Lidocaine/Bretylium/Magsulfate/Procainamide

  1. I saw an EPic superhero movie yesterday.
  2. The villain was aLIve and ready to fight.
  3. The superhero BRiefly got ready to fight back.
  4. The villain was MAsked and won the fight.
  5. The villain is still on the PRowl.

If you link the vivid images together by using imagination, it is easy to correspond the key words with the algorithms.

Epinephrine

Lidocaine

Bretylium

Magsulfate

Procainamide

Memorizing ACLS algorithms is an essential and often difficult obstacle to overcome with advanced certification. However, by using proper memorization techniques, the process is simplified for success. By using mnemonics, the scenario method, and the link system, memorizing ACLS algorithms will be easy and exciting.

About Mackenzie

Mackenzie is a lover of world travel, photography, design, style and Chinese cooking. She is passionate about working towards a purpose, recently graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Media and Marketing, and is currently residing in Manhattan.

Contact Mackenzie at mackenzie.thompson@nhcps.com.
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