Nov 11, 2019
With so many options to choose from, finding the best online PALS course can be a difficult task. Here's what to look for in order to determine which providers are legitimate, and which you should stay away from.
As the healthcare industry’s receptiveness to medical technology continues to grow, more individuals are choosing to obtain their Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) Certification online. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. Simply put, digital technology has the ability to lower time-demands by increasing accessibility and efficiency. That is exactly what has made PALS online courses an attractive alternative to traditional, classroom-based PALS courses.
Many hospitals and institutions still require employees to get their certification from an American Heart Association (AHA) accredited PALS program, which requires a hands-on, practical skills assessment, as all AHA-approved PALS courses do. However, if you are not specifically required to obtain your PALS Certification through the AHA, an online PALS course is undoubtedly your best option. The only decision left for you to make is which online PALS provider to go with.
All online PALS providers offer common overarching advantages: convenience and flexibility. Obviously, both of those are great, but you’ll need to dig a bit deeper to in order to separate the top-notch online PALS programs from the pretenders. Here are some additional features to look for when trying to figure out how to find the best online PALS course:
This is oftentimes the primary concern for those who are unsure about PALS online courses – is this company legit? There are several ways to determine this. First and foremost, while you will not be obtaining an AHA PALS card upon completion, it is still very important that your online PALS provider’s material adheres to the most recent PALS AHA & ECC guidelines and best practices. These guidelines are still widely regarded as the standard, so any website that does not base their material off of them should be taken out of consideration immediately.
Along with legitimacy, a major determining factor for most people deciding where to get their PALS Certification online is the cost. For the most part, online PALS programs range from $169-$275 for certification courses, and $119-$175 for recertification courses. Typically, the more expensive options tend to offer a few additional features, including videos or additional studying resources, while the more inexpensive options provide a more direct, simplified process. Most hospitals and institutions that accept online PALS Certifications do not have a preference on which company their employees certify through. Therefore, less expensive options tend to be the optimal choice for most individuals.
Two birds, one stone. Not only are you receiving your PALS Certification or PALS Recertification, but you can also obtain CME credit while you’re at it! Obtaining CME credit shouldn’t be considered just an added bonus– it also further validates that company’s legitimacy. In order for CME to be awarded, a company must be an approved provider of CME or have their courses reviewed and approved by a legitimate accreditation board. So while it’s important to look for PALS courses that offer CME credits, it’s equally as important to be sure the CME you receive is from a reputable board so it is accepted by your employer.
Most online PALS courses offer 6 or more hours for certification courses and 3 or more hours for recertification courses, depending on the amount of time it takes to complete that specific program on average. When comparing the CME credits offered by online PALS providers, make sure you also understand the type of CME currency you can receive (AMA, ANCC, ADA, etc.) All of this – the type and the amount – should be clearly stated on the website.
A great way to judge any entity is through reviews and testimonials from others who have had prior experience with that particular entity. Determining how satisfied previous customers are with their experience goes a long way. This also holds true for online PALS courses. Look for reviews, read testimonials, and even ask colleagues who have completed an online course. These should give you a good idea of what to expect amongst different online PALS providers.
As we’ve said, convenience and flexibility are the two principle benefits of taking your PALS course online. The amount of time you have to take an exam, the number of attempts you get to pass that exam and time requirements for completing the entire course play a major role here. Avoid signing up for a program that restricts you – instead, choose one that lets you move at your own pace.
Ideally, a satisfaction guarantee or money-back guarantee will never even come into play. But it could be a major benefit when you need it. We recommend finding out beforehand if your employer will accept an online PALS course. Still, you never know if you will come across another unforeseen complication that will result in your online PALS Certification not being accepted. While this is very rare, having that extra safety blanket of a money-back satisfaction guarantee is definitely something you’ll want to have.
Still not sure whether or not an online PALS course is the right move for you? Check out these previous articles that are sure to help: