HeartCode Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) Course

Course Participants

The HeartCode Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) Provider Course is for healthcare providers new to PALS and for those whose PALS completion card has expired. This course is designed for healthcare providers who direct or participate in the resuscitation of pediatric patients, either as a prehospital or in-hospital care provider. Participants will enhance their skills in the treatment of arrest and peri-arrest pediatric patients through active participation in a series of simulated cardiopulmonary cases in the didactic and hands-on sessions. Course content reflects the new science in PALS resuscitation contained in the AHA 2020 Guidelines for CPR and ECC.

Course Overview

This course is delivered as a blended learning course including an online self-paced didactic session and a hands-on skills practice and assessment session. The Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) course builds on the foundation of lifesaving basic life support (BLS) skills, emphasizing the importance of continuous, high-quality CPR for pediatric patient. This advanced course highlights the importance of high-performance team dynamics and communication; systems of care; and recognition of and intervention in cardiopulmonary arrest, and immediate post-cardiac arrest unique to the pediatric patient population. The PALS course is designed for healthcare professionals who either direct or participate in the management of pediatric cardiopulmonary arrest or other cardiovascular emergencies. The course adheres to the 2020 Guidelines promoted by the American Heart Association (AHA) for clinical management of basic and pediatric advanced life support.

New Adaptive Learning Format

The 2020 Guidelines HeartCode uses a personalized adaptive algorithm that sets students on the most efficient path to mastery. Students follow a continuously adapting learning path that is personalized by their own inputs: their performance, and their self- reported confidence level related to each probing question. The course content is presented in the form of self-directed learning content, probing questions, and Cognitive Assessment Activities (CAAs).

Course Objectives

After successfully completing the PALS course, students should be able to:

  • apply the BLS, Primary, and Secondary Assessments sequence for a systematic evaluation of pediatric patients
  • perform prompt, high-quality BLS, including prioritizing early chest compressions and integrating early automated external defibrillator (AED) use
  • recognize and perform early management of respiratory arrest
  • recognize and perform early management of bradyarrhythmias and tachyarrhythmias that may result in cardiac arrest or complicate resuscitation outcomes
  • recognize and perform early management of cardiac arrest until termination of resuscitation or transfer of care, including immediate post-cardiac-arrest care
  • model effective communication as a member or leader of a high-performance team
  • evaluate resuscitative efforts during a cardiac arrest through continuous assessment of CPR quality, monitoring the patient's physiologic response, and delivering real-time feedback to the team
  • recognize the impact of team dynamics on overall team performance
  • discuss how the use of a rapid response team or medical emergency team may improve patient outcomes
  • define systems of care.

Course Pre-requisites

Participants enrolling in the HeartCode PALS Providers Course must have completed prior learning
and proficiency in:

  • Performing BLS CPR skills.
  • Must be able to demonstrate basic electrocardiography (ECG) interpretation.
  • Must be able to demonstrate knowledge of pharmacological concepts and competent administration of cardiac drugs used during PALS emergencies.
  • Performing the basic and advanced assessment of the BLS and PALS patient.

Course Completion

For successful course completion, students must:

  • Complete all portions of the online PALS HeartCode program
  • Pass the online HeartCode PALS exam with a score of 84% or higher
  • Pass the hands-on skills assessment for high-quality BLS, bag-mask ventilation, and PALS code management.

Participants must attend all sessions of the course and pass all the skills tests and the written test to receive a completion eCard.

Upon successful completion of all requirements, students receive an AHA PALS course completion card. AHA PALS Course Completion cards are only issued in the format of an individual e-card.

Course Registration and Fees

The HeartCode PALS course consists of two parts, the online PALS HeartCode sessions and the Hands-on Skills session.
You need to register for each part separately, following the instructions below:

Step 1 – Select a date and register for the PALS Hands-On Skills Practice and Assessment (Fee $75)

  1. Send an email to: zcalero@miami.edu with the subject line PALS Course. In the email include the following information: Name, Student Number, a contact phone number, and the nursing program you are enrolled in.
  2. Upon receipt of your email you will be contacted to select an available PALS Hands-On Skills session date and time, and information for payment of your $75 fee.
  3. PALS Hands-On Skills session dates for Spring Semester 2021:
    Saturday Apr 17 1pm or 3pm

Scheduling preference for those working in the pediatric setting.

Step 2 – Register and complete the online PALS HeartCode portion of the course (Fee $144)

  1. Go to the online registration link at: https://shopcpr.heart.org/heartcode-acls
  2. Select and add HeartCode® PALS Product Number: 20-3555 to your Cart and proceed to Checkout. At the Checkout, sign-in or register and create a new account. Pay for the online portion of the course and receive the course access information.
  3. If you need technical support assistance for the online PALS HeartCode, technical assistance with HeartCode PALS, contact the AHA Customer Support Center at 888-242-8883 or eLearning.help@heart.org for technical assistance. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Central Time, Monday – Thursday, and 8 a.m. – 12 p.m., Central Time, Friday.
  4. When you complete the online portion of the course, print a copy of your course completion and bring it with you to your scheduled session for the PALS Hands-On Skills Practice and Assessment.
  5. The online HeartCode PALS may be completed in more than one sitting, however you must follow the instructions and click the “Exit Exercise” button in the top right-hand corner to ensure the progress in the session is saved. For students who have not yet completed a HeartCode eSim, be sure to review the “How to Complete the Patient Cases” document located in the eSim Tutorial section of the program to become familiar with the basics of the eSim.

Step 3 – Attend and complete the PALS Hands-On Skills Practice and Assessment

  1. You may only attend the PALS Hands-On Skills Practice and Assessment on your pre-registered date and time. You MUST bring a copy of your online PALS HeartCode course completion print out with you to the session.
  2. There will be four Practice and Assessment Stations at the Hands-On Skill Session:
    1. BLS/CPR
    2. Airway management
    3. Pediatric defibrillation and medications
    4. PALS Code management
  3. The first half of the Hands-On Skill Session is for practice and question/answer, and the second half of the session is for Skills Assessment, and remediation if needed.
  4. If you are unable to attend the PALS Hands-On Skills Practice and Assessment on your reserved date and time, you must reschedule at least one week in advance. Cancellation less than one week in advance, or failure to attend will result in forfeit of the session fee.

Step 4 – Obtain your PALS e-card

Upon successful completion of both the PALS online HeartCode and the Hands-On Practice and Assessment, you will receive an email notification from the American Heart Association with a link to your PALS e-card. Save this email in a secure place since it will contain the access code for your e-card.

Thank you for enrolling in the PALS HeartCode Course with the Simulation Hospital for Advancing Research and Education (SHARE) at the School of Nursing and Health Studies.


For questions or further information, please contact:

Zuzer Calero, MALS
Director, Simulation Operations
Office: (305) 284-2709
Email: zcalero@miami.edu