Although the shortened term PALS has many meanings perhaps the most widely known is for Pediatric Advanced Life Support. This is a certification that indicates that the holder of the certificate has been trained in dealing with some emergency situations involving infants and children. Although this certification has been accredited by the Accrediting Medical Education and Certification Commission (AMECC) and is recognized by the American Heart Association (AHA), it is also widely recognized worldwide. Some medical positions such as on an emergency response team member, an emergency medicine position and positions in intensive care and critical care units, may require proof of being properly PALS certified before being accepted, also some nurses may also need proof of certification but that will very much depend on what duties they are hired to perform and where.
To become certified requires that you attend, or complete a course of instruction and training. Although this course is available in classrooms and takes two days to complete, it is also available online where, at a minimum, it can take only 60 minutes to complete. You can also receive professional PALS recertification online. Whether you decide to take the course in a classroom or online, at the end, if you are successful, you will receive a card proving you have successfully completed the course and it is this card that employers may wish to see before taking you on. If you take the course online, you will immediate receive an e-mail with a digital copy of the card and then later, you will receive a hard copy card through the mail.
One advantage to taking the online course is that although you may not have a tutor on hand during the training, you are free to sit the exam as many times as you like in order to receive a pass. This is obviously something that class tuition cannot provide. Also, although it is possible to complete the online course in only 60 minutes, it is also possible to take your time and complete it as and when you are ready. Even in a classroom the training mainly consists of following instructions given on a video but in the classroom there is a qualified instructor present to assist you in understanding and to answer any questions that may arise.
Originally set up in the States with guidelines set out by the AHA, PALS has more recently been recognized as an international standard and so earning the certification card could also help you in getting work outside of the US. Even if you do not intend to make use of the certification professionally, it is still useful to have, especially if you around kids a lot. The initial intention of the course was to provide better care and supervision of children where ever they may be but especially if they are in any kind of professional care facility. Even physicians and nurses take the course as it includes things that even they may not normally be aware of.