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ALS OB Training and Education

acls ob

ALS OB is intended to teach how, when, and why to modify the algorithms for advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) when caring for patients who are pregnant or newly delivered. Nurses at St. Luke's originally created this training and education in 2004 when our organization determined that all obstetrics nurses needed to have ACLS training. The nurses had two concerns:

  1. At that time, standard ACLS focused primarily on elderly people with chest pain.
  2. Standard ACLS provides no information on pregnant or newly-delivered patients. 

Initially developed for labor and delivery, antepartum, and NICU nurses, as well as OB providers, ALS OB training quickly expanded to include emergency department, intensive care unit (ICU), and rapid response team (RRT) clinicians.

The standards have been published in multiple national peer-reviewed publications, leading to nationwide interest. For many years, St. Luke's experts have been traveling across the country to teach the curriculum, and train others to teach it as well.

Today, St. Luke's has partnered with HealthStream to deliver ALS OB content digitally. The intellectual property and content of ALS OB class is owned and copyright protected by St. Luke's Health System. The intellectual property related to the digital delivery of the content is owned by HealthStream.

If you have questions about ALS OB, please send us an email.

Frequently Asked Questions

Click each question below for its answer:

Are ALS OB and ACLS the same course?
No, ALS OB and ACLS are two separate and distinct classes.
How are ALS OB and ACLS different/the same?
  1. ALS OB is an online learning activity with it’s own agenda/outline, evaluation tool, and method of documenting course completion. The content is trademarked/copyright protected by St. Luke’s Health System and presented in partnership with HealthStream. The content of this learning activity focuses on recognition and adaptation of algorithms for the care of pregnant or newly delivered patients. The resuscitation science is based on ILCOR (International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation) and the CoSTAR (consensus on Science Treatment and Recommendations) Grade recommendations working group, so is consistent with best practices, based on the best available evidence. Expert contributions to the literature are included by subject matter experts in maternal resuscitation. Content of this learning activity includes a review of pathophysiology of pregnancy (what makes pregnant/newly-delivered patients high risk for an event?), review of cardiac structure/function (including an EKG review – as OB nurses are often uncomfortable with EKG interpretation), modifications for each of the core cases covered in ACLS (CPR, respiratory, MI, stroke, etc.), practicing relationship-based care during resuscitation in these difficult situations (ethical, practice, legal issues), and includes a post test and an on screen simulation. 
  2. ACLS is provided by the American Red Cross (ARC), the American Safety & Health Institute (ASHI), and the American Heart Association (AHA). ACLS classes have multiple modalities including instructor-led and blended learning and can be provided as a full class, an update/renewal class, Heart Code, etc. These each have their own agenda, evaluation, and method of course completion and each use their own ACLS Provider Manual (printed or ebook).


Can ACLS and ALS OB be used interchangeably?

ALS OB and ACLS are not interchangeable, but are complimentary. If your facility requires ACLS for your staff, ALS OB will not be a substitution. The purpose of ALS OB is to help nurses and other clinicians understand how, when, why to modify ACLS algorithms for care of the pregnant or newly delivered OB patient.

The latest edition of ALS OB curriculum will be available from HealthStream in March 2021. Please reach out to HealthStream for more information.