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Host a course in your facility to train staff and providers in your unit to respond to post cardiac surgery emergencies. Advantages of unit based training allows members of multi disciplines to attend training together. In addition, in house courses allow staff to become comfortable with each others roles and equipment on your unit.  Consider becoming an accredited training center!

Program Type

Unit based cardiac surgery resuscitation training at your local facility.

Target Audience/Disciplines

The target audience for the Cardiac Surgery Unit Advanced Life Support Provider Course includes nurses, nurse practitioners (NP), physician assistants (PA), surgeons, surgeons in training, respiratory therapists, pharmacists, and other providers who actively participate in the resuscitation of post-operative cardiac surgery patients. Ideally, representatives from each of these target groups will participate in the program.


Cardiac Surgical Unit Advanced Life Support (CSU-ALS) provider training prepares team members in the management of cardiac arrest using the STS/EACTS evidence-based protocol specific to resuscitation after cardiac surgery. The course combines didactic sessions with hands-on practice using resuscitation equipment during cardiac surgery simulations of acute decompensation. Course modules include:

  • Principles of Resuscitation After Cardiac Surgery: Evidence Review
  • Open Chest Management Techniques
  • Assessment and Management of Cardiothoracic Emergencies
  • Electrical Therapies/ Temporary Cardiac Pacing
  • Human Factors Impacting Resuscitation Success

Faculty and Course Structure

Program faculty will include a Course Director and up to two additional experienced cardiothoracic surgical providers who have completed a CSU-ALS Trainer program. The multidisciplinary faculty typically includes a combination of nurses, NPs, PAs, and/or physicians. Faculty will arrive one day prior to the course to ensure that all aspects of the program meet standard requirements including logistics, equipment, and learning materials. The course will last approximately 8 hours. For the best learning experience, there will be maximum attendance per day based on the selected training model.

Required Equipment and Materials

All host programs will be required to provide the following for each one-day course:

  • 1 each – Defibrillator and compatible external pads, internal paddles, and ECG simulator
  • 2 – Temporary pacemakers and connecting cables
  • Sterile gowns - 8 for moulages/demo 
  • Sterile gloves in assorted sizes – 8 pairs for moulages/demo
  • Sterile laparotomy drapes – 6 total
    NOTE: gowns, gloves and drapes should be in package, can be outdated
  • Open chest instruments: scalpel, wire cutter, heavy needle driver, sternal retractor, (2) yankauer suction handles and (2) suction connecting tubings - in package
  • Ambu bag, ETT, face mask
  • CSU-ALS Re-sternotomy Manikin w/ chest plates and Sim Man software program
    • For realism we suggest adding the following to each manikin:
      • Intubate with ETT
      • Central and/or arterial lines
      • Dressing over sternum/chest tube sites
      • (2) chest tubes connected to chest drain
      • Epicardial wires and pacing generator (required)
      • Urine catheter
      • Patient covered with sheet
      • Additional wire for sternum (any pliable wire from hardware store)

The CSU-ALS training team prefers the above equipment to be provided by the host site, but we can arrange to bring any or all of these items, if needed. Please inform us in advance if you require us to bring any of these items.

Classroom Space

Each class will require space for lecture and practicum. While this could conceivably be held in one large space, it is desirable to break the class into smaller units allowing for part of the class to be in lecture/lab while the remainder of the class is undergoing practicum training. There should be enough seating for all class members, each with a small amount of table space where they can open their manuals and take notes. There should be a digital projector available to the instructor to display the slide set during lectures. There should be a laser pointer available as well. Sound projection/speakers are needed.

LECTURE ROOM: Preferably lectures are in a separate space, apart from scenario activities

Layout: Seating for maximum participants, lecture format
Equipment required: Presentation projector
Screen for projection
Equipment CSU-ALS will provide: Laptops for presentation

SCENARIO SET UP: For large groups additional stations/equipment will be required and should be discussed with the coordinator in advance

Layout: Table for the manikin in the center, additional table for laptop/monitor
Seating for 8 seats, plus additional chair for instructor
Ideally, the people in this area will not be able to hear those in lecture
Access to an electrical outlet/power strip is required.

CARDIAC ARREST MOULAGE SET UP – Performed in same location as                                                                                     Scenarios

Layout: As much space as possible is required for this exercise, which will use all of the scenario equipment as well as additional open chest resuscitation equipment (additional table or a movable cart is ideal for this)

Ongoing Training

Our goal is to assist you in expanding utilization of the cardiac surgery resuscitation protocol for your team. We will partner with your in-house educator or key trainers to help them become Course Instructors and eventually Course Directors. This will allow host facilities to provide ongoing training of new staff, promote in house drills, facilitate adoption of written protocols, and maintain staff competencies. CSU-ALS will work with your designee to ensure a successful development of in-house training until they meet the requirements to become a CSU-ALS Trainer.


1435 Taylor Wood Rd, Simpsonville, KY
Phone: (540) 383-2817


The Lanterns, Sandy Lane, STAFFS ST5 5DP, UK
Phone (+44)  7515911116


To ensure that cardiac patients receive the best possible care during the worst possible times

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