Becoming an instructor in advanced life support
Authors: Rob Morrison
Publication date: 11 Sep 2004
Being an approved instructor for the Resuscitation Council UK can be rewarding, fun, and a good way to learn teaching skills and keep your knowledge of resuscitation up to date. Whether you're interested in advanced life support (ALS) or advanced paediatric life support (APLS), here are some tips
The first step is to be put forward by the relevant course faculty member as having “instructor potential” (IP). Once you have been “IP'd” you then have to pass the generic instructor course. Following that you have to work as an instructor candidate (IC) on two courses under supervision. To stay accredited you must teach on three courses every two years
How to get IP'd
You should approach your resuscitation officer and let him or her know you are interested. They will then usually let the faculty know and may keep an eye on you during the course.
Make sure you know your manual thoroughly, and score well in the multiple choice paper and the practical tests
Introduce yourself to the other candidates and chat to colleagues and faculty members
Always arrive early, and be willing to lend a hand to move chairs or clear up stuff, but don't be pushy
Be sensitive to how your colleagues are getting on. If someone is struggling with something you find easy—help them
Be aware how to give constructive criticism when asked to do so—it's part of the course.
Ever argue with the faculty—if you disagree with a faculty member, talk it over in private
Try to stand out by showing off. The course is not about what you know—it's about what's in the manual
Spend breaks sitting in the corner swotting up on the manual; have a chat with the others
Take it personally if you are unsuccessful; ask for feedback and if you are still keen, have a go next time.
Rob Morrison resuscitation officer and ALS/APLS Instructor
Darent Valley Hospital, Dartford, Kent