Due to COVID-19, Temporary Waiver Issued Regarding Non-AHA Resuscitation Certifications for Newly Hi - VHA SimLEARN
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Due to COVID-19, Temporary Waiver Issued Regarding Non-AHA Resuscitation Certifications for Newly Hi

By Gerald Sonnenberg
EES Marketing and Communication

ORLANDO, Fla. – During normal operations, VHA only recognizes certification for Basic Life Support (BLS) and Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) by the American Heart Association (AHA). However, due to the declared national emergency and requirement to onboard direct care staff in an expedited manner, an April 1 memorandum issued by the Deputy Under Secretary for Health for Operations and Management Renee Oshinski grants a temporary waiver, not to exceed 120 days, to accept BLS or ACLS certification from alternative vendors.

As a VA employee, direct care staff continually have access to VA-sponsored training to include BLS and ACLS. This training will be assigned by a TMS administrator and can be accessed through the Talent Management System (TMS) under either the Resuscitation Quality Improvement (RQI) program or Heart Code Complete program. This system wide resuscitation platform allows employees immediate access to resuscitation training and the ability to perform and validate their skills independent of an instructor.

RQI requires quarterly skills assessment using a voice assisted mannequin (VAM) through TMS. Enrollment into the RQI program allows quarterly eCredential certification to support low-dose, high-frequency mastery learning of critical life-saving skills.

With Heart Code Complete, participants will complete the online training, followed by a skills assessment using a VAM. This training must be renewed every two years.

The AHA has also authorized approval to recognize any instructor and provider certification cards beyond its renewal date, for up to 120 days. This may be extended based on the public health threat. The goal is to ensure all VA medical centers have access to the resuscitation training needed to provide quality care during a medical emergency.

Should you have questions and concerns, please contact Lisa Baker, VHA national director for the Resuscitation Education Initiative (REdI) program

The VHA public internet site for COVID-19 training is www.va.gov/COVIDtraining.