Des Moines University Basic Life Support (BLS) is taught using Heart Code BLS. This is an interactive, self-directed learning program which completes the cognitive and skills requirements of the American Heart Association (AHA) BLS Healthcare Providers Course. The program incorporates micro-simulation technology which allows the student to assess and formulate treatment plans using actual patient scenarios and provides instant feedback and evaluation through intelligent debriefing. Course completion consists of two separate elements: completing the computer-based cognitive portion, and demonstrating skills by using a voice-assisted mannequin system. Following completion of the Heart Code BLS, DMU students apply the BLS information in a mock-code team simulation focusing on BLS skills. 750+ students/learners from all DMU programs (D.O., D.P.M., D.P.T. and PA) are trained annually at DMU. To assist with training this large number of learners, the BLS program utilized students as teaching assistants. These student teaching assistants further develop their BLS skills through this peer teaching.
DMU BLS resides on campus with 1,190 square feet of classroom space. BLS classroom space is divided into one Heart Code BLS room and two mock-code simulation rooms. The Heart Code BLS room contains 10 Heart Code workstations. The stations each include an adult manikin, pediatric manikin, laptop computer, headphones and bag-valve masks. These stations allow students to complete the computer-based Heat Code BLS as individuals. The two mock-code simulation rooms are used by individual teams of 3 to 4 students in order to practice the BLS skills in a mock-code simulation. The learned skills are subsequently utilized in other areas of the DMU Iowa Simulation Center, including the Simulation Laboratory.