Have you applied for or interviewed for a position only to be told that you would need to be evaluated with a “mega code”? Are you interested in taking an advanced certification course for your health care training but are nervous about the “mega code” that you’ve been told will be a part of the testing? If so, a simple explanation of exactly what a mega code is and what you’ll be expected to know or do will be key to putting your mind at ease so that you can be adequately prepared for the experience.

A mega code is not an actual experience that you‘ll have with one of your patients but instead is a simulated code that you’ll experience as part of your testing. Most frequently, it’s used with ACLS certification testing to prove to the instructors that you know how to respond in a code, how to lead a team and how to follow ACLS algorithms properly. You’ll only be allowed to test with the mega code after you’ve completed your instructor-led courses, your skills stations and your written test. This will give you the information and experience you’ll need to excel in the mega code and to feel confident that you’ll pass the test. 

To prepare for your mega code, make sure you’ve spent plenty of time studying the ACLS algorithms. You’ll most likely be given a manual that lists out all of the algorithms. You’ll want to memorize them and quiz yourself with them. Better yet, work with a partner so that you can quiz each other. You’ll need to know how to read basic life-threatening EKG rhythms quickly, when to give drugs, how to perform CPR and when other therapies are needed. Be aware that your patient’s heart rhythm may flip during your mega code testing experience. Therefore, you’ll need to know how to move seamlessly from algorithm to algorithm.

During the mega code, you’ll be acting as team leader. Most likely, there will be no one except you and the testing instructor in the room so that he or she can get a good idea of what you know. While the instructor may help you occasionally, you’ll be in charge of all parts of the code. You’ll have to read the rhythm, interact with the mannequin and verbally tell the instructor exactly what needs to be done for the patient while also performing some hands-on skills yourself. 

The mega code may seem as if it lasts quite a while. The instructor may lead you through several scenarios to ensure that you know exactly what you need to for certification. Instead of looking at this as a scary hoop that you have to jump through for your career, look at is as a way to increase your knowledge and improve your confidence levels. The mega code experience will help you feel more sure of yourself when one of your actual patients codes or when you respond to a code somewhere else in your health care institution. Your coworkers will be able to look to you for guidance, and you can accept more leadership roles. 

Keep in mind that your instructor wants you to do great and to pass your mega code. While there may be some difficult scenarios, your instructor will try to help you as much as possible. He or she is sympathetic to you and simply wants you to get through this situation so that you can be a better version of your professional self. 

A mega code is your final test on the second day of your ACLS certification course. This course is great for doctors, registered nurses, pharmacists, dentists, physician assistants and other health care leaders. Consider the ACLS certification course from Project Heartbeat to further your career, available at our Oakland and Sacramento campuses.