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Comprehensive Advanced Life Support (CALS) - Hosted by Clark Fork Valley Hospital (Plains, MT)

Elements of Success

The CALS Program 

CALS is an advanced life support program initially designed for rural health care providers, physician assistants, nurse practioners, nurses, and allied health care professionals (e.g. nurse anesthetists and paramedics). The curriculum of CALS is comprehensive and covers the majority of time sensitive emergency/critical care situations. CALS trains health care providers to be proficient in treating undifferentiated emergencies. The Program is designed for physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, and allied health care professionals (e.g. nurse anesthetists and paramedics) who work in rural or remote settings. Here there is exposure to the broadest range of medical emergencies but there is lack of or limited access to subspecialty health care providers and/or technologically advanced diagnostic equipment. The CALS Program teaches the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively treat organ or life-threatening emergencies for individuals ranging from newborns to geriatric patients.
  • Teaches a system of care using CALS Universal Approach to handle undifferentiated emergencies
  • Emphasizes the importance of all members of the team and teaching of teamwork for rural teams
  • Helps to standardize rural emergency care
  • Teaches the skills and knowledge needed for stabilization of critically ill/injured patients as well as proper use of equipment available in rural areas
  • Uses a system of care that emphasizes the needs of the patient.

The CALS curriculum is based on the four key elements that drive success when treating patients in an emergent setting:
  • Emergency Skills and Knowledge: Without proficiency in the basic skills and procedures, no emergency team can provide adequate care.
  • Effective Provider Teams: Well-functioning teams are critical to the delivery of appropriate, timely and effective medical care.
  • Patient-Focused Care and Systems: Hospital systems such as record keeping, triage and evaluation must focus on the needs of the patient and be provided in a timely and professional manner.
  • Appropriate Equipment: Hospital emergency departments must have a basic set of drugs, equipment and supplies to provide adequate care.

Together, all four of these elements, working in unison, drive excellence in patient care in the emergent setting. This is the foundation of the CALS approach.

Provider Course

CALS Provider Course consists of interactive sessions in cardiac, traumatic, pediatric, obstetrical, neonatal and medical advanced life support. Course materials establish the CALS Universal Approach to critically ill or injured patients, which defines the manner by which care providers evaluate and treat emergency patients.
Providers are encouraged to attend in teams, and courses are limited to 24 participants per session. Upon completion of the course, participants will be able to:
  • Demonstrate the ability to problem solve in a variety of clinical situations
    Identify key threats and demonstrate therapeutic interventions.
  • Discuss the roles of each team member involved in patient evaluation and treatment.
  • Perform skills consistent with the provider’s role on the advanced life support team.
  • Prerequisites: It is recommended that participants have attended at least one other advanced life support course, be knowledgeable of cardiac rhythm recognition and have adequate clinical experience in critical situations.
Course registration fees:

Trauma Module (1/2-day)

All licensure

Provider Course (2-days)




To register call 406-234-1420 or click here.
For more information and course agenda, click here.

Accreditation: The CALS Provider Course has been reviewed by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) CME Accreditation Department and the Commission on Continuing Professional Development and is acceptable for up to 17.25 prescribed credit hours. AAFP prescribed credit is accepted by the American Medical Association (AMA) as equivalent to AMA Physician’s Recognition Award (PRA) Category 1. When applying for the AMA PRA, prescribed hours earned must be reported as prescribed hours, not as Category 1.