Archive for the ‘BOC Test Experience’ Category

Exam Security: Protect Athletic Training Candidates and Yourself

Thursday, January 26th, 2017

Posted January 26, 2017

Sharing is usually a good thing, but this is not the case when preparing students for the BOC exam or discussing it with them after. It is illegal and unethical to memorize and discuss questions that are on the BOC exam, and both candidates and Program Directors are reminded to keep exam information confidential.

Prior to sitting for the BOC exam, candidates agree in the Candidate Attestation to not disclose information about items or answers in any format to anyone. This includes, but is not limited to:

- Educators

- Past or future examinees

- Co-workers

- Test preparation companies

The Candidate Attestation asserts that no part of the exam may be copied or reproduced in any way before, during and after exam. This includes, but is not limited to, emailing, copying or printing electronic files, reconstructing content through memorization and/or dictation.

BOC exam content is exclusive copyrighted property of the BOC and protected by federal copyright laws. The BOC will prosecute violations of this agreement. Violation of the agreement is also a violation of BOC Standards of Professional Practice, which can result in suspension or revocation of certification, if applicable, or suspension or denial of a candidate’s eligibility for future exams. It can also do the same for a candidate’s colleagues.

The below table presents common scenarios that could violate exam confidentiality. Read on for guidance in each scenario. More information is also available in the BOC Exam Candidate Handbook.

Scenario When it’s OK When it’s not OK Bottom line

1. Educator asks candidates to “stop by” after the exam to “let me know how it went.”

If the invitation and the feedback to the educator relates to their general experience (“I thought the test was not as difficult as I expected…”).

This type of invitation from an educator may be misinterpreted by the candidate – and the student may think that the educator is asking the student to reveal copyrighted information.

If the candidate is asked to reveal questions or their answer options, then he or she will need to report the educator to the BOC. The educator should stop the candidate immediately from revealing any exam content, since doing so may subject both the candidate and educator to the BOC’s ethics process.

2. Candidate tells another candidate, “The test was very difficult – I felt like I didn’t have enough time.”

The candidate is simply telling another candidate how they felt about the exam. This is all right because the candidate is not revealing any of the questions or the answer options.

One candidate (or potential candidate) asks another candidate about the specific questions.

If the questions or answer options are shared, these individuals may find themselves part of a BOC ethics investigation and/or legal complaint.

3. Candidate to educator: “You didn’t teach me about this question that asked [specific question]. I felt unprepared.”

Never.

It is not all right and it will never be all right to reveal the BOC’s copyrighted questions (or answer options) to anyone.

Candidates sign documentation stating that they will not share exam questions, and the BOC expects the candidates to abide by this contract. Those who don’t may find themselves part of a BOC ethics investigation and/or legal complaint.

4. A future candidate learns from a past candidate that, "Your BOC exam will have both multiple choice and the new multiple response kind of items. I think there were a little over 100 questions on each session.”

Candidates are welcome to discuss any information that is found on the BOC website, including the TYPES of items used on the various exams.

If the conversation goes beyond exam format and the past candidate begins to describe exam questions and answers to the future exam-taker, a breach of ethics has occurred.

As long as the conversation is limited to public information that anyone can read on the BOC website, such as exam format and style of item presentation, there is no problem. However, the past candidate should refrain from sharing specific exam content with the future candidate to protect not only the past exam-taker but also the future one.

5. A future candidate is in class when the professor announces, "Everyone pay attention to this example. It came from a BOC exam. It will show up on another exam someday soon." In another class, the professor insisted that, "This is ALWAYS guaranteed to be a BOC exam question. This is one concept that you don’t want to forget.”

There is no acceptable circumstance in which it is OK for an educator to offer to any class or audience any item or material directly linked to any BOC exam.

Since all BOC exam material including all items (questions and answers) is copyrighted, it is illegal for anyone to reproduce and use these items in any manner whatsoever. Candidate exposure to BOC exam items is legally and ethically limited to candidates' time spent taking BOC exams. Sample items available on the BOC website are not active items and may be shared.

All candidates should be aware that unsolicited classroom exposure to BOC exam material may result in cancellation of their own exam scores and/or may lead to being barred from taking the BOC exam in the future. It also should be remembered that new exam items constantly are being generated and can deal with any topic in the BOC practice analysis.

Sources: Scenarios 1-3 are from American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. Scenarios 4 and 5 are from National Board of Examiners in Optometry, Inc. Content has been adapted for the BOC.

How I Studied for the BOC Exam

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

Posted May 17, 2016

Elishia Jackson
LAT, ATC
https://www.linkedin.com/in/elishiajackson

By Elishia Jackson, LAT, ATC

You were admitted to an athletic training program, spent hours with your head in text books and reviewing notes, and spent more hours observing and working with BOC Certified Athletic Trainers (ATs) to get your athletic training clinical hours. Now it is senior year and time to start studying for, quite possibly, the most important exam you’ll ever take, the BOC exam. If you’re nervous, don’t worry, that’s normal!

The first thing I had to remind myself was that, in actuality, the past 3 years in my AT program I have been studying for the exam. Everything I learned in classes and in the clinic have prepared me for the BOC exam and the professional world. Therefore, I collected past notes, exams and lab papers. Luckily, most of my documents were already organized into a very large binder – my athletic training “hero,” as I like to call it. I began there by reading and reviewing all that I had collected.

Another tool I used was Principles of Athletic Training – A Competency Based Approach by William E. Prentice. This was the first athletic training book I purchased when I started my athletic training program. I used it for reference throughout my time as an undergraduate, and I still continue to use it as an AT. With this book, I decided to start from the very beginning and read or scan through it from cover to cover and make note of concepts and topics I wasn’t comfortable with. Afterwards, I went back through and spent time reviewing and studying those topics more in depth until I felt confident with them.

I did also find it very helpful to utilize the sample exam questions and exam development and scoring from the BOC website. They offer 25 sample exam questions formatted in the exact way you will see them on the real exam. This was especially helpful because I felt more prepared knowing what to expect, including all the question formats, buttons to click for going to the next question, and answering the question or flagging the question to come back to at a later time. Find these and other BOC study tools here: http://www.bocatc.org/candidates/exam-preparation-tools

I dedicated about a week of study time to reading and reviewing the NATA Position Statements and Code of Ethics. These are important to know not only for the exam but for your future career as an AT.

NATA Position Statements: http://www.nata.org/news-publications/pressroom/statements/position

NATA Code of Ethics: http://www.nata.org/membership/about-membership/member-resources/code-of-ethics

When it comes down to it, everyone learns and studies differently. This is what worked for me, and I hope it gives you an idea of how you want to study for your own exam. Good luck!

About the Author

Elishia Jackson is originally from the small town of Orting in Washington State. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training with a minor in Coaching from Eastern Washington University in 2015. Jackson has experience with athletic training at the collegiate level (NCAA and NAIA), and high school level. Her passion for athletic training stemmed from her time as a junior level Olympic gymnast. Jackson suffered multiple injuries including a career ending neck injury. She believes working in the athletic training profession is a way to help others achieve their goals and dreams. In the future, she hopes to be able to enter back into the world of gymnastics as an Athletic Trainer.

 

VIDEO: An inside look at the BOC exam

Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

BOC staff members discuss key issues particularly relevant to students who are preparing for the BOC exam and certification. The presentation also includes questions from the students in the audience.

Check out and share the video for information on these topics and more:
• BOC partners
• Overview of the BOC exam
• BOC exam scoring
• Candidate resources
• Transitioning from a candidate to an AT
• Professional practice and responsibility

Enjoy the presentation. We hope it is useful to you!

Program Director Highlights: Christine Odell

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

Program Director Highlights from the Spring 2014 PD Update Program Director – Christine Odell
Metropolitan State University of Denver

1) What is the name of your institution? 

Metropolitan State University of Denver

2) How long have you been a PD at this institution? Seven years

3) How many students are currently in your program(s)? There are 32 students in the clinical portion.

4) Do you teach any class(es)?  If so, which one(s)? I teach Upper Extremity Injury Evaluation, Foundations of Athletic Health Care, Anatomical Kinesiology, General Medical Topics in Athletic Training, Therapeutic Modalities in Athletic Training and Administrative and Research Topics in Athletic Training.

5) Do you use the BOC Self Assessment Exam(s) as tools to assist your students in preparing for the exam? How? Yes. I encourage my students to purchase at least one, and I use the small free example to show students how questions are formatted. We go through these as a group and discuss how the question is written. I try to focus their attention away from wanting to know their ‘score’ on these exams.

6) How do you prepare your students for the BOC exam?

I actually bring up the BOC web site and I do NOT log in. I then take them through all the information that is public. I start with the Candidate Handbook, move to the scheduling area and then the style guide. We discuss the style guide in depth. After this, all students are required to purchase the RD/PA6 because we use it to create assignments. I do not hold study/review sessions. I only hold reviews in content delivery. I feel when they reach this point, they have to learn how to organize their own studying. Therefore, my job is to focus on what they cannot control: knowing what they can and cannot take into the exam room, how the exam is formatted, etc. I take that unknown out of the equation so they can focus on studying the actual content.

7) What study materials do you recommend to your students? I recommend all the text books used in our curriculum and having access to the RD/PA6 and a good medical dictionary – either Tabor’s or Steadman’s. Otherwise I feel it is very overwhelming for students.

8) Please provide some tips for how you prepare your students for entering the real world (e.g. completing the BOC paperwork post-exam; state licensure/registration/certification; NPI numbers).

During the admin class this is actually one of our final discussions. I go over the BOC web site again and go through the "Certified" section and log in with my credentials and show them what I have to do.

9) Do you have any tips, suggestions or questions for other PDs? If you have not already, explore the BOC web page. It holds all essential information. If you do not understand something, call the BOC office. It is always surprising when you think you have very unique situation and they say, "It happens all the time. Here is what you need to do…"  They are extremely approachable and helpful.

If you are a PD who would like to be considered for inclusion in the Featured Program Highlights, please submit an email with your interest to StacyA@bocatc.org.

 

Hip Mobility

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

Photo of Mike Boyle via Google Images.

If your athletes are anything like mine, a lot of them have movement deficiencies with squatting, stepping, lunging and changing direction. Then, when they get injured and you are assessing them you notice how tight their hips are. When you ask them to squat or demonstrate a dynamic movement, they have difficulty.

Sitting for most of the day and then participating in a sport that asks the body to perform a similar task (predominantly sagittal plane) is contributing to our athletes having tight hips that restrict their performance. They are not going to be able to generate full force on their lifts, change direction or land easily; nor can they pivot easily due to their restrictions. Helping them to open their hips and improve their mobility will improve their on-field performance and long-term health of their hips.

Some foam rolling and massage are good for breaking adhesions and fascial restrictions that are limiting their motion. Static stretching may be indicated for those areas that are extra tight and can involve Thomas stretching; kneeling lunge stretching, with or without elevating the rear foot; and quadriceps and hip flexor stretching.

Photo from T-nation via Google Images-Single leg Romanian deadlift or T-hold.

Activating their core musculature with static holds and low skill stability exercises teaches them how to maintain their posture while their hips move in different directions. This is necessary for higher technical lifts and movements they will encounter in their sport. Examples include bridges, side leg raises, leg swings, bird dogs, fire hydrants, single leg Romanian deadlifts, spidermans, and other exercises.

Progressively teaching and reinforcing more technical exercises that stress their body will help to develop long-term mobility in their hips. Training them to move in multiple planes will be effective in terms of gaining increased movement potential and will carry over to sport. Exercises that can accomplish this are lateral lunges and squats, reverse lunges with rotation or an overhead reach, drop step lunges and squats, and lateral step-ups.

Attacking the limitations in hip mobility can improve functional movement, improve quickness and deceleration, and decrease risk of injury.

What exercises have you found to be effective in terms of improving hip mobility? Do you have progressions you use with your athletes?

Resources:

http://www.strengthcoach.com/public/1298.cfm

http://movement-as-medicine.com/4-hip-mobility-drills-to-improve-your-squat/

Written By:
Tim Koba, ATC, CSCS, PES, CES, CMT
tkoba@CAYUGAMED.org

ETHICS IN ACTION: In Matters of Principle, Stand Like a Rock. In Matters of Preference, Go with the Flow.

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

Ethics education is designed to deepen our reflection on the ultimate questions in life; to help us think more clearly about morality and the choices we make; to sharpen our general thinking and our ability to reason; and, more importantly, to defend our stance.  We know that much of ethical decision-making is situational and subjective at times.  We know that being able to stand behind our decisions within the scope of our practice is critical in healthcare. One of my favorite guiding principles is referenced in the title – when in a situation where it is a matter of principle, I am not easily swayed.  I consider the options yet stand firm in my principles regarding the case.  In matters of preference however, it is easy to rationalize multiple approaches to solving the dilemma while often considering situational factors in the resolution.

After reflecting on the following case, respond to the posted questions and create others if you have them.

You work for a private outpatient clinic.   A worker who was recently injured is nearing time to return to his job. His progress has been fair, but it certainly falls within the marginal range. He has shared with you that during his time off he has been able to help his elderly father care for his mother, who has Alzheimer’s disease. He is always on time to the clinic and works hard during his rehabilitation. He states that his father cannot afford to institutionalize his mother and his help creates some relief from the situation. You are writing the report for his follow-up visit for the physician, which will determine whether he returns to work the next week or has his therapy extended another three weeks. You know the physician will ask what you think about his readiness to return to work. What is the RIGHT THING to do?

1. Is holding him out another three weeks ethical?

2. Would it matter if the patient was non-compliant and missed several rehabilitation sessions with you?

3. Would it matter if the patient was not caring for parents and was just off work and reported playing video games all day?

4. Is it important to consider all of the factors that influence the patient’s life in the return to play decisions?

Written By:
Kimberly Peer, EdD, ATC, FNATA
kpeer@kent.edu

Dr. Peer is an Associate Professor at Kent State University. She holds a Doctorate in Higher Education Administration with a Cognate in Health Care Management. Kimberly was recently appointed as the editor-in-chief for the Athletic Training Education Journal and serves on the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education Ethics Committee as well as the NATA Committee on Professional Ethics. Her national contributions include service to the BOC, NATA, JAT and REF in multiple capacities. Her statewide service includes the Governor’s appointment to the Ohio licensure board and over 12 years of service to the OATA.

Peer received the NATA Fellow Award and OATA Hall of Fame Award in 2012 and has been lauded with other national, regional and state level awards for her contributions to the profession and athletic training education. Dr. Peer has published and presented extensively on the international and national levels about ethics education and pedagogy and has co-authored with Dr. Gretchen Schlabach the first textbook on ethics in athletic training.

 

ETHICS IN ACTION: Fitting In Isn't Always Easy

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

Ethics education has evolved over the years.  In medicine, it was originally structured content delivered via formal courses on ethical theory.  Through the years, it has transformed to informal education gained through the socialization process.  Young professionals were exposed to mentors who guided their socialization, thereby shaping their moral compass.  In high stakes situations where the mentor holds “power” over the trainee, the student is inclined to “go with the flow” to protect his or her image and status within the organization.  Recently, medical education has been shifted back to a more formal ethics education protocol – but one that emphasizes ethics across the curriculum rather than ethics in one theoretical course.  The advantages of ethics across the curriculum is that it integrates ethics into all academic courses rather than delivering all ethical content in a sterile, theoretical course.  We know that ethics is best learned when students and professionals grapple with the ambiguities of ethical dilemmas.

In light of the transformation of ethics education, how would you advise the student in the following case?

As a young professional in your first job, you are faced with the challenge of working with a team of far more experienced clinicians than you.  Part of this challenge is that, based on your formal educational program, you observe what you believe to be breeches in professional behaviors relative to the articulated code of ethics for your profession.  One of the most disturbing behaviors you observe involves “derogatory comments about patients, their history, their injury/condition, and/or their family situation” when the clinicians are discussing cases in the lunchroom.  They do not refer to the patients by name, but it is quite clear about whom they are talking.  Is this unethical behavior?

  1. What would you recommend the student do in this situation?  Why would you recommend he or she act in this way?
  2. What is at stake here relative to professional values?
  3. If the patients are not being named, what is the problem?
  4. What could the possible consequences be for the young professional if he or she addresses this behavior from his or her moral framework?
  5. What values are present in this particular case?
  6. Is this a violation of the NATA Code of Ethics?

Written By:
Kimberly Peer, EdD, AT, FNATA
kpeer@kent.edu

Dr. Peer is an Associate Professor at Kent State University.  She holds a Doctorate in Higher Education Administration with a Cognate in Health Care Management.  Kimberly was recently appointed as the editor-in-chief for the Athletic Training Education Journal and serves on the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education Ethics Committee as well as the NATA Committee on Professional Ethics.  Her national contributions include service to the BOC, NATA, JAT and REF in multiple capacities.  Her statewide service includes the Governor’s appointment to the Ohio licensure board and over 12 years service to the OATA.

Peer received the NATA Fellow Award and OATA Hall of Fame Award in 2012 and has been lauded with other national, regional, and state level awards for her contributions to the profession and athletic training education. Dr. Peer has published and presented extensively on the international and national levels about ethics education and pedagogy and has co-authored with Dr. Gretchen Schlabach the first textbook on ethics in athletic training.

 

ETHICS IN ACTION: Moral Courage - Do You Have It?

Monday, October 14th, 2013

The BOC is beginning a monthly blog series called Ethics in Action, led by Kim Peer, EdD, AT, FNATA. Ethics is defined as “what is right…what is good.”  From Kidder’s perspective in Moral Courage (2003), it involves three elements:  values, moral reasoning/ethical decision making and moral courage.  Our values are personal, professional and organizational.  Personal and professional values impart exclusiveness, affect professional behaviors, activate during decision-making and stand as the mark of professional excellence (Weiss, 2002).  Moral reasoning and ethical decision making considers alternatives in the discovery process.  It requires that the decision maker consider facts in light of important values. Lastly, moral courage is comprises those traits that enable you to stand strong in your decisions and behave in a consistent, predictable manner.  Moral courage considers:

Using Kidder’s model, consider the following case:

An athlete with a concussion is the starting shortstop for a baseball team.  The concussion is mild yet is still causing considerable headache.  A major game is pending and the parents are pushing to allow the athlete to play.  Their neighbor, a cardiologist, says he will sign off for him to play.

  1. Is it appropriate for a cardiologist to sign off on an athlete for return to play (RTP) in concussion protocols?
  2. Is it your role to discuss the perceived limitations of having a cardiologist sign off on a concussion release – after all, a cardiologist is a physician with advanced training?
  3. Would it be different if the physician were a chiropractor?  OB/GYN?  Dermatologist?
  4. What are the values that are present in this case?  Are they personal values or professional values?
  5. What are the risks/personal loss issues associated with addressing your thoughts about a cardiologist’s training relative to RTP for concussion management?
  6. What are the public exposure and/or reputation risks associated with refusing to or allowing a cardiologist to clear a concussion case?
  7. What role did the fact that the cardiologist is a neighbor play in your decision?  Why would this be a factor?

Dr. Peer is the Athletic Training Education Program Coordinator and Associate Professor at Kent State University.  She serves on the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education Ethics Committee and the NATA Ethics Education Project Team.  She is a BOC volunteer and recently completed terms as the Chair of the BOC Standards Committee and as the OATA Past President. 

She served on the NATA Research and Education Foundation's Research Committee, is the associate editor for the Athletic Training Education Journal and is on the editorial board for the Journal of Athletic Training.   Learn more about Dr. Peer.

National Customer Service Week

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

National Customer Service Week is October 7 – 13, 2013. BOC staff takes pride in providing a high level of customer service. We are available via phone and email, and inquiries can also be sent through BOC Central. The BOC website offers CE resources and other athletic training resources as well.

The BOC has a goal to call all ATs (excluding new ATs certified in 2012 and 2013) to educate them about the recent recertification changes.  Since March 2012, BOC staff members have called 25,000+ ATs to update them on the status of their recertification progress and review the recertification changes. Information provided includes the current reporting period and required number of CEUs, instruction in using CE203 and AT203 Continuing Education Forms in BOC Central, and 2012 and 2013 Recertification Fee payment updates.  BOC staff also follows up with an email that provides information and resources for ATs to complete their recertification by December 31, 2013.

How do you provide great service to your students and patients every day?

Program Director Highlights: Valerie W. Herzog

Monday, September 9th, 2013

Program Director Highlights from the August 2013 PD Update
Program Director - Valerie W. Herzog, EdD, LAT, ATC
Weber State University

1) How long have you been a PD at Weber State University?

I have been a PD here for eight years.

2) How many students are currently in your program(s)?

There are 40 undergraduate students and 31 master’s level students.

3) Do you teach any classes? If so, which one(s)?

Yes, I teach Basic Rehabilitation for Musculoskeletal Injuries, Advanced Rehabilitation for Musculoskeletal Injuries, Research Methods II and III, Administration and Management in Athletic Training, and our BOC exam prep courses (undergraduate and graduate).

4) Do you use the BOC Self Assessment Exam(s) as tools to assist your students in preparing for the exam? How?

Yes, I encourage the students to take the exams online to identify their weaker areas.

5) How do you prepare your students for the BOC exam?

In the BOC exam preparation class, students complete a set of practice questions each week. I encourage students to create a running list of every word, phrase and/or concept that they are not fully confident about. I then ask them to use that list to study from, by researching and reading about everything they were unsure of. I explain that one of the mistakes students make is to continually study the content they already know well. Instead, I encourage them to focus on the content they don’t know.

Completing large amounts of practice questions helps them identify things they don’t know well. In class each week, we review the questions that they were assigned to complete and discuss the content as needed. The students then have a week to take a quiz on the same content areas, although they see different questions. During the following wing class period, we review the quizzes in class.

The students also go through all of the Athletic Training Education Competencies and rate their level of confidence/knowledge on each on a scale of 1-10. I tally all of the scores together to determine the weakest areas for the class as a whole. Students are then assigned two to four competencies that were rated the lowest overall to research and create digital flashcards (using the app, “Flashcards Deluxe”) for study tools that are used by the whole class.

6) What study materials do you recommend to your students?

We have tried a variety of exam prep books with varying success. In the fall, we’re going to try a newer book, Athletic Training Exam Review: A Student Guide to Success, by Lynn Van Ost.

7) Please provide some tips for how you prepare your students for entering the real world (e.g. completing the BOC paperwork post-exam; state licensure/registration/ certification; NPI numbers).

In the BOC exam prep class, I have a day set aside to discuss how to complete the certification process, how to get licensed/registered/certified in the state where they get hired, and NPI numbers. We also review continuing education requirements so that they understand how to maintain their credentials, as well as the disciplinary procedures. During the same semester, they are typically enrolled in our athletic training management course, where they are also discussing legal issues, ethics, career skills and a variety of other topics related to management in athletic training.

8) Do you have any tips, suggestions or questions for other PDs?

We weren’t sure about creating or requiring a BOC exam preparation course, but we are SO glad we did. It gives the students some structure while they study, with deadlines to study content areas. Students often think that they can study on their own, but it is always easier to put off studying for real deadlines in other courses where they receive grades. We have seen a much higher pass rate on the exam for students who took the course, and we are now requiring it of all students in both programs.

If you are a PD who would like to be considered for inclusion in the Featured Program Highlights, please submit an email with your interest to StacyA@bocatc.org.