Archive for the ‘BOC Test Experience’ Category

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.

An In Depth Look with… DeDe D’Orsi, ATC

Friday, September 6th, 2013

DeDe lecturing at the Marshall Center for International Peace Talks in Garmisch,Germany.

An In Depth Look with… DeDe D’Orsi, ATC

Describe your setting:

DeDe D’Orsi has been a lot of things in her life: a professional skier, a U.S. Olympic Team Athletic Trainer (AT) and a physical education teacher, as well as a sports educator of military children, athletes and coaches in Europe. Her career launched as a Fulbright Scholar in 1989 in Minden, Germany, where she was a teacher and an AT for a professional soccer team for one year. Her career has evolved in various ways to involve international work, consulting and working with people in the military.

D’Orsi began lecturing at all possible conferences to promote AT awareness. She was sent to University of Arizona to be on a task force to rewrite its physical education curriculum with recommendations to have a certified AT in all  Department of Defense Dependents Schools (DoDDS) high schools worldwide.

About two years later, D’Orsi was one of 10 people chosen to go to San Antonio to become certified in coaching principles and sports education.  She also teamed up with an instructor who taught the coaching part of the two-day course, and she taught the sports injuries portion.  The entire course was set up by the American Sports Education Program. All coaches had to pass classes in both coaching and sports injuries, plus have CPR certification, before being able to coach for DoDDS (DoDDS has since become Department of Defense Education Activity, or DoDEA).

She also worked with a German physical therapist, from whom she learned a great deal of European approaches to sports injuries. She began lecturing internationally in locations such as Innsbruck, Vienna, Scholoss Pitkin, Austria, Garmisch, Germany, Italy and Spain. She certified all coaches in the Bavarian Region of Germany in Sports Injuries before it went to online certification.

While doing so, she would lecture and write articles, reading journals for continuing education (CE). It became difficult to maintain her certification and find CE so she applied and became a BOC Approved Provider in Germany.

She conducted taping workshops for coaches at the AAHPERD annual conference, where she brought stateside colleagues over to lecture with her, including Dr. Sue Shapiro LAT, ATC, Associate Professor/Program Director of Athletic Training at Barry University. She also conducted a five-day Cramer type course in Oberammergal, Germany, with guest lecturer Steve Cole from the College of William & Mary.

The Department of DoDEA called D’Orsi to be on a new task force only when a heat illness charge was brought against them or if a head injury protocol needed to be written.

With the tightening of security after the Gulf Wars, D’Orsi had difficulties for attendees coming to her workshops. She had to change her business model. She became more involved with military athletes after being engaged to a soldier, which launched her interest in the Wounded Warrior Program.

How long have you worked in this setting?

D’Orsi has been a BOC Certified Athletic Trainer since 1982. She was a professional skier before she blew out her knee. The first injury, known as the unhappy triad, ended her skiing career. Her interest in athletic training began while she was getting treated in an athletic training facility. She already had earned a master’s degree at the University of Virginia, so her only option was to go the internship route to becoming an AT.

DeDe using Kinesio Taping for a TBI on a Wounded Warrior.

She took on many roles. Currently she is in Cocoa Beach, Florida, at Patrick Air Force Base transitioning to a stateside environment and working on getting her Florida AT License.  After a three month waiting period, D’Orsi was permitted to be a Red Cross volunteer with the Bamberg, Germany Base PT at the PT clinic after her daily work. This began her interaction with the Wounded Warriors. She found this extremely rewarding, and it has become her calling.

Describe your typical day: There is no typical day. She sees various individuals who open up a new world of sports medicine to her. For example, she saw a soldier in his 20s who could hardly do 20 curl-ups or five minutes on the bike due to flight or fight syndrome, or battle fatigue, which he faced every day in a combat zone. D’Orsi took a course in Kinesio taping and lectured on it. She also utilizes Tai Chi and relaxation techniques when working with individuals for their stress. She also used Kinesio taping to treat warriors with traumatic brain injuries, long range sleep disturbances and continuous headaches.

D’Orsi has a passion for supporting individuals in the military and helping them get back on their feet. She also enjoys lecturing and learning new applications constantly.

What do you dislike about your position?

D’Orsi was inspired by her mentors Joe Gieck and the late Dr. Frank C. McCue III, as well as Gene Bayliss and Kathy Ortega to keep spreading the word of athletic training in Europe. ATs were thought of as coaches in Europe, which brought many problems in recognizing what the profession actually does for the athlete. Presently working with the Army in Germany as an AT, one is just thought of as a glorified sports event planner for the Wounded Warriors, and that wasn’t what she was interested in.

What advice do you have about your practice setting for a young Athletic Trainer looking at this setting?

Go out and make your way over there – internationally. Europeans think of an AT as a coach. You have to think outside of the box.

She also learned that if you give it away, they’ll keep on taking it. So she created her own source of getting the word out through workshops as a European consultant. And if you can speak the language, it is a huge asset. D’Orsi studied Spanish first and then found a private tutor while in Germany. She taught and skied with Austrians so she needed to learn German. Learning the language helps you to understand the culture that you are living in.  D’Orsi has certainly left her footprints in the sand for young professionals to follow.  It is now their turn to pick up the ball.