Posts Tagged ‘Continuing Education’

Choosing the Correct Continuing Education Program

Tuesday, December 13th, 2016

Posted December 13, 2016

Brian Bradley,
MS, LAT, ATC, CSCS

By Brian Bradley, MS, LAT, ATC, CSCS

Obtaining continuing education units (CEUs) can be a frustrating task, but it can also be very rewarding if done correctly. Start by changing your attitude about continuing education (CE). Don’t think about CE as an annoying, time-consuming tasks you are required to do in order to maintain your certification. Try to think of CE as an opportunity to improve your skills and become a better Athletic Trainer (AT).

1. Know what specific CEs you need for your certification and license

If you are an AT who was certified in 2015 or before, 50 CEUs (including at least 10 CEUs from the EBP category) are required by December 31, 2017. If you were certified in 2016, 25 CEUs (including at least 5 CEUs from the EBP category) are required by December 31, 2017Some states also require CEs with each license renewal, sometimes those including medical errors programs or attending live events. Make sure you account for these when scheduling your CE programs.

2. Find CEs that are aligned with your interests or position

For example: If you work with athletes who have prolonged symptoms after concussions, it may be beneficial to attend a seminar in which they cover sub-maximal graded treadmill exercise.

3. Look for CEs that may make you more marketable in the future

Consider taking CE programs that add to your resume and clinical tool kit. Not only may it make you a better clinician, but it may help you land a job in the future.

4. Look for CEs that may satisfy requirements for multiple certifications

If you are an AT certified as a strength and conditioning specialist, look for a class you can use for both certifications.

5. Don’t wait until the December 2017 of a reporting period to get your CEs

Don’t wait to get your CE completed. The danger of waiting until this last minute is that there may not be any classes that fit into your schedule.

6. Look for CEs your employer will reimburse

Paying for CEs can get expensive but sometimes employers will provide their employees a CE budget.

7. Use CEs as a chance to network

Think about attending a seminar that offers CEs for multiple professions (RN, PT, EMT, etc.). This will help other professionals get to know the athletic training profession.

8. Attend a National or Local Athletic Training Meeting

Get to know other ATs in your state or district. Usually these meetings offer a lot of CEs and cover topics that directly impact you.

9. Use CE Course as an Excuse to Travel

Attend a seminar or course in someplace you have never been. Plan your trip to add a day or 2 to sightsee and experience a new location.

If you’re struggling with CEUs, remember the BOC website has a list of live events and home study programs to help you meet your CE requirements. Find CEUs on the BOC website at www.bocatc.org/findCE. You can also check the career education section of the NATA website at https://www.nata.org/career-education/education/online-ceu-opportunities.

Resources

www.bocatc.org/findCE

https://www.nata.org/career-education/education/online-ceu-opportunities

About the Author

Brian Bradley has been a BOC Certified Athletic Trainer since 2008. He is originally from Lawrence, Massachusetts but now live in Orlando, Florida. Bradley earned his undergraduate degree at Merrimack College in North Andover, Massachusetts and his master’s degree at the University of Florida. Bradley has worked in a variety of settings including professional, collegiate and secondary schools and in a physical therapy clinic. He currently works at Orlando Orthopaedic Center in the durable medical equipment (DME) department.  In his spare time, Bradley spends time with his wife, Izzy, and his daughter, Abigail.  He is also a big Boston/New England fan and enjoys running.

 

 

 

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Advice to Young Professionals - How to Promote Yourself as an Athletic Trainer

Thursday, January 21st, 2016

Erin Chapman
MS, LAT, ATC

Posted January 21, 2016

By Erin Chapman, MS, LAT, ATC

Young athletic training professionals are entering a new stage of the profession.  Athletic training is a relatively young profession that is continually growing and adapting to meet the demands of the healthcare environment.

As Athletic Trainers (ATs) are employed in hospitals, industrial settings and other environments and more widely used in secondary schools, we will be asked questions about our profession.  As young professionals it is important we promote what we do in a positive light and educate those around us.  For example, we should not get upset or hold a grudge if someone misidentifies our profession by calling us a trainer or personal trainer.

Through education and positive promotion of what an AT does, we can change a person’s understanding of the profession and the importance of ATs’ presence in different clinical settings.  I have this discussion a lot with my peers and like to think I do a good job of promoting athletic training as a profession and myself as a professional in this field.

Here are some tips for other ATs and athletic training students as they transition into the profession:

1. Positive conversations: Concentrate on our strengths as a profession rather than the negatives.  Discuss the educational process ATs go through and what we are capable of doing rather than what we are unable to do.

2. Discuss education and state practice requirements: Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE), the Board of Certification (BOC) and state certification/licensure are huge strengths for our profession.

3. Professional mentors and connections: Seek out someone who will mentor you as you grow in your career.  Network with other ATs to keep current and informed.

4. Public speaking: Take opportunities when possible to promote yourself and the profession.  When speaking in public, use positive promotion through clear and focused thoughts to convey your points on different topics to your audience.  How you speak and the tone of your delivery is very important so you sound professional.

5. Be cautious of social media: I did not grow up in this profession with all of the social media that is currently available to connect with friends, family and co-workers.  Facebook, Twitter and other platforms can be very helpful in spreading positive information but also can be damaging if negative material is posted.

6. Continuing education: Just because you are a Certified Athletic Trainer does not mean you should stop learning or only attend events for continuing education units (CEUs).  Yes, we need CEUs to keep our certification current, but to evolve as a practitioner, you need to attend courses and symposiums you can immediately implement into your clinical practice.  Determine your goals and find courses that fit within those goals to improve your patient care. Being versed in different assessment and treatment paradigms will make you more marketable when looking for your first job or even a new one.

7. Mindfulness: This is something new to my list, and I am still learning how to be mindful in each aspect of my professional and personal life.  The purpose of mindfulness is to live from moment-to-moment without judgment.  Through this practice you learn to stay present and focused during each patient interaction.  This allows the patient to express their concerns while allowing you to remain empathetic and provide evidence-based, medical and scientific knowledge to their assessment and treatment.

The list above is something I have used to focus my goals as well as to educate future ATs.  I am sure there are other components that can be used to promote yourself as a healthcare professional, but this can be used as your initial guide.  As you grow as a professional you can add to the list and share with others.  Be proud of being an AT and demonstrate enthusiasm in a professional manner for your chosen career.

About the Author

Erin Chapman started working for The College at Brockport as an Athletic Trainer (AT) in March of 2010.  She completed her bachelor’s degree in Athletic Training/Exercise Science at Ithaca College in 2007, and her master’s degree in Human Movement at A.T. Still University in 2009.  She is working toward a doctorate in Athletic Training at the University of Idaho.  Chapman's research interests are in breathing pattern disorders in the physically active population and concussion education in intercollegiate athletics. 

As an AT, Chapman assists Golden Eagles athletes by working with field hockey; men’s and women’s basketball; men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track and field; and men’s lacrosse. Prior to working for The College at Brockport, Erin spent two-and-a-half years as the Head AT and biology teacher at the Winchendon School in Winchendon, Massachusetts.  Chapman is a BOC Certified AT and licensed in New York state.


BOC Athletic Trainers Offer Their Advice on Completing CE Requirements

Wednesday, December 9th, 2015

Completing continuing education (CE) requirements can be a challenge even for the Athletic Trainers who currently work at the Board of Certification (BOC).  Take a look at their process for selecting CE programs, their challenges and advice to other ATs currently working on their CE requirements for the reporting period ending December 31, 2015.

1. What do you normally look for in your CE programs? 

Nathan Burns, MS, ATC - Credentialing Program Coordinator

As I put together my plan to complete my CE requirements, I first look at new technologies and NATA position statements I may need to learn about to be a more efficient AT.  After that, I search out CE opportunities that will allow me to grow as an AT.

Chad Kinart, MS, ATC - Exam Development Manager

I look for the highest quality programs from an evidence and expertise perspective that I can afford within the given reporting period.  I also look at the current state of the profession and determine if there are any new changes I need to have an increased awareness of, including new position and consensus statements.

Shannon Leftwich, MA, ATC - Director of Credentialing and Regulatory Affairs

I look for on-demand programs that work within my time to complete them.  I also look for topics that I find interesting or are necessary to maintain my certification.

Jessica Roberts, MS Ed, ATC - Professional Development Coordinator

In no particular order, the 3 most important components of choosing CE for me are 1) topics of content offered and level of difficulty, 2) reputation of the BOC Approved Provider and 3) quality of CE programming.

Kelli Wilkins, MA, ATC - Compliance Specialist

I normally look for courses that can provide me with a new tool, technique, protocol or a topic I know little about.  These types of programs generally keep me intrigued, and I am learning something new the entire time.

 

2. What was your biggest challenge completing CE requirements?  How did you overcome this challenge?

Nathan Burns, MS, ATC - Credentialing Program Coordinator

The biggest challenge was finding CE opportunities that align with my current job responsibilities at the BOC.  I made the decision to seek out CE opportunities to allow me to grow as an AT in the event I begin to work as an AT in a PRN  or as needed environment.

Chad Kinart, MS, ATC - Exam Development Manager

 Recently, my biggest challenge in completing CE requirements has been time.  In addition to family life and work, I have been completing my MBA.  In order to balance everything, I had a plan developed that would allow me to get the requirements in a timely manner without undue stress.

Shannon Leftwich, MA, ATC - Director of Credentialing and Regulatory Affairs

My biggest challenge is finding the time to sit down and complete them.  I usually have to block out time on my calendar and make myself do it.

Jessica Roberts, MS Ed, ATC - Professional Development Coordinator

I struggle to find programs that align with my daily duties as an AT.  As I spend my days working for the BOC and protecting the public, I prefer to learn about regulatory issues and other organization and administrative types of content.  Options for programs that fall under domain 5 are limited.  I overcome this challenge by attending the Regulatory Conference, leadership workshops and giving presentations on areas of interest that fall within domain 5.  I find this content interesting to learn about and even more fun to present to others.

Outside of the BOC, I practice as an AT in a PRN capacity.  My practice mostly revolves around evaluation and immediate care of acute injuries.  I have been fortunate to identify reputable BOC Approved Providers who offer CE programming in these domains at an advanced level to help me increase my knowledge, skills and abilities and to ensure I am providing the best care possible to patients with acute needs.

Kelli Wilkins, MA, ATC - Compliance Specialist

My biggest challenge is finding a program that fits conveniently into my schedule.  I have had good luck with online or home study courses that allow me to dictate the schedule.

 

3. What advice would you give to other ATs currently working on their CE requirements? 

Nathan Burns, MS, ATC - Credentialing Program Coordinator

It is important to decide what your ultimate goal of your CE plan is.  Are you trying to learn a new skill, perfect an old skill or stay current with the changing environments?

 Chad Kinart, MS, ATC - Exam Development Manager

 Develop a game plan at the end of one reporting period in order to begin executing on Day 1 of the new reporting period.

Shannon Leftwich, MA, ATC - Director of Credentialing and Regulatory Affairs

There are a lot of options out there to explore in order to find the right fit for you.  There are subscription based providers, live events, on-demand or home study programs, journals and so much more!  If you aren’t aware of all the options, don’t hesitate to contact the BOC staff.  We’re here to help you.

Jessica Roberts, MS Ed, ATC - Professional Development Coordinator

Free does not always equal quality programs.  While cost is a concern for many, I feel the content and quality of the program to be highly important.  To me, it doesn’t matter if a program is free if I didn’t learn a substantial amount of information or new skills to better myself or my patients.

Easy does not equal maintenance of minimum competence.  Choose programs that stretch your knowledge, skills and abilities as a healthcare provider.  Build your knowledge bank and your resume; don’t just go through the motions.  Attendance at a conference does not always equal competent practitioners.  You’ll get out of it what you put into it, so make it worth your time and give it your all.

Participate in a variety of activities.  Try programs that offer content in areas where you may be weak in order to maintain minimum competence.  Extend yourself by presenting on a topic where you may be a subject matter expert and share your passion with others. Consider a specialized CE program to learn in-depth information about one topic.

Don’t be afraid to explore new activities and providers, learn about new content and stretch yourself as a student of the profession. If you’re not growing, you’re dying.

Kelli Wilkins, MA, ATC - Compliance Specialist

Don’t look for CE programs just based on price.  Look for a program that you know you will benefit from.  Attend a program because you want to and not because you have to.

 

Assess Your Individual Learning Strategies

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015

By Cherie Trimberger

Communications Coordinator

As an Athletic Trainer, you’ve spent years in school learning subject matter required for both your degree and BOC certification.  Throughout your education, it may not have occurred to you that your learning strategies might be different from the person sitting next to you.

Learning strategies are those techniques or specialized skills that the learner has developed to use in both formal and informal learning situations.1 There may have been subtle signs about your learning strategies, like your preference for a class or instructor, but you may not have really understood the reason behind your preferences.

Now as you work to finish your continuing education (CE) for the Board of Certification (BOC) reporting period ending December 31, 2015, it’s a good time to consider how your individual learning strategy could play a factor in your CE decisions.

For nearly 2 decades, educators studied the concept of learning styles to explore differences in learners with instruments to measure these differences.  Many in the field of adult education began to research the concept of learning strategies as a way to better understand individual differences among learners.1

Modern studies suggest that distinct groups of learners do exist. Inquiries at 2 universities in the United States led to research related to learning strategies and to the development of Assessing The Learning Strategies of AdultS (ATLAS).1  ATLAS can be used for self-assessment to quickly identify your approaches to learning a task.  According to Development of a user-friendly instrument for identifying the learning strategy of adults, ATLAS breaks down learners into 3 categories.

  • Navigators: Navigators are focused learners who chart a course for learning and follow it. These learners initiate a learning activity by looking externally at the utilization of resources that will help them accomplish the learning task and by immediately beginning to narrow and focus these resources.  Full description available at http://www.conti-creations.com/ATLAS_validity.pdf. (893-894)
  • Problem Solvers: Problem Solvers rely on critical thinking skills. Like Navigators, Problem Solvers initiate a learning activity by looking externally at available resources; however, instead of narrowing the options available, they immediately begin to generate alternatives based on these resources. Full description available at http://www.conti-creations.com/ATLAS_validity.pdf. (894)
  • Engagers: Engagers are passionate learners who love to learn, learn with feeling, and learn best when they are actively engaged in a meaningful manner with the learning task; ‘‘the key to learning is engagement – a relationship between the learner, the task or subject matter, the environment, and the teacher.’’ Full description available at http://www.conti-creations.com/ATLAS_validity.pdf.  (894)

Understanding your learning strategies can help when selecting your CE program.  Consider taking the ATLAS evaluation to better understand your individual learning strategies.  You can find the ATLAS evaluation here: http://www.conti-creations.com/atlas.htm.  The ATLAS evaluation is just one more tool you can use to help get the most out of your education.

 

Resources

http://www.conti-creations.com/ATLAS_validity.pdf

Self-Assessment Exam Can Help Identify the Right CE Program for You

Wednesday, November 18th, 2015

By Cherie Trimberger

Communications Coordinator

The holidays, the New Year’s Eve ball drop and the BOC’s reporting period deadline are fast approaching.  The current BOC reporting period ends December 31, 2015.  Have you selected your continuing education (CE) programs yet?

When making decisions on what CE to take, practical concerns regarding cost and location are often the first things that come to mind.  Although those factors may be important, you might be missing the big picture when making educational decisions affecting your certification.

As an Athletic Trainer (AT), CE programs are an important part of keeping you at the top of your game.  Through CE programs, you’re given the opportunity to learn new things, keep current on industry changes and sharpen your skills.

Sometimes it can be difficult to determine what program topic would truly benefit you in your practice.   If you are currently struggling with what CE program would be a right fit for you, consider taking the BOC online self-assessment exam.

On the BOC website, self-assessment exams are available to ATs seeking an assessment of their CE needs.  Content experts who develop the BOC exam created the questions within the self-assessment exams.  These exams will assist in determining potential areas of strength and weakness in athletic training to help you identify your CE needs.

The BOC offers self-assessment exams in study and exam modes.  Each self-assessment exam includes 75 questions that are representative of the question types on the BOC exam, including multiple-choice, multi-select, drag-and-drop, hot-spot and focused testlets.

When you are ready to take a self-assessment exam, simply create a User Account, purchase the exam and begin testing.  To take a self-assessment exam now, follow this link https://sae.bocatc.org/.

The self-assessment exams are available via the internet 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You will have 365 days from the purchase date to complete a self-assessment exam once you have paid for an exam.

Determining your strengths and weaknesses is important for you to get the most out of your education.  Make your BOC recertification count by ensuring your CE program is in line with topics that will benefit you in the long run.

VIDEO: BOC Town Hall Meeting – CE Requirements, Common Reporting Errors and Avoiding Audit Pitfalls

Thursday, October 29th, 2015

In the latest virtual Town Hall Meeting, BOC Executive Director Denise Fandel answers questions CE requirements, common reporting errors and avoiding audit pitfalls.  The questions discussed in the meeting are listed below.  Tune in and Be Certain ™ your questions are answered!

 

Questions Answered in Virtual Tour Hall Meeting

1. If I was certified in 2014, do I need to pay the 2014 certification maintenance fee?

2. Can I pay both NATA and BOC fees together?

3. Why are our state licenses so expensive?

4. Why are CEUs so expensive?

5. Can ATs take an online ECC course?

6. Does being an instructor of a CPR course count for my ECC requirement?

7. Do ATs earn CEUs for taking a CPR instructor course?

8. Do ATs earn CEUs for ACLS certification?

9. What should an AT do if they have lost their ECC card?

10. What happens if an AT has a lapse in their ECC certification?

11. How do ATs enter their ECC cards onto their reporting form?  Do we need to continue to send in our updated ECC card every two years?

12. What is a contact hour?

13. How was the number of 50 CEUs decided on?

14. If I have recently become certified (in 2015), how many CEUs do I have to complete and by when?

15. How was the number 10 determined for required EBP CEUs?

16. How do you balance time dedicated to being an AT versus time that is needed to get required CEUs?

17. Can ATs carry over extra CEUs to the next CE reporting period if they earn more than the required number of CEUs for the current reporting period?

18. How do ATs know what category to report CEUs in?

19. Do ATs earn CEUs for teaching courses about athletic training?

20. Do ATs earn CEUs for speaking?

21. Do ATs earn CEUs for writing articles related to athletic training?

22. What type of college courses are acceptable for BOC CEUs?  Do ATs need to submit their official transcript?

23. Do non-approved CEUs count towards the 50 total required CEUs?

24. How does the BOC’s continuing education requirements compare to similar professions?

25. Do you recommend specific online organizations to obtain CEUs from?

26. I attended a CE course that was not great quality, or I am concerned that they wasted my time.  What do I do?

27. I would like to see more CE programs available for ATs that work in non-traditional fields that could include industrial and ergonomic topics.

28. I would like to see more local providers approved in my area.  What can I do to encourage CE providers to apply?

29. Please elaborate on the EBP requirement and why it is now a requirement.

30. My concerns relate to the amount of opportunities for learning related to the evidence based requirement.

31. Where can a NATA member find free CEUs in EBP?

32. How do you know if a course meets the EBP requirement or if it is approved for EBP CEUs?

33. If I took a program that is not on the EBP approved list, can I submit it for consideration?  My program title includes the word “evidence.” Does it count for the EBP Category?

34. I have taken EBP college courses at my university.  Will these count for EBP CEUs?

35. I am a retired AT. Do I need to complete the EBP requirement?

36. Will the NATA clinical symposium in 2016 offer live EBP CEUs?

37. I attended a district meeting that had EBP sessions.  What’s the best way to report these?   Is there a specific code?

38. Should ATs submit all of their CEUs at once?  Can ATs report them as they are earned throughout the 2-year period?  Are ATs required to enter a specific number of CEUs each year?

39. Where do ATs look to see how many CEUs they have entered?

40. I want to report a college course that meets the requirements for Category C.  What is my date of completion?

41. I have graduated from a post professional CAATE accredited program.  Can I count both EBP CEUs and individual courses in Category C?

42. I have recently changed my name. Will a name change this late in the reporting year cause problems?

43. What documentation should I keep in case I am audited?

44. What is the most common mistake ATs make when reporting CEUs?

45. How are ATs selected for the audit?

46. I have had a few life changes occur over the last two years and I would like to request an extension.  What is the process to do so?

47. Will I lose my certification if I don’t get my requirements completed by December 31, 2015?

48. If you are currently not working as an Athletic Trainer, can you put a hold
on your credentials?

49. Can ATs retire their certification and come back at a certain point and practice as a BOC Certified Athletic Trainer?

50. Looking ahead to the 2016-2017 reporting period, will there be any changes?

Year End Time Management Tips

Friday, August 28th, 2015

By: Cherie Trimberger

BOC Communications Coordinator

It’s hard to believe summer is coming to an end.  As the leaves turn colors, the weather become colder and pumpkin-flavored everything becomes available everywhere, from Starbucks to The Cheesecake Factory. Meanwhile, an important deadline for Athletic Trainers (ATs) is swiftly approaching.  There are only a few months left for ATs to complete their continuing education (CE) requirements.  The current reporting period ends December 31, 2015.

Applying an effective time management strategy is important in maintaining your certification.  Here are some tips to help you to manage your time and prepare for the end of the year.

Know Your Certification Requirements

Athletic Trainers (ATs) are required to complete the following to maintain their certification:

- Standards of Professional Practice
ATs are required to comply with the BOC Standards of Professional Practice, which consists of Practice Standards and the Code of Professional Responsibility.

- Emergency Cardiac Care
ATs must maintain ongoing Emergency Cardiac Care (ECC) certification at the Basic Life Support/Professional Rescuer level or beyond.

- Certification Maintenance Fee
ATs are required to pay an annual certification maintenance fee.

- Continuing Education
ATs must complete a predetermined number of continuing education units (CEUs) during the certification maintenance period. The current period ends December 31, 2015.

- ATs certified in 2013 or before must complete 50 CEUs, which must include at least 10 Evidence Based Practice (EBP) CEUs.

- ATs certified in 2014 must complete 25 CEUs, which must include at least 5 Evidence Based Practice (EBP) CEUs

Stay Organized with 2015 Certification Requirement To-Do List

There are lots of great resources on the BOC website, www.bocatc.org, to help you find CE courses and get answers to questions about your CE requirements.  One very helpful tool is the 2015 Certification Requirement To-Do List.

A great way to stay organized is to print this to-do list and place it in some place you’ll be able to see  every day, whether it be your office at work or refrigerator at home.  As you complete your requirements, start checking them off the list.

Don’t Forget your Evidence Based Practice Requirements

The EBP category deserves a second look as you work through your CE plan.  As you may know, the BOC announced the EBP requirement in 2012, so ATs must now complete a minimum number of continuing education units (CEUs) in this category.

Fortunately, fulfilling your EBP CE requirement is just like completing any other CE program.  Simply make sure that, out of your total CEUs due, you have completed the minimum amount required from the EBP category.

You can find EBP CEs on the BOC website at http://www.bocatc.org/ats/ce-resources/app-ebp-courses. (Hint: You can filter by several criteria by clicking the column headers.)  Click on the provider name for contact information for the program you want to take. Some course titles also contain links for additional information.

Approved CEs include both live and home study courses, so there are plenty of opportunities for you to check this requirement off your to-do list.  Begin with a Foundations of EBP program if you’re new to EBP principles.  Then, or if you are already familiar with EBP principles, move on to Clinical EBP programs in your areas of interest.

Don’t Wait to Record Your CEUs

Just imagine, it’s New Years Eve December 31, 2015, you log onto your computer to record your CEUs and the power goes out.  Or maybe your computer crashes, anything can happen when you wait last minute.  Maintaining your CE requirements is paramount to keeping your certification and your ability to work in the athletic training profession.  Don’t take this responsibility lightly and be proactive about recording your CEUs.

An AT who has reported CE activity online can log in to his/her personal profile in BOC Central™ and see the number of CEUs they have entered.  ATs who mail their CE reports to the BOC will not be able to see the CEUs entered in BOC Central™ until the CE report is received and processed by the BOC.

Here is how to record your CEUs online on BOC Central™

1. Log in to BOC Central™

2. Complete AT203 - Continuing Education Reporting Form (due by 12/31/2015)

- In the "Forms" section, click "Enter/Report CE Activities"

- In the "New Forms" tab, select AT203

- Enter details of CE activities

- Click "Save for Later" button until you have met the minimum CE requirements and are ready to submit your final report

- Return to the form in the "In-Process" tab to enter additional CE

- Click "Submit" button ONLY IF you are completely done entering CE and ECC for the current reporting period and have validated the confirmation statements

Just don’t forget to record your CEUs online or by mail by December 31, 2015.

Don’t Be Afraid to Contact the BOC with Questions

Questions? Comments? Email us at CE@bocatc.org or give us a call at (877) 262-3926 (877-BOC-EXAM). You can also leave your thoughts below or send us a message via Facebook or Twitter.  We want to hear from you and answer your questions.  Don’t wait.  Contact us today!

FAQ: What Approved Providers Need to Know About EBP Program Approval

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

As a current or aspiring BOC Approved Provider, you may have questions about how to offer BOC Approved Evidence Based Practice (EBP) Programs. Here are a few frequently asked questions with answers to help you through the application process.

Q: How do I apply for EBP program approval?

To be eligible for approval as an EBP event, the program must adhere to at least one of the following application formats: 1) Clinical EBP and/or 2) Foundations of EBP. There are three applications, one for each format and one for an integrated format that includes both clinical and foundations of EBP. Diversity among topics is encouraged in order to provide appropriate content for all clinicians relative to their level of expertise with EBP.

Q: What is the difference between Clinical EBP and Foundations of EBP Programs?

A: Clinical EBP programs are organized around a clinically oriented topic. Examples: Glenohumeral assessment, ACL rehabilitation, sport-related concussion. Foundations of EBP programs promote EBP within the profession by enhancing a clinician’s ability to find and evaluate evidence and apply it to their clinical practice; by defining EBP and how to use it; and by suggesting methods of integrating EBP into practice or teaching.

Q: How long does the EBP approval process take?

A: Providers will be notified of the initial application outcome within 10-16 weeks, depending on the length of the program and/or number of applications pending review.

Q: When does an EBP course expire?

A: Clinical EBP courses expire after two years. Foundations of EBP courses expire after five years. Course expiration date is always December 31st.

Q: What is considered “contemporary” experience on the EBP Faculty Qualification Form?

A: The term “contemporary” is not defined by dates. Qualified speakers must demonstrate current or recent examples of expertise.

Q: What format is required for the EBP home study course assessment?

A: As long as the evaluation activities demonstrate measurement of all learning outcomes of the course, the assessment can be varied and administered in an assortment of formats. For example:

  • - An exam using multiple choice questions and or other question formats. Questions would be based upon learning outcomes/content of the course.
  • - An EBP case study where students are asked to answer various questions based upon the case. Questions are related to course learning outcomes. These questions could be in a multiple choice or open-ended format.
  • - An assignment such as the following: The purpose of this assignment is three fold: 1) to demonstrate the ability to develop a clinical question using the PICO format, 2) to demonstrate the ability to search the CSR and other databases to find literature related to the clinical question and 3) to analyze, synthesize and create an outline of findings that answer the clinical question based upon the literature.
  • - Cochran Systematic Review/other databases: Participants will each develop a clinical question on a topic and research it using the Cochran library system and other databases. Students will develop an outline of their findings based upon the evidence.

4 Steps to Getting the EBP Credits You Need

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

We’re already nearly halfway through the current reporting period. Are you on track to meet your continuing education (CE) requirements? More importantly, do you know how to meet your CE requirements?

The new Evidence Based Practice (EBP) category deserves a second look as you work through your CE plan. As you may know, the BOC added the EBP requirement just this year, so Athletic Trainers must now complete a certain of continuing education units (CEUs) in this new category. These requirements must be met and reported by December 31, 2015.

Fortunately, fulfilling your EBP continuing education requirement is just like completing any other CE program. Simply make sure that, out of your total CEUs due, you have completed the minimum amount required from the EBP category.

So … how many CEUs is that?

How Many EBP CEUs Do I Need to Do?

The number of EBP CEUs required depends on when you were certified. Let’s break it down:

  • If you were certified in 2013 or before, you must complete 50 total CEUs. Of those, at least 10 must be in EBP
  • If you were certified in 2014, you must complete 25 total CEUs. Of those, at least 5 must be in EBP

Great! Now let’s go find some EBP CEUs.

Where Do I Find EBP Programs?

On the BOC website!

The BOC has approved more than 210 CEUs in the EBP category. Approved CEUs include both live and home study courses, so there are plenty of opportunities for you to check this requirement off your to-do list.

Here is how to get the EBP CEUs you need:

  1. Use the BOC’s online program listing to browse current courses. (Hint: You can filter by several criteria by clicking the column headers)
  2. Click on the provider name for contact information for the program you want to take. Some course titles also contain links for additional information
  3. Begin with a Foundations of EBP program if you’re new to EBP principles
  4. Then, or if you are already familiar with EBP principles, move on to Clinical EBP programs in your areas of interest

That’s all there is to it! Just don’t forget to record your CE in BOC CentralTM by December 31, 2015.

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Improve Patient Outcomes with Evidence Based Practice

Monday, March 31st, 2014

Providing the best possible patient care involves staying up-to-date on advances in the healthcare profession. That’s why the BOC added a new continuing education (CE) category beginning in 2014. The Evidence Based Practice (EBP) category helps Athletic Trainers (ATs) infuse the best new evidence into clinical decision-making, with the goal of improving patient outcomes.

By completing activities in the EBP category, ATs learn how to find and analyze the most current research evidence available. Then, with research in hand, ATs can use clinical expertise and their patients’ own values to make healthcare decisions.

To assure that ATs have the opportunity to learn about new healthcare research, the BOC now requires a certain number of EBP continuing education units (CEUs) to maintain certification.

Requirements for Certification Maintenance

ATs are required to complete a minimum number of EBP CEUs to maintain their BOC certification. All CEUs are due by December 31, 2015.

  • ATs certified before 2014 must complete 50 CEUs, including at least 10 EBP CEUs
  • ATs certified in 2014 must complete 25 CEUs, including at least five EBP CEUs

BOC Approved EBP programs are listed on the BOC website. Approved programs are updated monthly

Two types of EBP programs are available:

  • Foundations of EBP - programs help clinicians understand EBP methodology, find and evaluate evidence, and apply it to their clinical practice
  • Clinical EBP - programs are organized around a clinically appraised topic, such as evaluation, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries and illnesses. These programs follow a five-step EBP process

Only those programs listed on the BOC website are eligible for EBP Category CEUs, and programs are only eligible for credit on or after their approval date.

EBP Course Approval

Some CE programs may appear to follow EBP principles. However, only programs that have been approved by the BOC for the EBP Category are eligible for credit in this category. Providers, not ATs, are responsible for getting BOC approval.

BOC Approved Providers who would like to offer EBP Category programs are invited to submit the activity for BOC approval. The application asks providers to follow a five-step EBP process during program development to ensure that basic EBP principles are followed.

Once a program is submitted, it will undergo peer review to ensure basic EBP principles are incorporated into the program. The BOC then lists approved programs on its website .

For complete information on the EBP category, check out the new 2014-2015 Certification Maintenance Requirements document.

Written By:
Melissa Breazile
MelissaB@bocatc.org