Becoming Certified in Hyperbaric Medicine Protection Status
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By Angela Kujath, Executive Director of the ACHM

Most of us can remember a time when we’ve felt extreme anxiety about taking an exam. This anxiety was accentuated if we felt inadequately prepared. In my role as Executive Director of the American College of Hyperbaric Medicine (ACHM), I have often been asked questions about exam preparation for hyperbaric certification. The ACHM has offered a hyperbaric certification exam since the late 90s, but participants simply studied their textbooks and relied on past experience to ready themselves for the exam. I can tell you that this led to many conversations with frustrated and anxious individuals who felt that studying a textbook that they had read as many as 10 years ago was simply not enough to help them feel prepared. This was even more worrisome for the physicians who hadn’t practiced hyperbaric medicine in several years, or for those actively practicing HBO but maybe only doing so part time.

It was because of this need that we decided to create a review course designed to prepare individuals to take the hyperbaric physician certification exam. In May, 2013, we were excited to launch our first hyperbaric review course, as well as our first live wound care review course. We held both events in conjunction with the Trinity Medical Center’s 5th Annual Spring Wound Care Symposium in Rock Island, IL. It wasn’t the obvious choice in terms of location, but for us Midwesterners this was a perfect central meeting spot based on the fantastic turnout. Several individuals were attending as a basic refresher, but a majority of the 27 participants were planning to take one of the three exams offered by the American Board of Wound Healing (ABWH); The Physician Certification in Hyperbaric Medicine, The Physician Certification in Wound Care, or The Certified Hyperbaric and Wound Specialist (CHWS) Certification. The CHWS exam was initially created as an advanced certification for hyperbaric technicians who have found themselves doing a lot of wound care in their clinics. It was also intended to dually certify nurses and other allied healthcare providers who have both wound care and hyperbaric responsibilities, which happens quite often in smaller facilities with limited staff. However, we’ve seen an increasing number of physicians choosing to obtain the CHWS certification in lieu of a physician certification which allows them to demonstrate proficiency in both areas.

The ACHM is currently developing an online version of the hyperbaric review course which will launch in September, 2013. The Wound Care Review Course is now available online through WebCME.

Mark your calendars for September 21-28, 2013, and plan to join us in Barbados for a series of live courses and offerings, including The Hyperbaric Review Course and The Wound Care Review Course, the ABWH certification exams, and several other hyperbaric and wound care CME opportunities! For more information about upcoming courses, click here.

For more information about our courses, visit the ACHM website.

About The ACHM
The American College of Hyperbaric Medicine (ACHM) was formed by a group of physicians practicing the developing specialty of hyperbaric medicine who noticed the need for a national professional organization dedicated to serving as a medical specialty society. The ACHM has worked to develop an image of hyperbaric oxygen therapy as a distinct medical specialty, often requiring full-time practice.

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author, and do not represent the views of WoundSource, Kestrel Health Information, Inc., its affiliates, or subsidiary companies.

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