If you don’t have access to the ASET Newsletter and have not gone to the ABRET website recently, I am going to share this important update with you, and provide some explanation.
An article in the Fall 2017 ASET Newsletter announced a change in the rules for recertificaton of ABRET credentials. If you were awarded the R. EEG T. or R EP T. credential between 1964 and 2001, this was considered a “lifetime credential”. However, ABRET has announced that ALL R. EEG Ts, and R. EP T’s will need to recertify in the future by obtaining 30 CEUs every 5 years moving forward.
There is a six-year span for the phasing-in of this new rule. Technologists who had a lifetime credential may acquire CEUs starting August 1, 2017 through December 31, 2023. The CEUs must be submitted to ABRET before the 2023 deadline, and instructions for how to complete the process can be found on the ABRET website, at the “For Certificants” tab. At this tab you will also find information on “Acceptable Continuing Education”. Basically, the CEUs you submit must be on topics related to your credential. There is a “Recertification Handbook” on the ABRET website, and if you have additional questions, you are encouraged to contact them directly via the ABRET website, www.ABRET.org.
If you plan to retire, and are not planning to seek CEUs and go through the first recertification process, you can request ABRET to give you “Emeritus” status. However, your registry will eventually expire and if you go back to working as a technologist after retirement, you will be listed as “credential expired” in the ABRET database.
Now that I have shared the news with you, I would like to share my insight into this ruling, since I am sure a few of my contemporaries who passed the EEG Registry Exam “in the old days” will perhaps find this difficult to accept. Of course, as Director of Education for ASET, I have been an advocate of education on all levels for technologists! I am a firm believer in “Life Long Learning”, whether it be work-related skills, or learning a new sport or hobby! We learn so much over a lifetime! A quote from Issac Asimov: "The day you stop learning is the day you begin decaying"
The thing is, that for health care professionals, passing a credentialing exam is a declaration that you have met a minimum standard of skills and knowledge to do your job. This indicates to your patients that you are competent to care for them and provide the necessary services required aid in the diagnosis and treatment of their medical conditions. In virtually all other areas of allied health, when it comes to exams, continuing education is required ( respiratory therapy, radiology, physical therapy, and of course nursing.) We sell ourselves and our credentials short and reduce credibility for the NDT credentials by separating out a group of individuals who do not have to seek CEUs.
We can all agree that advances in medicine and health care technology occur at an amazingly rapid rate these days. Without a doubt, some of these changes affect the way we interact with patients and perform tests and monitoring. Did you know about the updates to the International Classification of Seizures? Did you know about the recent changes in the ACNS guidelines for performing various NDT modalities?
I think it is a good thing to be held responsible for maintaining current knowledge which will help us all provide the best patient care possible. We at ASET will do our best to offer you interesting and meaningful continuing education that is affordable. Investing in our future and the safety and well-being of our patients is a good thing!
The primary factor which influenced ABRET’s decision to phase out lifetime credentials has to do with their goal to have all of their credentialing exams certified by a third party organization which provides a comprehensive assessment and review of professional examinations. ABRET credentials will gain recognition and credibility if outside certification is obtained. Exams that award a lifetime credential and do not require CEUs cannot obtain approval for the exam process. So, in order to comply with industry standards, ABRET had to update their rules.
Let’s all get on board with this, since we do very important and detailed work and deserve respect and recognition as health care professionals! I will close this blog entry with a link to the Wikipedia definition of “Health Care Professionals”. Scroll down to the last section on “Regulation and Registration” and think about it… Wikipedia