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What You Should Know, But Haven’t Asked, about Patient Advocate Certification (And what does Goldilocks have to do with it?)
There was big excitement last week as the launch for the first Patient Advocate Certification exam took place. From the massive email that went out on January 31 (1700+ people!) to the most-attended-ever APHA Expert Call-in called “Ask the PACB: Prep for the First Exam” – it’s clear there is huge interest in certification for our relatively new profession of health and patient advocacy. And that’s for good reason! As more and more people consider advocacy as a profession, it becomes imperative to identify, develop, and maintain the important standards and ethics required to keep the profession highly elevated and respected. One of the few ways we can do so is through development of a very rigorous expectation of standards and ethics, and then to make sure only the cream rises to the top through certification. That’s what the Patient Advocate Certification Board (PACB) has done. During registration for the Expert Call-in, registrants were invited to ask questions about the exam. During the call, every question they had posed was answered. (Find a link to the podcast, available to the public, below.) But there were a few questions no one asked. Their answers might support your ability to pass the exam, to earn your BCPA (Board Certified Patient Advocate credential), and to effectively promote your newly achieved certification when you do. I believe the reason they weren’t asked is because of some assumptions made that are untrue. Yes – we all know about assumptions! So here are the questions, with their answers, in no particular order. You’d do well to review them as you consider sitting for the certification exam. • Unanswered Question (Assumption) #1: Since I am a nurse (or doctor, or nurse practitioner, or some other type of provider) it will be easier for me to pass the exam. Not true – not true at all. Not only will it not be easier, but clinical training could get in the way of your exam-passing success. That’s because the exam is based on the standards and ethics of ADVOCACY, as defined by the PACB. For the same reason insurers…