Publish Date: August 8, 2018
CAIP, launched in January by the Board of Ambulatory Surgery Certification (BASC) following several years of development, is the first certification designed for infection preventionists working in ASCs. It represents only the second certification program for the ASC industry. The other — Certified Administrator Surgery Center (CASC) — was first awarded in 2002.
The inaugural CAIP exam, an online test, will be held October 1–31, with interested individuals required to register to take the exam between August 1–31.
If you're considering taking the CAIP exam, follow these six tips from Ann Geier, MS, RN, CNOR, CASC, chief nursing officer for Surgical Information Systems.
- Determine eligibility. Not just anyone can take the CAIP exam. There are specific requirements ASC professionals must meet to be eligible. These are broken down into three categories: licensure, experience and infection prevention education.
"Download the CAIP Candidate Handbook and make sure you qualify," Geier says. "Assuming you meet those requirements, then you can proceed with submitting the CAIP application and begin preparing for the test."
- Review study materials. BASC has produced a document that outlines exam specifications and worthwhile accompanying study materials. The document is broken out into five sections that mirror the categories covered during the CAIP exam:
- Infection prevention program development, implementation and maintenance
- Infection prevention and control education and training
- Surveillance, data collection and analysis
- Infection prevention strategies
- Instrument/equipment cleaning, disinfection and sterilization
"Download this study guide and review it," Geier says. "It's not a short resource and can appear overwhelming. However, as you examine the document more closely, you may find there is overlap in several areas.”
She continues, "I recommend comparing your job description to this guide. If any of the topics in it are not covered by your description, you know some of the areas you will need to focus on more closely during your exam preparation and studies."
"Go to your management and tell them you are studying for this exam," Geier says. "Ask for a few hours a week built into your time at the ASC to quietly prepare for the test. Trying to squeeze in preparation and studying during off-hours is not only impractical but may not be doable for some people. It's also unfair to ask this of the individual since the certification will help the surgery center. If you're going to do this, management should help you do it right."
"Not all people are comfortable with taking tests on a computer, but the reality is that this is the direction most exams are heading, including nursing boards," Geier says. "If you're in the category of people who find online tests a new concept, it's a phobia that's hard to overcome. But do your best to put this out of your mind. If you know the information covered by the exam, the format won't matter as much. Focus on what you can control."
RESOURCES FOR MEMBERS
Further prepare for CAIP certification and increase your knowledge on infection prevention with these free members-only resources:
- Guideline Essentials: Implementation tools for guidelines on hand hygiene, environmental cleaning, high-level disinfection, skin antisepsis, surgical attire, and more
- Complementary subscription to Outpatient Surgery Magazine
- Webinar on Recommended Practices for the Prevention of Transmissible Infections (1 CH)
Plus, members save on these products and events:
- ASC Infection Prevention Course (members save $70)
- Essentials of Infection Prevention and Safety seminars (members save $15)
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