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It’s been widely recognized that obtaining professional certification status is the most important step CS professionals can take toward advancing their careers and driving quality within their respective departments. As a number of states look to follow in New Jersey’s footsteps by certifying CS technicians, quality-driven healthcare organizations worldwide are requiring certification within their own CS departments, regardless of their state’s current involvement in certification initiatives. It’s a decision that no doubt makes good sense given that technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace and the CS department is often plagued by a number of resource shortcomings – including limited staff who are expected to keep up with the harried pace of healthcare and the increasing demands of their many customers, such as the surgical services department.
For those reasons, and many more, it is essential that CS staff have the knowledge, skills and training to provide consistent, reliable and quality-focused service. Certification – which makes CS professionals privy to the latest technology, industry standards and processing practices – is perhaps the most direct route toward helping technicians reach that goal.
Those interested in becoming a Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST) have a wealth of resources at their fingertips. Not only does IAHCSMM offer a host of educational tools to prep technicians for their exam, the Association’s certification programs are the most highly recognized for quality and comprehensiveness within the healthcare industry.
To study for the CRCST certification, in addition to the accumulation of 400 hours of hands-on experience (accrued either before the exam or within 6 months of passing the exam), the following options are available to you (note: courses are preparation for the exam; passing a course does not equate to Certification):
The CRCST exam will then test your proficiency in two general categories:
General CS Knowledge
CRCSTs interested in pushing their professional know-how to the next level can do so by obtaining advanced certifications through IAHCSMM.
To help CRCST-certified professionals stay abreast of rapidly changing medical technology, IAHCSMM offers the Certified Instrument Specialist (CIS) exam, which tests knowledge and recognition of medical instruments, as well as reviews instrumentation practice skills. The CIS course not only prepares CS professionals for the CIS exam, but also provides them with a valuable educational resource to keep on hand. The workbook, Instrumentation Resource Course, and guidebook, Inspecting Surgical Instruments, an Illustrated Guide, outline instrument handling practices from cleaning to inspection and assembly.
To study for the CIS certification, the following options are available to you (note: courses are preparation for the exam; passing a course does not equate to Certification):
IAHCSMM also offers Certification in Healthcare Leadership (CHL), which prepares CS professionals, with an existing CRCST certification, for management and supervisory responsibilities.
To study for the CHL certification, the following options are available to you (note: courses are preparation for the exam; passing a course does not equate to Certification):
Prometric is the global leader in technology-enabled testing and assessment services for information technology certification, academic admissions, and professional licensure and certifications.
Prometric has a global network of site-based testing facilities in 121 countries, ten call centers in nine countries and online and real-time registration services. Prometric has unrivaled reach and industry experience. Each year, Prometric delivers millions of exams around the world in more than 25 different languages.
If you are taking a certification exam in the United States, Canada or a
country that has an existing testing site (locate centers by visiting http://www.prometric.com/iahcsmm), you must take the exam with Prometric.
All other examinees should reference the International Proctoring details further below. Applications* are to be completed and sent with payment directly to:
Attn: Exams Department
213 West Institute Place, Suite 307
Chicago, IL 60610
(*Certification applications may be downloaded by accessing the Download section of the website or the links above.)
You must register and pay for your examination with the IAHCSMM prior to scheduling your testing appointment at a Prometric Testing Center. The exam fee and application are good for one exam only (a new application and additional exam fee must be processed by IAHCSMM before another attempt at certification can be approved). You are eligible to take the exam within 90 days of receipt of the application.
Improperly cancelled appointments, no-shows/missed appointments, or failure to schedule an appointment within the allotted time, will forfeit the examination fee, and the application process must be repeated to retake the exam. Please note further restrictions in the Cancellations, Rescheduling and No-Shows section.
You must schedule an exam a minimum of 48 hours prior to the test time, and are asked to arrive a minimum of 30 minutes prior to the scheduled exam start time. Seating is available on a first come, first served basis, and it is highly recommended to schedule all appointments at least 45 days earlier than your eligibility expiration. Exams scheduled towards the end of one's eligibility period risk seating and/or exam availability limitations, up to and including not being able to take the exam. IAHCSMM bears no responsibility in the scheduling of exams, and no refunds or extensions will be granted, regardless of circumstance.
To schedule your appointment:
Online Scheduling at www.prometric.com/iahcsmm 24 hours a day By scheduling online, the application process is available whenever you have a few minutes to yourself, and is completed in an easy to follow format. Each applicant is also provided with a confirmation printout of the appointment, driving directions, access to all available sites and appointment times, and the ability to create, reschedule or cancel an exam at any time.* Access is dependent on your IAHCSMM ID#, and you will have the ability to identify any incorrect information (address, name changes, etc.) prior to examination. *The term "at any time" refers to the website's 24-hour availability; cancellations and rescheduling must still comply within the guidelines detailed in the next section.
Call toll free 1-800-998-1942 Mon. thru Fri., 9am to 5pm EST A Prometric representative will assist you with finding the closest available center. You will be asked to provide “IAHCS” as the testing indicator, your certification specific exam (CRCST, CHL, or CHMMC), your IAHCSMM ID#, social security number, and your street address and phone number (matching the application). It is highly recommended to print off a confirmation from the website (www.prometric.com/iahcsmm) once a phone confirmation number has been given.
Cancelling or rescheduling an appointment must be done a minimum of 48 hours in advance of the scheduled time. (Ex: an appointment for Thursday can not be rescheduled or cancelled after 12:00 noon on Tuesday). Candidates who cancel their appointment within 48 hours prior to their original exam date/time or candidates who fail to show for a scheduled exam, will forfeit their application and payment (a new application and additional exam fee must be processed by IAHCSMM before another attempt at certification can be approved). Candidates who arrive later than their scheduled exam start time are subject to availability, and may not be able to sit for the exam, resulting as a no-show with applicable penalties. No refunds or extensions will be granted by IAHCSMM, regardless of circumstances, and additional fees for rescheduling appointments may be applicable (payable to Prometric at the time of rescheduling the appointment).
When arriving to take your exam, the Prometric representative on site will ask for your IAHCSMM identification number and one form of ID (showing current photo and signature). Make sure to bring your IAHCSMM confirmation letter indicating your identification number, and one form of identification from the following list:
List of Acceptable Identification (with current photo and signature)*
*All forms of ID presented must have an expiration date greater than the testing date, and EXACTLY match the first and last name provided on the application.
All other forms of identification (credit cards, check cashing cards, voter registration cards, social security cards, etc.) are not valid forms of identification, and if presented, will not be accepted.
Failure to have the necessary identification on site for scheduled appointments will prohibit you from sitting for the exam, forfeiting the application and its fees. The application process will have to be repeated for further certification attempts, including all necessary additional funds.
The test is computer-based so no writing instruments are needed. There is a tutorial describing how to take the exam on the computer preceding the test. The tutorial is optional, but it is highly recommended. (Time spent reviewing the tutorial does not count against your allotted testing time.) Click the link below and the Prometric tutorial will launch in a separate browser window.
More convenient and secure testing is just one more reason for you to apply for certification now. For more information or to apply for an examination, please contact IAHCSMM at 1-800-962-8274.
Subject Line: Attn. Exams Department
Mail to: IAHCSMM
Attn: Exams Department
213 West Institute Place
Chicago, IL 60610
Courses are preparation for the exam; passing a course does not equate to Certification.
IAHCSMM has taken the next technological step with our examinations, which will effectively eliminate any future paper and pencil examinations. Our domestic exam delivery company, Prometric, has opened the door for us to deliver on-line examinations to areas that do not have an actual Prometric testing center. We look forward to continued successes with your examinees as we enter into this new millennium of technology.