The Impact of Professional Excellence
By Anne Gavic, MPA, RCEP, MAACVPR
Cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation programs are designed to guide patients to healthier lifestyles following a cardiac or pulmonary disease diagnosis. To do this, programs must consistently provide the very highest quality of care for patients ― care that is safe, effective and patient-centered.
Many elements must come together in order for this level of care to be provided. Programs must be aligned with current research and guidelines, provide education and counseling in a way that moves a patient toward change, and measure progress and outcomes to mark success for both the individual patient and the program at large.
Certainly, one of the most important aspects of providing exceptional patient care is having an outstanding and highly skilled team of health-care professionals providing that care. It is essential that those delivering cardiac or pulmonary rehabilitation care are well versed in published competencies for their specialty and have displayed knowledge of and skills related to those competencies.
Published competencies for cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation can be found in the following documents:
AACVPR provides a multitude of resources and opportunities to assist members in maintaining program standards, and implementing innovative solutions to change based on current research and evidence.
Specific to staff competency, AACVPR is the only organization to offer a certification specific to cardiac rehabilitation, the Certified Cardiac Rehabilitation Professional (CCRP). The exam for CCRP is based on the core competencies for cardiac rehabilitation and includes questions from all 10 competency areas. In order to ensure the candidate has practical experience in the field, 1,200 hours of direct patient care in cardiac rehabilitation is required prior to taking the exam.
While a certification is not currently available for pulmonary rehabilitation professionals, AACVPR, in partnership with AARC, has created a robust certificate program based on the pulmonary rehabilitation clinical competencies. To receive the certificate in pulmonary rehabilitation, the candidate must complete 12 modules on content specific to pulmonary rehabilitation and successfully complete an exam at the conclusion of these modules.
These options serve to elevate the professions of cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation and to ensure a high level of knowledge and competency in those providing patient care. It is the responsibility of each of us providing that care to strive for the highest level of knowledge and skills and to work to achieve the credential that sets us apart in our field. The impact of this on our programs and patients will be significant.#Certifications