October 22, 2013
When the RTs at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, TX, gather for their RC Week celebrations next week they’ll be handing out some awards and enjoying a nice meal together.
But this group of therapists will be doing something else as well – applauding the fact that all 180 of them now hold the Neonatal-Pediatric Specialist credential from the NBRC. In order to maintain the accomplishment, the department will now require the NPS for new hires as well.
“Our leadership team decided to pursue this accomplishment, with a goal of elevating our practice to better serve our specialty population,” says Kristen Hood, RRT-NPS, clinical educator for the department. When the effort kicked off in mid-2012, about 70 staff members already held the credential and many of those folks played an integral role in helping the remaining staff members prepare for the exam.
“Several of our previously NPS-credentialed staff organized study groups to assist their colleagues in preparing for the exam, and ‘colleague to colleague’ discussions about exam content occurred on nearly every shift,” says Hood. Staff also shared the results of practice exams, and after sitting for the test, would go over specific questions and research the correct answers so their peers would have a leg up when their turn came to head to the exam center.
Staff members soon began to take pride in each accomplishment and that ended up drawing everyone closer together into a more cohesive group as well. “An unexpected outcome is the camaraderie that grew out of this pursuit,” says Hood. “Not only is our staff more adept at dealing with neonatal and pediatric patients but they relate to each other and communicate better.”
Hood says she hopes the success her hospital has had with the NPS will inspire other hospitals to go after a 100% specialty credentialing goal of their own. “The goal is great, but the journey is beautiful!” says the AARC member.