By Yasmen Simonian, PhD, MLS(ASCP)CM
Thank you for the opportunity to serve NAACLS in this capacity. It is truly an honor to call myself an educator and be a part of this superb profession. Please permit me to share some observations and thoughts with you. As I was preparing to write this column, I thought of writing about my journey and experiences in becoming a clinical/medical laboratory scientist. It would have begun by being a student in the field, practicing in the profession and then becoming an educator. Well we can talk about that some other time in the future.
Meanwhile, as I was reading the ASCLS Educator’s Listserv, something became very apparent to me. We all care about our students, the integrity of the education we offer and well-being of the community we serve. It does take the “village” to continue to educate excellent healthcare providers of tomorrow.
According to the Listserv, there were some faculty with concerns regarding the exam scores from ASCP BOC that showed a decline compared to previous years. This was discussed for several days on the Listserv. In fact, I think they are still talking about it. In addition, there were comments on the pass-rates being one of the outcome measures that NAACLS uses in the accreditation process. The trail of conversation was both fascinating and honest. There were agreements, sympathies, concerns, explanations and finally some solutions.
The ASCP BOC is hard at work with modifications and updates of their exams to meet the needs of our ever-changing field of practice and offering concrete instruments for assessing competencies. They can use help in writing and reviewing exams. By assisting them, this would be one avenue for us educators to stay current.
During ASCLS’ CLEC 2016 in Minneapolis, we will be reviewing The Body of Knowledge (BOK) for Entry Level Curriculum (ELC) for MLT and MLS. We are all invited to participate in the review and update. One more avenue to be engaged and have an impact.
As for NAACLS, it is correct that the pass-rates (three-year rolling average) are one of the outcome measures used to evaluate program success. However, if the pass-rates were to drop or to fall below the standards, that doesn’t mean the program would not be able to have a successful accreditation review. The attention would then transfer to examining the curriculum more carefully.
I have been involved with NAACLS accreditation processes for over thirty years. It is with a great sense of pride and assurance that I can testify to the following. The NAACLS staff and volunteers are hard-working, have high ethics, utmost integrity and really want the programs to succeed. So, let’s continue with the discussions, listen to one another, participate and produce the most excellent healthcare providers. Until next time we talk, keep the village fire going.