ASCP Certification Continuing Education Credits

Continuing education is necessary in order to keep your certification ASCP Certificationactive with the American Society of Clinical Pathology. The initial ASCP certification is valid for 3 years. During this time the ASCP requires that you continue with your training and education so that you are current in the field. This three year window will give you plenty of time to get the necessary credits completed in time. The certification requires 36 credits might seem like a lot but if you spread them over the three years that equates to only 12 credits a year, and even more broken down, one credit a month over the course of the three years.

There are many strategies when approaching continuing education to maintain your ASCP certification. You can either spread them over the three years or you can power through and do all of them in a one month. The strategy that I used was to take the first year off. With me still being new to the field I wanted to make sure I took a break from all of the studying that I did in order to pass the exam in the first place. In giving myself a break I was able to focus on the position I was hired for and allow myself a much-needed rest studying in preparation.

In order to obtain acceptable credits make sure you look at the ASCP website to make sure you get credit that will actually count towards your continuing education progress. On the ASCP website they list several different methods to get credits. After my first year was complete I focused my energy on the traditional route by taking one credit at a time. I don’t plan on writing a book or writing a thesis so the only option for me is to take a course through the ASCP. Luckily, my hospital provides us with all the courses we need to get the 36 credits. There is a list of credits we can take. I simply select some credits that I am interested in and when I am done I will hand them in to my employer to get the credit. All I have to do is to read an article and answer 5-10 questions with a minimum of two in the categories of hematology, microbiology, chemistry, blood banking and lab safety.

After completing all 36 credits you can enter these credits into the computer. The ASCP will send you a letter when you have a month left to go before your certification expires. Simply follow the directions on the ASCP website to submit your credits through the online declaration form. Keep all of your work just in case they perform an audit on you. I kept mine in a folder that I still have at home in my personal records. I will discard them out when I apply for my next certification.

There is no right or wrong way to complete the continuing education. Come up with a plan that works for you and your schedule. Although the continuing education can be daunting and time consuming I found it enjoyable to learn about new topics that I am interested in. As mentioned before, the main thing is to have a plan and stick to it so that you can be successful in achieving all 36 credits by the time your initial three year certificate expires.

 

Photo Credit – www.continuingeducation.com